This is the first selection of the photos that I took at Exhibition Place a few days ago.
The Princes’ Gates were opened on August 31, 1927, by Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) and Prince George, in celebration of the 60th anniversary of Confederation. They are massive – so massive that I didn’t have a lens wide enough to get the whole structure in a single shot. They are adorned with a number of statues, the most dramatic being the Winged Victory who stands over the central gate.
The Canadian National Exhibition first opened in 1879, as a showcase of Canadian agriculture and technology, and it has opened every year since (except for a couple of years during the Second World War, when the grounds of Exhibition Place were used as housing and training space for the military). The statues over the Princes’ Gate were designed to express this purpose; various figures represent progress, industry, agriculture, art, and science.
In recent years the CNE has moved away from the “County Fair” model and has focused more on entertainment. I think this is a pity, because it means that Toronto no longer has the County Fair experience that you can still find in the less urbanized parts of the province. The closest we have is the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (which is wonderful, and which I also went to, and which I will post on later), but it happens in the late fall, which means it’s a lot harder for kids in school to attend. Bring back the fair!
The day that we went there was nothing on – Exhibition Place was almost completely empty. Even though almost none of the buildings still serve their original purposes, still the grounds are beautiful, and the weather was perfect, and when we were done, we went for lunch. It’s a good way to spend a sunny Saturday.
There are three photos in this gallery.