Let’s go to The Ex!

– Lachman Balani

Looking for a fun thing to do this week? Well look no further! Head on down to The EX for a sensory overload of stimuli!

This annual 18 day festival in its 139th edition is already underway and runs until September 4th at its usual venue at the Canadian National Exhibition grounds in downtown Toronto by Lakeshore Drive.

In keeping with Canada’s150th year celebrations the theme is mainly Canadian and there are several new items including a specially commissioned Unity Pole designed by Ojibway artist Kris Nahrgang to commemorate Canada’s indigenous heritage. A sand sculpture of a beaver with a hockey stick with the inscription “Eh?,Oops,Sorry” , epitomizing the Canadian culture, drew the attention of many. There were plenty of butter sculptures and other art to marvel at as well.

A new and colourful CNE sign adorning the area by the Princess Margaret fountains that lights up beautifully at night is the delight of selfie lovers! Besides this, near the start of the skyride by the Enercare Centre, is a stunning laser show within a bubble that is masterfully executed by MysterAct and would be the envy of the Jedi knights (showtimes 8.30, 9.30, 10.30 pm)!

At the Enercare Centre there are international kiosks offering wares from many different countries like India, Pakistan, Tibet, China, Russia, Vietnam, Turkey and many more. Inside also are two stages for various shows and celebrity chefs. This year there are many well known chefs including Canada’s best-selling cookbook author Michael Smith, nutritional expert Dr. Mary Scourboutakos and Indian cuisine master chef Vikram Vij who had a full house on August 26. Chef Hemant Bhagwani of the Amaya Group of Restaurants, famous for its Indian cuisine, will also be on stage on September 3rd.

The Food building by the Go station entrance boasts of loads of mouth watering and taste bud tantalizing fare including some novelties like Philthy Philly’s hybrid of its famous cheesesteak covered in provolone cheese, topping it with strawberry sauce and icing sugar – all sandwiched between sweet donuts and called a strawberry shortsteak!

There are plenty of acrobatic shows as well with the Trampo-wall being the newest edition where trampoline experts showcase their skills.

The CNE is well-known for its concerts. Canada’s iconic pride Burton Cummings (The Guess Who) ended the opening night at the Bandshell Stage with a bang on Aug 18! For Canada’s big 150th birthday bash several more prominent Canadian bands gave their best on several nights including Kiefer Sutherland, Colin James, The Sheepdogs and the mighty Steppenwolf ,who cracked the Toronto heavens on Aug 27 with their global favourite “Born to be Wild!”

Desi Sub Culture formed by members of the popular high energy band- Delhi to Dublin- will perform on September 3.

Of course, Canada’s largest fair wouldn’t be complete without its humongous Mid-Way. A giant Ferris wheel, roller coaster rides, hammer heads, skyrides and more were available. Lots of stands where one could test their shooting, ball throwing, balancing, strength and other skills had their hands full attending to the crowds. Needless to say numerous hotdog, burger, crepe, waffle, pop, slush, fresh juice and ice-cream stalls vied with each other to satiate the public’s fancies.

There was also another lot by the Princess Margaret fountains that had many rides, attractions and food stands.

And if you feel tired, there are courtesy trains that will take you from one end of the huge fair to the other!

Don’t miss this amazing music, art, food and attractions fair. For more details and timings visit theex.com.


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