By Blake Rubin
When you hear the words, “Let’s go to the Ex” on the radio, that’s how you know the end of summer is near. But it’s also that that time of the year for one of Toronto’s most anticipated and beloved events. The 18-day festival of family, friends, food and fun known as the Canadian National Exhibition (or “The Ex”, as it’s commonly referred to) is back and, as always, there are a wide variety of things to do and see when you’re there. Here are 5 specific attractions and events at this year’s Ex that you surely won’t want to miss out on.
5. Star Trek 50-Year Celebration
No need for Scotty to beam you up if you’re at the Ex. This Sci-Fi classic has been around for half a century and will be celebrated at the Ex with original 2D and 3D artwork made by 50 different artists from 10 different countries. Canadian artists Mark D’alfonso, Gary Pullin and Jonathan and Maria Bergeron are all ready to show their passion for the famous series through photos and sculptures, and their will even be some pieces from the late Star Trek legend, Leonard Nimoy, who gained fame on the show for his portrayal of Spock.
4. Warriors Day Parade
One of the hardest events at the Ex to miss, and that’s because of how long it stretches. From the Princes Gates all the way down to Princes Boulevard, take in and applaud the men and women who have been brave enough to keep our country safe. Entering its 95th year, the Warriors Day Parade is the free world’s longest running parade that celebrates veterans. There’s nothing quite like seeing a sea of people all come together for the love of the Great White North.
3. Ride, Rides and More Rides!
It wouldn’t be a festival without some great rides to take in. From roller coasters, to the classic Zipper, to the fan favorite swings ride, there are over 20 different ways to get that adrenaline rush pumping. Plus, if you have kids that aren’t ready for those rides yet, don’t worry because there’s also a wide variety a rides for those little ones to enjoy like the Berry Go Round, the Wacky Worm Coaster and the famous Bumble Bee Ride. Whether you’re age 4 or 40, there are rides for people of all ages to enjoy!
2. Food, Glorious Food
Ever get bored with your burger or fed up with those plain old fries? Then head to the ex this weekend to see some of the craziest culinary concoctions ever made. Cooks all over the city try their hand at having the most outrageous dish to serve and they always catch the eye of whoever walks by. From an éclair stuffed with Philly Cheesesteak to deep fried chocolate bars; you’ll definitely want to be wearing those loose fitting pants. If you’re looking to get REALLY stuffed, then try out the Behemoth Burger, a sandwich that features all the fixings of a regular burger but replaces the buns with two grilled cheeses. Be ready to lie in bed for a little bit more then usual the following morning.
1. The Tragically Hip Final Tour Concert Live Stream
If you wanted to see one of Canada’s most successful, celebrated and beloved rock bands of all time perform in their final concert ever (but couldn’t get tickets because they ran out faster than Andre DeGrasse in Rio), then the Ex is the place you want to be. On Saturday, August 20, head down to the CNE Bandshell Stage to see a live stream of Gord Downie and company’s last concert ever. If you’re a fan of Canada, music or both, then this is easily the top thing to do at the Exhibition.