Historic photos from around CNE, Toronto

The CNE (Canadian National Exhibition, or just "The Ex") is the main fair in Toronto, held at the end of the summer every year at Exhibition place. It is located just north of Ontario Place, south of Parkdale on the western edge of Fort York.

It was founded in 1879 as the Toronto Industrial Exhibition, but changed its name to the Canadian National Exhibition in 1912. In November 1922 the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (or just "The Royal") was first held in the Coliseum. During World War I Exhibition place was used as a military and housing centre known as Exhibition Camp.

It remains one of the 10 largest fairs in North America.



List of all areas in Toronto or take a look at the historic photos by date. A subset of the photos have also been arranged by subject.

1884 Historic photo from 1884 - Second Crystal Palace (1879-1906) - north side, two stories with cupola and tower in CNESecond Crystal Palace (1879-1906) - north side, two stories with cupola and tower
131 years ago - 1884 - CNE at 15 Saskatchewan Road at the foot of Dufferin Street
Link to archive record - Map location (From the Toronto Public Library)
1885 Historic photo from 1885 - Toronto Lithographing Co. engraving of a map of the C.N.E. Crystal Palace with tower on the left in CNEToronto Lithographing Co. engraving of a map of the C.N.E. Crystal Palace with tower on the left
130 years ago - 1885 - CNE at 15 Saskatchewan Road at the foot of Dufferin Street
Link to archive record - Map location (From the Toronto Public Library)
1906 Historic photo from 1906 - Independent Order of Foresters arch with crests and crown, moved to the Exhibition grounds in CNEIndependent Order of Foresters arch with crests and crown, moved to the Exhibition grounds
(Categorized under: IOF Arch (1901) )
109 years ago - 1906 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1906 Historic photo from 1906 - Independant Order of Foresters at the CNE in front of Arch in CNEIndependant Order of Foresters at the CNE in front of Arch
(Categorized under: IOF Arch (1901) )
109 years ago - 1906 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1908 Historic photo from 1908 - People gathering at the Dufferin Gates, CNE in CNEPeople gathering at the Dufferin Gates, CNE
(Categorized under: Dufferin Gates )
107 years ago - 1908 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1908 Historic photo from 1908 - Older wooden Dufferin Gate, Exhibition Place in CNEOlder wooden Dufferin Gate, Exhibition Place
(Categorized under: Dufferin Gates )
107 years ago - 1908 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1908 Historic photo from 1908 - Lowering the railway tracks in front of the 1895 Dufferin Street Gates in CNELowering the railway tracks in front of the 1895 Dufferin Street Gates
(Categorized under: Dufferin Gates )
107 years ago - 1908 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1912 Historic photo from 1912 - Construction work, Main Gates, Canadian National Exhibition. in CNEConstruction work, Main Gates, Canadian National Exhibition.
(Categorized under: Dufferin Gates )
103 years ago - 1912 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location
1914 Historic photo from 1914 - Dufferin Memorial Gate under guard during World War 1 ( WWI ) in CNEDufferin Memorial Gate under guard during World War 1 ( WWI )
(Categorized under: Dufferin Gates )
101 years ago - 1914 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1914 Historic photo from 1914 - Troops leaving CNE WWI camp through Dufferin Gates in CNETroops leaving CNE WWI camp through Dufferin Gates
(Categorized under: Dufferin Gates )
101 years ago - 1914 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1914 Historic photo from 1914 - Troops at C.N.E. (Canadian National Exhibition) Dufferin gates in CNETroops at C.N.E. (Canadian National Exhibition) Dufferin gates
(Categorized under: Dufferin Gates )
101 years ago - 1914 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From Archives of Ontario)
1914 Historic photo from Tuesday, May 19, 1914 - Exhibition Park - flowerbeds in front of the Horticultural Building in CNEExhibition Park - flowerbeds in front of the Horticultural Building
101 years ago - Tuesday, May 19, 1914 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1914 Historic photo from Wednesday, June 17, 1914 - View south on Dufferin Street from Springhurst Avenue (view of 1910 Dufferin St. Gate) in CNEView south on Dufferin Street from Springhurst Avenue (view of 1910 Dufferin St. Gate)
(Categorized under: Dufferin Gates )
101 years ago - Wednesday, June 17, 1914 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1914 Historic photo from Friday, September 11, 1914 - Kids in costumes for the Model Playground - Exhibition Park in CNEKids in costumes for the Model Playground - Exhibition Park
101 years ago - Friday, September 11, 1914 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1914 Historic photo from Friday, September 11, 1914 - Model Playground exhibit - Exhibition Park in CNEModel Playground exhibit - Exhibition Park
101 years ago - Friday, September 11, 1914 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1915 Historic photo from Wednesday, September 1, 1915 - Model Playground staff - Exhibition Grounds in CNEModel Playground staff - Exhibition Grounds
100 years ago - Wednesday, September 1, 1915 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1915 Historic photo from Wednesday, September 1, 1915 - Bleachers behind kids playing at the Model Playground - Exhibition Grounds in CNEBleachers behind kids playing at the Model Playground - Exhibition Grounds
100 years ago - Wednesday, September 1, 1915 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1915 Historic photo from Wednesday, September 1, 1915 - Broad shot of the rides on the Exhibition Grounds and Model Playground in CNEBroad shot of the rides on the Exhibition Grounds and Model Playground
100 years ago - Wednesday, September 1, 1915 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1915 Historic photo from Saturday, September 18, 1915 - Roller coaster behind the Annual Ladies Field Day Exhibition Grounds  in CNERoller coaster behind the Annual Ladies Field Day Exhibition Grounds
100 years ago - Saturday, September 18, 1915 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1918 Historic photo from Tuesday, May 28, 1918 - 3:56PM Fire Hall tower, C. N. E. in CNE3:56PM Fire Hall tower, C. N. E.
97 years ago - Tuesday, May 28, 1918 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1920 Historic photo from 1920 - Dufferin St. Gate in full glory with fan and ornaments in CNEDufferin St. Gate in full glory with fan and ornaments
(Categorized under: Dufferin Gates )
95 years ago - 1920 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the Toronto Public Library)
1920 Historic photo from Wednesday, August 11, 1920 - Exhibition Planting in the gardens in CNEExhibition Planting in the gardens
95 years ago - Wednesday, August 11, 1920 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1920 Historic photo from Tuesday, August 24, 1920 - Percival Gardens - Exhibition (film neg.) in CNEPercival Gardens - Exhibition (film neg.)
95 years ago - Tuesday, August 24, 1920 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1921 Historic photo from Friday, August 5, 1921 - C.N.E. Coliseum construction in CNEC.N.E. Coliseum construction
94 years ago - Friday, August 5, 1921 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1921 Historic photo from Friday, September 9, 1921 - The Frolic outside the Coliseum construction in CNEThe Frolic outside the Coliseum construction
94 years ago - Friday, September 9, 1921 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1921 Historic photo from Saturday, October 15, 1921 - C.N.E., construction of the Coliseum in CNEC.N.E., construction of the Coliseum
94 years ago - Saturday, October 15, 1921 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1922 Historic photo from 1922 - Sunday opening, CNE Dufferin Gates in CNESunday opening, CNE Dufferin Gates
(Categorized under: Dufferin Gates )
93 years ago - 1922 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1923 Historic photo from Saturday, August 25, 1923 - Exhibition, auto polo upset in CNEExhibition, auto polo upset
92 years ago - Saturday, August 25, 1923 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1925 Historic photo from Wednesday, May 27, 1925 - Site of Fort Rouille, Toronto in CNESite of Fort Rouille, Toronto
90 years ago - Wednesday, May 27, 1925 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1926 Historic photo from 1926 - Beaux-Arts Ontario Government Building in the 1920s also known as the Arts, Crafts and Hobbies Building in CNEBeaux-Arts Ontario Government Building in the 1920s also known as the Arts, Crafts and Hobbies Building
89 years ago - 1926 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1926 Historic photo from Thursday, September 2, 1926 - Start of bicycle race, CNE won by Bill Elder, 3rd from left in CNEStart of bicycle race, CNE won by Bill Elder, 3rd from left
89 years ago - Thursday, September 2, 1926 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1926 Historic photo from Thursday, September 2, 1926 - Bill Elder winning the bicycle race in CNEBill Elder winning the bicycle race
89 years ago - Thursday, September 2, 1926 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1927 Historic photo from 1927 - Illuminated Princes Gates at night in CNEIlluminated Princes Gates at night
(Categorized under: Princes Gates )
88 years ago - 1927 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1927 Historic photo from 1927 - Prince of Wales entrance [Princes Gates] in CNEPrince of Wales entrance [Princes Gates]
(Categorized under: Princes Gates )
88 years ago - 1927 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From Archives of Ontario)
1927 Historic photo from Wednesday, August 31, 1927 - Prince of Wales opens the Princes Gates in CNEPrince of Wales opens the Princes Gates
88 years ago - Wednesday, August 31, 1927 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1927 Historic photo from Wednesday, August 31, 1927 - Prince of Wales opens the Princes' Gates in 1927 in CNEPrince of Wales opens the Princes' Gates in 1927
(Categorized under: Princes Gates )
88 years ago - Wednesday, August 31, 1927 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1928 Historic photo from Wednesday, May 23, 1928 - Main Arch - Prince of Wales entrance, Exhibition Grounds with roller coaster in background in CNEMain Arch - Prince of Wales entrance, Exhibition Grounds with roller coaster in background
(Categorized under: Princes Gates )
87 years ago - Wednesday, May 23, 1928 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1928 Historic photo from Saturday, August 25, 1928 - Princes Gate with balloon overhead and the Warriors Parade passing through the gates in CNEPrinces Gate with balloon overhead and the Warriors Parade passing through the gates
(Categorized under: Princes Gates )
87 years ago - Saturday, August 25, 1928 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1929 Historic photo from Monday, August 12, 1929 - Full view of the Princes Gates from the north in CNEFull view of the Princes Gates from the north
(Categorized under: Princes Gates )
86 years ago - Monday, August 12, 1929 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1929 Historic photo from Thursday, November 28, 1929 - Royal Winter Fair, mounted Police - Sergeant Chalklin, Police Constable Hill, P.C. Hanier, P.C. Harvey, Patrol Sergeant Masters in CNERoyal Winter Fair, mounted Police - Sergeant Chalklin, Police Constable Hill, P.C. Hanier, P.C. Harvey, Patrol Sergeant Masters
86 years ago - Thursday, November 28, 1929 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1930 Historic photo from 1930 - Cyclists lined up for race, CNE in CNECyclists lined up for race, CNE
(Categorized under: Princes Gates )
85 years ago - 1930 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1930 Historic photo from Friday, May 16, 1930 - Shrine peace monument, external gardens under construction in CNEShrine peace monument, external gardens under construction
85 years ago - Friday, May 16, 1930 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1930 Historic photo from Monday, June 9, 1930 - Arch, erected at Eastern entrance of Exhibition, for Shriners Convention in CNEArch, erected at Eastern entrance of Exhibition, for Shriners Convention
(Categorized under: Ornamental gate )
85 years ago - Monday, June 9, 1930 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1930 Historic photo from Monday, June 9, 1930 - Arch, erected at western entrance of Exhibition, for Shriners Convention in CNEArch, erected at western entrance of Exhibition, for Shriners Convention
(Categorized under: Ornamental gate )
85 years ago - Monday, June 9, 1930 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1931 Historic photo from Monday, September 14, 1931 - Veterans on parade through the Princess Gates at the opening of the Ex in CNEVeterans on parade through the Princess Gates at the opening of the Ex
(Categorized under: Princes Gates )
84 years ago - Monday, September 14, 1931 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location
1932 Historic photo from 1932 - Dufferin St. Gate - Busy Factories Bring Better Times - illuminated sign in CNEDufferin St. Gate - Busy Factories Bring Better Times - illuminated sign
(Categorized under: Dufferin Gates )
83 years ago - 1932 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the Toronto Public Library)
1933 Historic photo from Tuesday, October 24, 1933 - Lakeshore Park looking northwest to Princes Gates in CNELakeshore Park looking northwest to Princes Gates
(Categorized under: Princes Gates )
82 years ago - Tuesday, October 24, 1933 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1935 Historic photo from Thursday, July 18, 1935 - Debris from under base of south flagpole Princes Gates, C.N.E. in CNEDebris from under base of south flagpole Princes Gates, C.N.E.
(Categorized under: Princes Gates )
80 years ago - Thursday, July 18, 1935 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1937 Historic photo from Thursday, July 15, 1937 - Railway bridge in front of the C.N.E. Dufferin Gates in CNERailway bridge in front of the C.N.E. Dufferin Gates
(Categorized under: Dufferin Gates )
78 years ago - Thursday, July 15, 1937 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1938 Historic photo from Friday, March 25, 1938 - Goddess of Winged Victory atop main arch in CNEGoddess of Winged Victory atop main arch
(Categorized under: Princes Gates )
77 years ago - Friday, March 25, 1938 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1938 Historic photo from Friday, March 25, 1938 - Pieces from base of main figure - Goddess of Winged Victory - Princes Gate in CNEPieces from base of main figure - Goddess of Winged Victory - Princes Gate
(Categorized under: Princes Gates )
77 years ago - Friday, March 25, 1938 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1938 Historic photo from Friday, March 25, 1938 - Closeup of pedestal base and a character - Princes Gates in CNECloseup of pedestal base and a character - Princes Gates
(Categorized under: Princes Gates )
77 years ago - Friday, March 25, 1938 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1939 Historic photo from Saturday, April 1, 1939 - Close-up of Princes Gates looking west in CNEClose-up of Princes Gates looking west
(Categorized under: Princes Gates )
76 years ago - Saturday, April 1, 1939 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1942 Historic photo from Monday, November 16, 1942 - Dufferin Gates with fan, Exhibition Park in CNEDufferin Gates with fan, Exhibition Park
(Categorized under: Dufferin Gates )
73 years ago - Monday, November 16, 1942 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1942 Historic photo from Monday, November 16, 1942 - Close up of one of the crumbling pillars of the Dufferin Memorial Gate in CNEClose up of one of the crumbling pillars of the Dufferin Memorial Gate
73 years ago - Monday, November 16, 1942 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1942 Historic photo from Monday, November 16, 1942 - Military zone - 15 miles per hour - Crumbling Dufferin Gates in CNEMilitary zone - 15 miles per hour - Crumbling Dufferin Gates
(Categorized under: Dufferin Gates )
73 years ago - Monday, November 16, 1942 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1942 Historic photo from Friday, December 11, 1942 - No centre piece in the Dufferin Gates, Exhibition Park C. N. E. in CNENo centre piece in the Dufferin Gates, Exhibition Park C. N. E.
(Categorized under: Dufferin Gates )
73 years ago - Friday, December 11, 1942 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1946 Historic photo from Saturday, August 24, 1946 - 1905 Press building - originally the Administration Building in CNE1905 Press building - originally the Administration Building
69 years ago - Saturday, August 24, 1946 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1950 Historic photo from 1950 - Arch lit up at night, CNE grounds in CNEArch lit up at night, CNE grounds
(Categorized under: Ornamental gate )
65 years ago - 1950 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1951 Historic photo from Thursday, March 8, 1951 - Lakeshore Boulevard looking southwest from west of Strachan Avenue in CNELakeshore Boulevard looking southwest from west of Strachan Avenue
64 years ago - Thursday, March 8, 1951 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1951 Historic photo from Thursday, March 8, 1951 - Lakeshore Boulevard looking southwest from east of Strachan Avenue in CNELakeshore Boulevard looking southwest from east of Strachan Avenue
64 years ago - Thursday, March 8, 1951 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1951 Historic photo from Thursday, March 8, 1951 - Princess Gates - Lakeshore Boulevard looking southwest from east of Strachan Avenue in CNEPrincess Gates - Lakeshore Boulevard looking southwest from east of Strachan Avenue
(Categorized under: Princes Gates )
64 years ago - Thursday, March 8, 1951 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1951 Historic photo from Sunday, September 16, 1951 - Lakeshore Boulevard looking southwest from Strachan in CNELakeshore Boulevard looking southwest from Strachan
64 years ago - Sunday, September 16, 1951 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1953 Historic photo from 1953 - Aerial night view of the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) in CNEAerial night view of the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE)
(Categorized under: Princes Gates )
62 years ago - 1953 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From Archives of Ontario)
1955 Historic photo from Friday, August 12, 1955 - Shell Oil Tower, during construction - later the Bulova Watch Tower - 36 metre tall, demolished 1985 in CNEShell Oil Tower, during construction - later the Bulova Watch Tower - 36 metre tall, demolished 1985
60 years ago - Friday, August 12, 1955 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the Toronto Public Library)
1958 Historic photo from 1958 - Demolition of 1910 CNE Dufferin Gates in CNEDemolition of 1910 CNE Dufferin Gates
(Categorized under: Dufferin Gates )
57 years ago - 1958 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1958 Historic photo from 1958 - Demolition of the 1910 CNE Dufferin Gates in CNEDemolition of the 1910 CNE Dufferin Gates
(Categorized under: Dufferin Gates )
57 years ago - 1958 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1958 Historic photo from 1958 - Dufferin Street gate decorated for the 80th anniversary of the CNE in CNEDufferin Street gate decorated for the 80th anniversary of the CNE
(Categorized under: Dufferin Gates )
57 years ago - 1958 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From Archives of Ontario)
1965 Historic photo from 1965 - CNEs first marathon car rally - car 305, leaving CNE grounds via Princes Gates in CNECNEs first marathon car rally - car 305, leaving CNE grounds via Princes Gates
(Categorized under: Princes Gates )
50 years ago - 1965 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1965 Historic photo from Friday, August 27, 1965 - Firing cannon to start CNE with Wild Mouse, clock tower in distance in CNEFiring cannon to start CNE with Wild Mouse, clock tower in distance
50 years ago - Friday, August 27, 1965 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1973 Historic photo from Saturday, August 18, 1973 - CN Tower - construction view from King St W, in front of the Royal Alex across the railyards in CNECN Tower - construction view from King St W, in front of the Royal Alex across the railyards
42 years ago - Saturday, August 18, 1973 - CNE at 301 Front Street West at the foot of John Street
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1986 Historic photo from 1986 - SkyDome / Rogers Centre Built In Two And A Half Minutes - timelapse 1986-1989 in CNESkyDome / Rogers Centre Built In Two And A Half Minutes - timelapse 1986-1989
29 years ago - 1986 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location
1990 Historic photo from 1990 - Exhibition Place Dufferin Gate looking south in CNEExhibition Place Dufferin Gate looking south
(Categorized under: Ornamental gate )
25 years ago - 1990 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
2010 Historic photo from Sunday, December 5, 2010 - Scaffolding on the Princes Gates in 2010 in CNEScaffolding on the Princes Gates in 2010
(Categorized under: Princes Gates )
5 years ago - Sunday, December 5, 2010 - CNE
Link to archive record - Map location