Friday, August 31, 2012


Before summer is through, a trip to the EX in Toronto was on our list of things to do.
It was a great day at the CNE. Weather was perfect.
Sunny and Hot- but a good breeze off Lake Ontario.
As you stroll the grounds, one thing that never changes at the EX is the outrageous prices.
Most of your EX money goes towards food purchases.
Always has.
To eat cheaply, one should search the Food Building.
I saw hotdogs for $1.50.
Pretty cheap but there were no Freebies. no handouts- like chocolate bars in a bag.
For lunch we had two, Montreal smoked meat deli sandwiches, two fries and a pop for $18.00.
The fries sucked by the way. They were like mashed potatoes only deep fried.
We didn’t see the donut burgers but a huge booth was called Bacon Nation.
A sandwich comprised of 2 pieces of back bacon, 7 pieces of strip bacon, lettuce, tomato and Nutella- all on sliced bread was featured.
There were two long lineups to the counter.
At The Nutty Chocolatier, a small piece of fudge rung in at $5.49
At a stand that sold coffee and lemonade, two glasses of raspberry lemonade set us back
8 bucks. Biggest rip-off of the day.
Across the way we could have had 2 bottles of lemonade for $2.50 each.
I did have a great Columbian coffee at a coffee stand located just inside the Queen Elizabeth Building. The aroma was intoxicating and I just couldn’t resist.
It was worth the 3 dollars.
For Supper.
Two sausages on a bun. One French Frie. 2 drinks. Total: $21.
It’s always fun to look through the Direct Energy Centre. Everything and anything there.
Facial creams to make one appear young.
Bible Thumpers.
Financial Advice.
Big screen TV’s.
Weight-loss schemes and much more.
I bought a leather bag. Man-Bag if you will, to replace the aging one I have.
I’m not using it right away but it’s a back-up when the current bag goes flop-bot.
At the first booth the bag I looked at was all leather and priced at 120 bucks.
It’s fine, fine leather I was told.
Very beautiful I was assured.
Yes, indeed.
It smelled nice- like leather.
I declined.
Next place I saw the same bag at  $30 dollars marked down from $60.
Not bad but I kept shopping.
At the third booth I saw the same bag for 24 dollars!
I bought it!
All leather.
It smelled like leather
I asked the guy in the booth- perhaps hoping for a better deal-
“How much will this bag be on Labour Day Monday?”
He says- “30 dollars but I’ll mark it down to 24.99!”
Big business, eh?
The EX of the 1960's with the Shell/Bulova Tower
I miss Toronto Radio stations at the C NE. Back in the day every radio station was “live” on location. Those were the days when terrestrial radio had personality and it was fun to listen. I just saw one radio station on the grounds. It was Z103.
I have a new sell line for them-
All Bass. All Thump. All Loud. All Annoying- All the Time.
I looked for AM740 and Classical 96. They were supposed to be in the same building as the Flowers and Sand Castle competition. In past years they had a set up but I didn’t see
a sign or anything.
As we walked the CNE Grounds, it was the first time ever- since I have been going to the EX in 1962, that the Horse Palace was closed.
Never even saw a horse anywhere. Maybe The Palace was open in the first week or so of the EX but the note on the door said closed and we couldn’t even walk through it.
Finally, admission was pricey.
$16 dollars regular.
$12 for Seniors- those 60+.
I bought the tickets on line. If I had of bought prior to August 1th, I could have saved an additional 4 bucks.
Parking was another 20 but it was inside at the Direct Energy Centre just off Strachan Avenue.
Easy access.
We’ve been parking there for years. The vehicle stays cool and if it rains- you stay dry.
By 5 o’clock the grounds were packed, however, with $5admission after 5PM
The EX was still fun and a nice summertime diversion for a day. It’s really an attempt to re-live years past. You just have to really dig for the memories these days.
No Radio stations broadcasting “live”.
No Aquarama.
No Ontario Place.
No Grandstand but Peter Noone and Herman’s Hermits were at the Bandshell.
The Superdog Show was entertaining as usual.
The Canadian Armed Forces display was busy displaying the products of warfare as the Armed Forces Band played “I’ll Be Seeing You”.
As dusk fell we decided to head back home.
We had seen it all.
We had walked miles in our shoes- or at least flip flops.
We had eaten Ex Food and watched a diverse group of people pass by as we sat sipping that expensive lemonade.
So, that’s the EX for another year.
Next year we’ll do it all over again.
We’ll spend the bucks.
Eat junk.
Drink expensive lemonade and talk about it all to friends we meet back home-
And why not?
It’s tradition after all.