Sunday, August 29, 2010

ROBLOG # 133 and a bit!

Once again, it's not too late to "Go to the EX". Here’s one man's humble view.

First of all, allow me be as straight as I can about the Canadian National Exhibition.
I still love the CNE.
The people. The Lake Ontario Shoreline.
The Food Building. The horses.
The nostalgia. The flowers- outside.
The “pretty” boys who stroll the grounds- some shirtless.
Some almost shirtless.
Some in very tight, white tee shirts.
I am sure some of the gals do the same- only not topless and anyway, if they did, I surley wouldn’t notice.

However, as much as some things change at the Ex, some things never do- like the prices. One can blow a wad of money. Thank goodness there are ABM’s every few metres or so.
Most things were overpriced.
Two admission tickets cost 16 dollars each.
We got a corporate deal and spent 10 bucks per ticket.
A day pass with rides included sets you back much more.

There may be cheaper parking than 20 dollars but you have to trudge halfway across the EX to find it. We parked under the Direct Energy Centre.
Right inside.
Easy access throughout the day- all for 20 dollars.
A deal!

A few years back we parked along the lakeshore and it took us 25 minutes to walk to the gate- which used to be where the Casino is located in the “old” Ontario Government Building. Now the entrance from the west is further east- at the old “Horticultural Building” or as I like to refer to it as the “Lead a Whore to Culture Building!”.
Is that bad?
I’ve called it that for years and years.
So, now you’re inside the gates and you’re hungry.
Ah- the Food Building!
Our favourite German place that has been there for years in the very same spot is Schwartzwald Haus.
This year, schnitzel on a bum was $7.50.
Add a drink for $3.50.
Multiply that by two.

We wanted ice cream at one point during the day. We saw two gals sitting at an ice cream booth. No one was lined up. It was a hot day. No wonder they weren’t busy.
$5.75 each for a cone.
We said- “no thanks!”
Yikes again!
Another place had hand-scooped ice cream sundaes at $9.92- plus taxes.
Holy Dairy Farm Batman!

A bottle of water was $3.00 everywhere- except at a Pizza Pizza it was $2.49. Who knows if the $2.49 was taxed or not! These days I don’t know what’s taxable and what isn’t.
“How much, please?”- is all I ask.
We did buy 2 DVD movies-not Blu Ray, for 5 bucks each. That’s all we bought.

What did we get for free? Let me tell you.
A CNE Programme.
A Rice Krispie Square in a little foil package which I threw it in the trash about 10 minutes later.
A CD from an acapella group - “The Essentials”, who perform the Variety Stage at 2 and 5 PM every day of the Exhibition. I talked to Thom one of the group’s members and he gave me a CD to play on Swisssh Radio- absolutely free! I have already programmed several of their songs. Look at their website details on
If you go to the Ex, take in their show at the “Variety Stage” located just outside the west entrance to the Food Building.
Nice stage but the seating was on benches placed on huge, dusty bits of gravel. Take a 30 degree day. Add the dust from patron’s feet. Sit on a hard bench and start sweating in the midday sun.
Gotta love the EX...but the show was free!

People are asking- “Was it worth it?” No one used to ask that question back in the 60’s and 70’s. Today everyone asks that question of someone who has been to the CNE.
The answer?
If you want some nostaligia without

a) The Horse Show
b) Aquarama
c) Huge horticultural displays
d) A model home
e) The Shell Tower
f) The Derby Racers
g) The Flyer
h) Laugh in the Dark
i) Honey Dew
then the Ex is for you.

It still is a great place to watch people and have them watch you right back.
There are some neat things to do- all FREE, like taking in the outdoor Canadian Armed Forces display compete with Outpost and military hospital.
The Bandshell is free. That’s where Amy Sky has performed already and Debbie Reynolds will on September 2nd.

MANA Cirque Fantaisiste outside the “Allstream Centre”- formerly the Automotive Building. You have to stay late though- the show starts at 10PM.
The “Harmonicats” at the Courtyard Stage in the Direct Energy Centre.
See k d lang’s Wedding Dress, the very dress she performed in years ago at the Juno Awards.
Anne Murray’s guitars.
One of Hank Snow’s sequined costumes.
A Terri Clark costume.
Barbra Streisand’s shoes and Elvis’ gold jacket.
The showdogs are there again this year too. Always a treat, as is the ice show “Rock on Ice”.
A caution from a couple of years ago. If you are in shorts, a tight-whitey T Shirt and thongs on your feet, be advised the Ricoh Coliseum gets chilly with all that ice in there.
It’s “headlight” weather!!

Of course you can “shop ‘till you drop” or run out of cash- whichever comes first.
Did I mention there are ABM’s everywhere?

So pick a day before Labour Day. Remember the Air Show is Labour Day Weekend and it gets “stupid busy” at the Exhibition Grounds.

Have a good time. Take your own cold drinks to save some cash and just “Go to the Ex”!