Try viewing the 2012 CNE through new eyes

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My enthusiasm for the Ex has definitely waned during the last few years. Having attended the CNE for many decades, I remember its “glory“ days when it was the highlight of the end of summer. I have continued to attend the Ex, but I must admit that it has been more because of nostalgia. I decided that when I attended the Ex this year, I would push memories of former visits from my mind and instead of lamenting what was no longer there, examine what is there. This change of attitude made an enormous difference to my visit. Sometimes it is good to examine with fresh eyes things are all too familiar to you

After all, as this year was the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede, it drew the largest crowd ever – 1.4 million visitors. The CNE attracted 1.31 million in 2011. The Ex must have something going for it to attract such enormous crowds.


This picture was taken at 11 am, but when I passed by at 3pm, the grounds remained clean and free of litter. I found that the displays in many of the buildings did not interest me, but wandering the grounds amid the floral displays and lush plantings was great.

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The Food Building, built in 1954, with its fountain and its sculptures is always a delight. I consumed treats that during the remainder of the year I usually avoid. Why not? It’s my day at the fair, and a chance to be a kid again.

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The 1907 Music Building (left) and the 1912 Fire Hall and Police Station (right0 had historic signs and information about their history.

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I also enjoyed reading other plaques that were scattered throughout the grounds.


The 1905 Press Building, and one of the swans from Ontario Place that is now used as a planter. These swans are throughout the grounds. Children were climbing on them and sitting in the seats where the riders once sat.

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I am too old for the children’s midway, but I enjoyed the colourful sights and the laughter of its young patrons.


However, the Rib-Fest that is available every day was certainly within my sphere of enjoyment.

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                                          The sculptures in sand were amazing.

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           I was very interested in the new LRT cars that are to be on Eglinton Line 

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The sculptured portrayal of Rob Ford in butter was interesting and amusing. It was a change to see the mayor in butter rather than “hot water.” It gave new meaning to the term “Butterball.”


The Sky Ride, built to replace the former Alpine Ride, was a big hit with me. I enjoyed the view of the midway and the surrounding grounds, as well as the city skyline.

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The colourful midway games of chance and the rides never seem to lose their appeal. I don’t play them, but I enjoyed watching. The Bingo tent was also crowded.


I enjoyed my day to such an extent that I returned after dark to take some night pictures.

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                 The Ferris Wheel                               The Princess Margaret Fountain

To view other posts about the CNE, follow the links:

Memories of the CNE of yesteryears.


The old CNE fountain was a copy of those in Rome’s St. Peter’s Square

Ten suggestions to improve the CNE

Attending the 2011 Ex.

Memories and photos of the Grandstand shows of the 1950s

Postcard views of the CNE from the 1940s

More postcard views of the CNE from the 1940s

To view the Home Page and Blog archives :


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