The smell of cotton candy, fresh salty popcorn and corn dogs fill the air. The whirr of the tilt and whirl and the sound of laughing can be heard well into the distance. Thick crowds of smiling people, arms laden with carnival prizes turn their faces up to the sky as the jets nose dive into the clouds. This nostalgic scene is what occurs every year at the CNE right before schools open for the Fall semester.
The Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto has become a tradition for many of us Toronto natives and one that I have been upholding since I was a child. This year I attended with my sister Amanda and my friend Shabana and like always we had a fantastic time.
There is a lot to do at the CNE so if you find yourself in Toronto during this event make sure to stop by. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $12 or $16 at the gate for entry and entertainment or you can purchase a pass that includes rides as well.
The first thing we did was head over to the International Pavilion to take in an acrobatic show at the Ricoh Coliseum. Every year the show promises something different but never fails to entertain.
Next we headed over to the shopping building where we browsed through the booths containing clothes, makeup and household goods. The prices are marked down so sometimes you can find good deals. We never fail to stop and see the sand sculptures.
This sculpture is completely made of sand!
The International Pavilion is always one of our favorites. Here you can find booths from all over the world under one roof selling goods native to their land. You can find everything from spices, furniture, clothes, handmade crafts, jewelry and much more. Some of the countries that participate are Thailand, China, Turkey, Egypt, India, Indonesia and many more. I always find the Colombian booth and have some of their coffee, it is delicious!
The International Pavilion is also the place where you can catch another live performance. We saw the Cuban dancers and singers who also did some African songs. They were wonderful performers!
If you haven't eaten yourself into a food coma by now then there are also famous chefs doing cooking shows with lots of samples to try.
After all that browsing we got hungry so we headed over to The Food Building for lunch. Here you can find food from all over the world, from Indian, Chinese, Polish, Swiss, Arabic, British, Dutch, Greek, Italian and many more delicious cultural cuisines. The Ex is also known for their sweets and desserts some of which are creative and unusual like deep fried Twinkies, Oreos or Mars bars.
Lunch was good but we still had to get some desserts before heading off to The Canadian National Air Show so we stopped off to get some of my favorite doughnuts from Tiny Tom. I am not a big doughnut fan but these are the most scrumptiously soft, fresh and sugary doughnuts ever made!
My friend Shabana decided to have a sugary pastry called a beaver tail which is a Canadian favorite.
The air show was fantastic, my heart was racing just watching the planes shoot up into the sky and flip over again while barreling down to the earth.
For animal lovers The Farm Building is always a nice place to stop off. Here you can see sculptors creating statues made with butter, and a variety of adorable animals from goats, baby chicks, alpacas and horses.
Wolverine made out of butter!
I was digging their hair style
If you are in the mood for some thrills you could always try the zip line or the midway rides. I didn't go on any rides after all the food we ate but as a child I think I rode enough to last me a lifetime.
Also at the CNE there are street performers, carnival games and prizes, live music, a casino, bars, an entire kids zone with rides, parades, stunt shows, historical exhibits, rib fest and much more.