CNE cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic

This is only the second time in 142 years that the CNE has closed in its entirety.

There will be no going to The Ex this summer.

The 2020 edition of the Canadian National Exhibition has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only the second time in the fair’s 142-year history that the event has been scrapped in its entirety. The Grand Old Lady traditionally has marked the wind down to summer.

The last time the CNE was cancelled was during the Second World War.

“Safety always comes first at the CNE, and the decision to cancel our event is the right decision during this critical time to protect the health of all Canadians,” Canadian National Exhibition Association (CNEA) President John Kiru said in a news release issued Tuesday.

“Summer in Toronto will not be the same without the sights and sounds of the CNE, alongside so many annual festivals and cultural events that have been forced to cancel.”

Premier Ford took a trip down memory lane at his media briefing today, reflecting on time spent at the CNE.

“It’s one of those things that you make sure you go every year since I can ever remember so it’s really going to be missed, especially to the kids who have been going there for years,” Ford said.

“Especially our age group, the baby boomers, we all grew up there. Those were the days where remember you would hop on the bus and go to the Dufferin Gates and get off with a bunch of friends.”

“It’s part of our culture here. It’s part of our heritage going back over 100 years so I’m going to miss it.” 

The 18-day event, which takes place at Toronto’s Exhibition Place, was supposed to run from August 21 to September 7.

Banner picture: CNE-Facebook