August 18, 2017 6:06 am
Updated: August 18, 2017 2:35 pm

What you need to know about the 139th edition of the CNE

Wed, Aug 16: Global’s Liem Vu got a sneak peek at some of the new must try foods and some new attractions set to be unveiled when the 139th Canadian National Exhibition kicks off Friday in Toronto.


The 139th edition of the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) opens to the public on Friday and organizers have ramped up the popular annual end-of-summer destination with new events and activities for all ages.

Here’s what to look out for this year:

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CNE Sign — As part of Canada’s 150th birthday, this year’s True North theme will include an eight-foot-tall CNE sign with a large Canadian maple leaf to rival that of the iconic TORONTO sign at Nathan Phillips Square. The sign will be located on the west end of the Exhibition grounds near the Princess Margaret Fountain.

Unity Pole — In keeping with the same theme, further 150th anniversary celebrations include a Unity Pole display made from a 25-foot-tall cedar tree to celebrate Canada’s indigenous heritage. Ojibway artist Kris Nahrgang’s creation incorporates indigenous universal symbols.

Trampo Wall – A trampoline show like no other. Performers walk on vertical walls, pass through windows and bounce off roof tops. The acrobatic experience is located south of the Enercare Centre outside Hall C on Princes’ Boulevard.

Gaming Garage – For a limited time only, the CNE has opened up space for gaming enthusiasts. Interactive virtual reality gear, gaming demonstrations, eSports games and pinball competitions are just some of the high-tech gizmos fans can experience. The Gaming Garage will be open from Aug. 25-27.

East Coast Kitchen Party – A taste of Canada’s Atlantic coast is front and centre from Aug. 19-20 with an oyster shucking competition, a battle of the bartenders, live music and the Newfoundland traditional “kiss a cod” ceremony.

Laser Illusion Experience – Catch a glimpse of a little bit of magic mixed in with some high-tech lasers for a cutting-edge light show. The visual experience will be held nightly on Prince’s Blvd. at 8:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

READ MORE: CNE reassures visitors event is safe in wake of Barcelona attack

Price of tickets and where to buy them:

From Aug. 18 to Sept. 4, general admission tickets will cost $19. Adults 65 and older pay $16, children between five and 13 pay $16 and kids under four enter for free. A CNE family pass is $59 and an All Day Ride Pass is $42.

Tickets can be purchased on-site at the CNE gates, GO Transit stations and online at

Public transit to The Ex:

TTC service will get a boost for the duration of the CNE. Five TTC surface routes will have enhanced service. They include the following:

– 29 Dufferin – frequent bus service from Wilson and Dufferin stations to Dufferin Gate Loop
– 121 Fort York Esplanade – frequent service between the Distillery District and Princes’ Gates Loop
– 193 Exhibition Rocket – frequent non-stop express bus service from Dundas West Station to Dufferin Gate Loop
– 511 Bathurst – frequent streetcar service from Bathurst Station to Exhibition Loop
– 509 Harbourfront – frequent streetcar service from Union Station to Exhibition Loop

Canadian veterans will be offered free transit on Saturday, Aug. 19 to commemorate the 96th Annual CNE Warriors’ Day.

Veterans and peacekeepers will be asked to show their service medals/ribbons to receive free TTC service.

VIDEO: A new totem pole is now on display at the Canadian National Exhibition

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