About the CNE
Our Past & Present
Children by the CNE Waterfront c. 1906
Thank you for your help!
You played an important role in helping to preserve our waterfront and the 135 year old Canadian National Exhibition, protecting these lands from being overtaken by a huge American-style mega Casino Complex!
At its meeting on Tuesday, May 21, 2013, Toronto City Council officially voted NO to the building of a Casino in Toronto.
Once again, a heartfelt thank-you to our friends and partners for your help!
Let's Go to the EX!
The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) is Canada’s largest annual community event. Taking place over the 18 days leading up to and including Labour Day, the CNE offers a wide variety of entertainment and events including Bandshell concerts, celebrity chef demonstrations, an aerial acrobatics and ice skating show, a dog show, a working farm, parades and a three-day Air Show, all of which are FREE with admission to the CNE. Midway rides and games, wacky fair food as well as international food and shopping are also popular highlights of this major Toronto event. Over the course of its 18 day run, the CNE attracts more than 1.3 million people each year.
In 2012, the CNE attracted 1.39 million people over the 18 days of the fair. Paid attendance was up 13% over 2011.
Founded in 1879, as the Toronto Industrial Exhibition, the CNE has enjoyed a distinguished history as a showcase of the nation. It was “the place” where people came to experience the “best and the brightest” from the latest innovations in technology and commercial products, to the greatest artists of the time. Although the CNE has changed over the years, it continues to be one of Ontario’s great annual traditions. The CNE is currently the seventh largest fair in North America and its audience truly reflects the diversity of Toronto and the region.
The fair takes place throughout 192 acres of beautiful lakefront property at Exhibition Place, just west of Toronto’s downtown core. The CNE is an integral part of the fabric of Toronto and has entertained and educated millions of people while creating economic benefits for Toronto, Ontario and Canada. An Economy Impact Study, conducted by Enigma Research Corporation in 2009, reported that the CNE had a gross economic impact of $58.6 million on the Greater Toronto Area, and $80 million on the province of Ontario in that year alone.
For the past three consecutive years (2010, 2011 & 2012), the CNE has been awarded EcoLogo Certification confirming it as the “greenest” fair in North America and the most “environmentally friendly” large-scale event on the continent.
The CNE is a provincially incorporated Agricultural Society and is currently a program of Exhibition Place, a local board of management of the City of Toronto. Throughout its history, the CNE has demonstrated financial responsibility. In the last decade, it has contributed more than $20 million in site fees to the annual operating budget of the Board of Governors (BOG) of Exhibition Place, in addition to $7.3 million in operating surpluses. These contributions have been included in consolidated annual financial results from the CNEA and BOG for the benefit of the City of Toronto.
In 2013, the CNE officially separates from Exhibition Place and the City of Toronto, to become its own independent organization: a non-share capital corporation. This independence will enable the CNE to retain its revenues and to re-invest in the fair.
Don’t miss the 135th Canadian National Exhibition from Friday, August 16th to Monday, September 2, 2013. Let’s go to the EX!
|Important Facts about the CNE Infographic.pdf
|CNEA News Release Announcing 2012 Attendance.pdf
A 2009 Economic Impact Assessment, conducted by Enigma Research Corporation reports that the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) generates an estimated $58.6 million for the City of Toronto and $80 million for the Province of Ontario each year.
The Study also reveals that the 2009 CNE attracted more than 275,000 out-of-town visitors to the city, and that CNE-related spending supports the equivalent of 633 jobs in the region. Spending also supports $12.9 million of tax revenue at three levels of government.
The national research initiative, which was commissioned by the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions (C.A.F.E.), was conducted at 20 fairs of varying sizes throughout Canada in 2008. A total of 1200 people were interviewed during the 2008 Canadian National Exhibition alone.
Other highlights of the research, which included a sample size of 1,200 people in onsite face-to-face interviews, include:
- Local Residents spent $52 million related to the CNE
- The average non-local spent 2.5 nights in Toronto.
The CNE works with several organizations including Festivals and Events Ontario, Tourism Toronto, Attractions Ontario, the American Bus Association (ABA) and the Ontario Motor Coach Association, to help promote tourism in the Greater Toronto Area and the Province of Ontario.
The Canadian National Exhibition has been recognized by the American Bus Association (ABA) as an Internationally Known Event (IKE) in the ABA's Top 100 Events in North America for the year 2008.
One of the many ways the CNE helps to boost the local economy is through job creation. The CNE hires approximately 1200 people starting in the spring of each year to assist in the planning and production of the annual fair. An additional 3500 people are hired during the Fair itself by CNE partners including Emergency Services, Toronto Police, Toronto Fire, food vendors, exhibitors and concessionaires. For many young people growing up in Toronto, the CNE is their first employment experience. For information on employment at the CNE click here.
With annual visitation of approximately 1.2 million people, the CNE gives companies an excellent venue to sell their wares and connect with their audiences face to face. Many corporate sponsors and over 700 exhibitors, including many Canadian and international businesses, contribute to the CNE.
In the Industry
The CNE is not only active in and important to Toronto and surrounding areas, we are also a leader in the fair/event industry. The CNE is the largest and one of the longest running annual events in Canada and one of the top ten fairs in North America.
The CNE is an active member of Toronto Tourism, Festivals and Events Ontario, Attractions Ontario, Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions (CAFE.), International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE), International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), Canadian Association of Exposition Management (CAEM) and Ontario Professional Ticketing Association (OPTA). David Bednar, the General Manager of the CNE served as President of the Board of C.A.F.E. in 2006 & 2007 and CNE Director of Operations currently sits on the C.A.F.E. Board of Directors.