Vintage Photographs of the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE)

The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) is quickly approaching with 18 days of impossible games, questionable rides and heart clogging food. Hoorah!

In anticipation of the 138th round of the CNE, I have gathered a collection of photographs from the 1900s – 1980s to share with you.

What a strange place it was!

Exhibition Place - historical photos.. - 1978-1987

190? - Crowds at the CNE
190? – Crowds at the CNE
1900-1920 - Sulky races, CNE
1900-1920 – Sulky races, CNE
1903 - Water chute ride, CNE
1903 – Water chute ride, CNE
1904 - Canadian National Exhibition prize horse parade
1904 – Canadian National Exhibition prize horse parade
1905 - CNE fireworks display, Toronto
1905 – CNE fireworks display, Toronto
1906 - 1910 - Queues for CNE Grandstand tickets
1906 – 1910 – Queues for CNE Grandstand tickets
1908 - crowds in front of Manufacturers Building
1908 – crowds in front of Manufacturers Building
1908 - Dufferin Gates, CNE
1908 – Dufferin Gates, CNE
1909 - Displays at CNE Women's Building
1909 – Displays at CNE Women’s Building
1911 - Close up of 941, C.N.E. old Police Station
1911 – Close up of 941, C.N.E. old Police Station
1911 - Motorcycle race, CNE Grandstand
1911 – Motorcycle race, CNE Grandstand
1912-1920 - Fire diver, CNE midway
1912-1920 – Fire diver, CNE midway
1913 - "The House That Jack Built" midway game or show, CNE
1913 – “The House That Jack Built” midway game or show, CNE
1913 - Midway sideshow, CNE
1913 – Midway sideshow, CNE
1914 - CNE camp canteen
1914 – CNE camp canteen
1914 - Performing elephants and trainer
1914 – Performing elephants and trainer
1915 - Armoured cars at CNE
1915 – Armoured cars at CNE
1918 - C.N.E. exhibit of food preservation using ring-top glass preserving jars "Can What You Can't Eat" and "If U Can U Should Can"
1918 – C.N.E. exhibit of food preservation using ring-top glass preserving jars “Can What You Can’t Eat” and “If U Can U Should Can”
1919 - Junkens J.I. airplane at CNE
1919 – Junkens J.I. airplane at CNE
1920 - Crowds on midway, CNE
1920 – Crowds on midway, CNE
1920 - Ontario Department Of Game and Fisheries game exhibit, CNE
1920 – Ontario Department Of Game and Fisheries game exhibit, CNE
1920 - Ontario Department Of Game and Fisheries game exhibit, CNE copy
1920 – Ontario Department Of Game and Fisheries game exhibit, CNE copy
1926 - Entrance crowds at Grandstand, CNE
1926 – Entrance crowds at Grandstand, CNE
1926 - Finish of bicycle race, CNE
1926 – Finish of bicycle race, CNE
1927 - Prince of Wales Gate, Exhibition
1927 – Prince of Wales Gate, Exhibition
1928 - Canadian National Exhibition
1928 – Canadian National Exhibition
1928 - Canadian National Exhibition 2
1928 – Canadian National Exhibition 2
1928 - looking east on Lakeshore Blvd. south of Ontario Government Building showing crowds assembling for waterfront show at CNE
1928 – looking east on Lakeshore Blvd. south of Ontario Government Building showing crowds assembling for waterfront show at CNE
1929 - CNE, Kids Day, ice cream cones for kids
1929 – CNE, Kids Day, ice cream cones for kids
1929 - CNE, Kids Day, mounted officer with lost kid
1929 – CNE, Kids Day, mounted officer with lost kid
1930 - airbrake test Canadian National Exhibition loop on Peter Witt cars no. 2744
1930 – airbrake test Canadian National Exhibition loop on Peter Witt cars no. 2744
1930 - CNE, Children's Day, Jack Ramsden with kids
1930 – CNE, Children’s Day, Jack Ramsden with kids
1930 - CNE, sports, finish, 100 yard open handicap
1930 – CNE, sports, finish, 100 yard open handicap
1930 - CNE, sports, Geo. Simpson, Ohio State University, Eddie Tolan, Detroit, 1st and 2nd 220 yard open
1930 – CNE, sports, Geo. Simpson, Ohio State University, Eddie Tolan, Detroit, 1st and 2nd 220 yard open
1930 - CNE, sports, tug-of-war, Detroit Police
1930 – CNE, sports, tug-of-war, Detroit Police
1930 - CNE, women's swim, Olive Gatterdam, Jewel Cheatwood, Ruth Tower Corsan
1930 – CNE, women’s swim, Olive Gatterdam, Jewel Cheatwood, Ruth Tower Corsan
1930 - Leyland coach serving Canadian National Exhibition visitors
1930 – Leyland coach serving Canadian National Exhibition visitors
1930? - CNE flagpole raising
1930? – CNE flagpole raising
1936 - Canadian National Exhibition
1936 – Canadian National Exhibition
1936 - Canadian National Exhibition
1936 – Canadian National Exhibition
1936 - Canadian National Exhibition
1936 – Canadian National Exhibition
1936 - Canadian National Exhibition
1936 – Canadian National Exhibition
1936 - Miss Toronto Beauty Contest
1936 – Miss Toronto Beauty Contest
1936 - Miss Toronto Beauty Contest
1936 – Miss Toronto Beauty Contest
1936 - T.T.C. loading area platform, eastern entrance to Canadian National Exhibition
1936 – T.T.C. loading area platform, eastern entrance to Canadian National Exhibition
1939 - Police Games - Horse Parade
1939 – Police Games – Horse Parade
1946 - Crowds at Bandshell at official opening of CNE by governor general
1946 – Crowds at Bandshell at official opening of CNE by governor general
1958 - Slight overhead view of crowds on CNE grounds and new Shell oil tower
1958 – Slight overhead view of crowds on CNE grounds and new Shell oil tower
1964 - Food Building, CNE
1964 – Food Building, CNE
1972 - View of crowd on CNE grounds
1972 – View of crowd on CNE grounds
1972 - View of crowds on CNE grounds, ferris wheel and bingo and casino buildings in the background
1972 – View of crowds on CNE grounds, ferris wheel and bingo and casino buildings in the background
1974 - View of crowd on CNE grounds in front of Horticulture Building
1974 – View of crowd on CNE grounds in front of Horticulture Building
1974 - View of people standing at food stand on CNE grounds
1974 – View of people standing at food stand on CNE grounds
1978 - View of food stand, west side of CNE grounds
1978 – View of food stand, west side of CNE grounds
1978-87 - Stores lining Centennial Park, CNE
1978-87 – Stores lining Centennial Park, CNE
1978-1987 - Exhibition Place
1978-1987 – Exhibition Place
1978-1987 - Exhibition Place
1978-1987 – Exhibition Place
1978-1987 - Exhibition Place
1978-1987 – Exhibition Place
1978-1987 - Exhibition Place
1978-1987 – Exhibition Place
1978-1987 - Exhibition Place
1978-1987 – Exhibition Place
1978-1987 - Exhibition Place
1978-1987 – Exhibition Place

 

Visit the CNE website for more info about this year’s events.

 

 

Joel Levy
About Joel Levy 881 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography