Temas de CapaRaul Freitas

Some things change


Having been out of the loop for a great many years now, I was a little apprehensive when faced with the fact of writing about the CNE.  I mean, even when I lived in Toronto, the annual exhibition wasn’t something that would draw me in. We took our children there once, when they were very little.  

They enjoyed the fanfare, the crowds and the sweets. I was disappointed to see that it was the same old rides and the same old bad food.  The only real change I could recall was in the price of entry.  I don’t know how it is today, but a tell-tale sign the Ex was on was that many people who owned homes around the park in those days, turned their lawns into temporary parking lots for those who drove in for the experience.  I’d be surprised if this is still practiced today because these places are no longer just homes, now they’re “properties”.  And, as I found out from doing a bit of research, today’s CNE appears to be much more than what it used to be.  

A look online reveals a much more savvy fair, one that boasts having something for everyone.  Just in the music department there will be countless acts, covering all kinds of genres and cultures over the two weeks.  There are buskers, a casino, the air show, (an old fave), dog show, circus acts, and endless entertainment specified for kids.  One of the worst experiences at the Ex that I remember was the food.  Their website reveals an avalanche of celebrity chefs doing their thing on what organizers call the Kitchen Stage.  This may not be news to everyone, but it is to me.  In my day, a burger, hotdog and the most sugary sweets available on the planet were the only options available to line up for, (I know, it’s been a while).  And the rides?  It’s not just the Midway anymore, now it has 60 other neighbours to blow ride tickets on.  Wow, parents need to have deep pockets for all this variety, but hey, it’s only once a year, right?

144 years being the country’s largest annual fair.  I’m surprised it’s still going, considering the competition from Canada’s Wonderland and the number of wolves eyeing those juicy 78 hectares of primo land, just begging for condominiums.  Just as they seem to have done to Ontario place, which was one of the most unique experiences around when it was operating, you can bet there are those who are coming up with all kinds of ways of trying to get their hands on that prize.  But Toronto has to hold on to some of its past.  Toronto needs spaces that are for everyone, not just the affluent.  The CNE and Ontario place are just that, something to hold on to, to anchor Toronto’s diverse culture.  The only way to keep the wolves at bay is to support it in the traditional way: enjoy it.

Fiquem bem.

Raul Freitas/MS


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Mais próximo. Mais dinâmico. Mais atual.
O mesmo de sempre, mas melhor!