My memories of the CNE began in 1947, when my dad took my brother and me to the fair. It was the first year that it was opened after the Second World War. It was amazing world of colour and action, and perhaps most of all, a world of food. In the year following the war, few families possessed the resources to eat in restaurants. An order of take-out fish and chips, wrapped in newspaper, was our only experience with foods prepared beyond our family’s kitchen. The Pure Food Building contained an array of delicious treats and free samples that to my brother and me was a gastronomic delight beyond our wildest dreams.
The Pure Food Building, built in 1921. It was demolished in 1954 and replaced with the present-day Food Products Building.
City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1118, Series 377, Item 6045
The Dufferin gates, built in 1910, freshly painted and cleaned for the opening of the 1947 CNE. They were demolished in 1959 to allow for the construction of the Gardiner Expressway.
Stories about the 1947 CNE are contained in the novel “Arse Over Teakettle,” a book about a boy coming of age in Toronto in the years following the Second World War. The link below allows access to information about the book.
For other novels about Toronto: