5 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do At The Ex

Let’s go to the Ex!

If you haven’t yet taken in the sights at this year’s CNE, what are you waiting for? If cake poutine and deep fried Oreos aren’t motivation enough, here are a few lesser-known reasons to visit Toronto’s legendary end-of-summer destination.

Get in for $6 after 5pm (Monday – Thursday)

Let’s face it, you really don’t need an entire day at the CNE. If you can stand the heat and the crowds, by all means make the most of that $18 stub. However, by late afternoon / early evening, long lines have dwindled, baby stroller volume is halved and the out-of-towners have flooded the parking lots in an attempt to beat the rush hour traffic. In short, The Ex at sunset is a playground for cheapskates and agoraphobics. BONUS! The final day of CNE is a Monday. Go after 5pm and visit the shopping halls. Vendors will practically be giving away their unsold wares.
Monday – Thursday – 5pm to 12am (grounds)


See Tokyo Police Club at the CNE Bandshell

In past years, performances by the likes of Petula Clark and Don McLean attracted a certain demographic of audience listeners. This time around, the aim appears to have shifted towards the reckless youth. Scott Weiland’s new band The Wildabouts, and Newmarket’s Tokyo Police Club, are two of many featured artists at the CNE Bandshell Concert series.
Tokyo Police Club: September 3 – 7:30pm – 9:30pm

A photo posted by @wearetokyopoliceclub on


Take in the sights at the West Coast Lumberjack Show

Comb out your beards, boys. It’s the West Coast Lumberjack Show! Big and burly men, who wear their plaid un-ironically, put on a fast-paced, high-energy show every day along the midway. Stop by and watch these bucks chop, whittle and sling sawdust, in a frenzied display of untapped talent. Other events include: chainsaw carving, axe throwing, and the always hilarious log burling.
Every day—2:00pm to 2:45pm; 4:00pm to 4:45pm; 6:30pm to 7:15pm


Imbibe at the Craft Beer Fest

After all of the walking and talking, most of us are desperately searching for a drink after an hour inside the Princes’ gates. CNE organizers clearly got the message because this year they have provided the thirsty throngs of adults unparalleled access to a vast array of local brewskis. Participating partners include: Mill Street, Creemore Springs, Beaus, Wellington, and Old Tomorrow—to name a few. Sample them all—just don’t get chucked out.
Friday, August 28 – 11am to 11pm
Saturday, August 29—10am to 11pm
Sunday, August 30—10am to 11pm


Butter Sculpting

Who hasn’t wanted to gaze into the eyes of the eternally enlightened Yoda? Well, The Farm pavilion in the Better Living Centre offers the next best thing. This odd exhibit, not to be confused with the annual sand sculpture contest, features equally talented artists creating life-sized artwork out of creamy, buttery goodness. Spoiler alert: The theme for this year’s models is “celebrity.” You’re welcome.
On display every day