I have written about the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) a couple times on my blog, because it truly is one of my most favorite summer events. The CNE is an annual event at the end of summer held in Toronto and with approximately 1.3 million visitors each year, the exhibition is Canada’s largest annual fair and the seventh largest in North America.

CNE Souvenir Catalogue & Programme Cover, 1955
Source: CNE Heritage

Online, the CNE Heritage has an amazing collection of images from its archives and for today’s post I wanted to pull some of my favorites from their collection (1920’s-50’s) and share them with you. Lets begin!

Simpson’s Ad In CNE Programme, 1928

Simpson's Ad In CNE Programme, 1928
Source: CNE Heritage

CNE Programme Cover, 1931

CNE Programme Cover, 1931
Source: CNE Heritage

Suede Shoe Ad In 1935 CNE Fashion Show Programme. In my personal collection I have this exact show program.

Suede Shoe Ad In 1935 CNE Fashion Show Programme
Source: CNE Heritage

CNE Bandshell & Manufacturers Building, 1948.

CNE Bandshell & Manufacturers Building, 1948.
Source: CNE Heritage

CNE Guests, 1927.

CNE guests vintage photo 1927
Source: CNE Heritage

This poster celebrates the opening of the new Ontario Government Building (now Liberty Grand) in 1926.

1926 Vintage CNE Poster
Source: CNE Heritage

Hollywood Chimp Show, 1937.

Hollywood Chimp Show, 1937
Source: CNE Heritage

1939 CNE Poster-Transportation and Communications Year.

1939 CNE Poster
Source: CNE Hertiage

Auto Show, 1936.

CNE Auto Show 1936 Image of Vintage Cars
Source: CNE Heritage

RCA Victor Display, 1940.

RCA Victor Display 1940s vintage image at CNE
Source: CNE Heritage

Safety Quiz, 1948. I think the first part of the quiz should be, “You should always keep your eyes on the road, Yes or No?”

Vintage image of 4 young people in a car in 1948
Source: CNE Heritage

Canadian Women at War!

1940s Canadian Women at War CNE Program
Source: CNE Heritage

Fashion of the Day on display in 1940.

1940s Young Womens fashion
Source: CNE Heritage

Miss Toronto Contest, 1951. Read all about Miss Toronto HERE.

Miss Toronto contest 1951 vintage image at CNE
Source: CNE Heritage

Swimming Sensation, Marilyn Bell in 1954 with Roy Rogers & Dale Evans.

From CNE Heritage:

In 1954, a 16-year old high school student named Marilyn Bell became a sensation when she became the first person to swim across Lake Ontario.

She became an instant celebrity, beloved by fans across Canada.

It all began on September 8th, when three swimmers began a 32 kilometre race from Youngstown, New York to the CNE grounds.

American marathon swimmer Florence Chadwick was the favourite, followed by Canadian swimmer Winnie Roach Leuszler; Marilyn was the underdog.

It became clear early in the race that she was a contender, remaining in the water after her competitors dropped out.

Newspapers covered her every stroke through the cold waves of Lake Ontario. After 21 hours, Marilyn made it ashore to the acclaim of the nation.

The following year, Marilyn was the star of the CNE’s “Canadiana” Grandstand show, sharing the stage with American television host Ed Sullivan.

The highlight of the show was Marilyn diving into a specially designed tank of water on stage.

Marilyn Bell, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans
Source: CNE Heritage

Pez Anyone? 1954.

vintage image of a young girl eating pez at the CNE 1954
Source: CNE Heritage

Defying Gravity in the Rotor! 1953.

Vintage Ride 1953 at CNE
Source: CNE Heritage

Jimmy Durante and Friends, 1951.

Jimmy Durante & Friends, 1951 vintage image at CNE
Source: CNE Heritage

Derby Race, 1950.

CNE vintage derby race ride 1950 vintage image
Source: CNE Heritage

Even TV’s Lassie made an appearance in 1955.

TV's Lassie With CNE Visitors, 1955
Source: CNE Heritage

Kitchen World with Marie Fraser, 1955.

Kitchen World With Marie Fraser, 1955 vintage image at CNE
Source: CNE Heritage

 

And that is it for today’s post friends, I really hope you enjoyed this walk down some of the CNE’s past.

Question Time: Do you have a big fair or exhibition that you like to attend every year? Share in the comments below!

Liz

12 comments on “Step Back in Time with The Canadian National Exhibition”

  1. These are so great. I love the little boy on his dad’s shoulders and of course, Dale Evans, since she’s related to my husband. Such fun pics!

      • His granddad (who is still alive and 96 right now) was her first cousin. She used to babysit him sometimes. But he said sometimes she’d just drop him off at the movie house and come pick him up later to make it easier on her LOL. I have several pics of Roy and Dale visiting my husband’s family at their home during a couple of Christmases in the 70s. He didn’t realize at the time how COOL it was.

  2. Great images as always. I looooove those shoes in the programme you own, particularly the one at the top. And yes, the gravity defying Rotor! I remember those from when I was young. Not sure I ever went one though, I was probably too young. xx

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