Canadian National Exhibition

The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) was founded in 1879 for the purpose of fostering the development of agriculture, industry and the arts. Originally called the Toronto Industrial Exhibition, the name was officially changed to the Canadian National Exhibition in 1912 to better represent what the fair had become: “A Show Window of the Nation.”

Although, the CNE facility operates year round with numerous exhibition halls and a new soccer stadium; the attraction that draws the highest concentration of people is the summer fair, which runs 18 days in August and ending on Labour day.

As a lifelong Toronto resident, I have taken in these grounds on numerous occasions and I continued to find the unknown, which keeps me coming back. My early interests, as with many younger people, were centred around the Midway, where the throngs of people look for thrills of the prize or the ride.  As my interests, now, have a more photographic perspective, so do my visits. These trips usually coincided with the less chaotic periods of year, where I am able spend more time exploring the 192 acre facility.  During these occasions, again, I have turned my lens toward the architecture on the grounds. With a 131 year history, the CNE has gone through many periods of neglect or short sighted planning that has resulted in the loss of some important structures, such as, the Shell Oil Tower and Exhibition Stadium.

This project, over the last 10 years, has evolved from images of buildings within the environment to a focus towards the architectural elements; thereby, removing them from the surrounding in which they are situated. As can seen by the time line of this project, it was undertaken in a somewhat sporadic fashion; but, in the spring of 2009, I was able to provide a steady focus that allowed to me complete this work. This photographic folio is  my  “Show Window” of CNE Architecture.


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