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Showing posts with label CNE. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CNE. Show all posts

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Rock On Rock Retires

Rocking In The Free World.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: 100 Princes' Blvd.
Date: September 2017
Website: www.rockonrock.ca

  One of the highlights of the Canadian National Exhibition for the past 18 years has been the amazing skill of Darryl Maddeaux.  Somehow he manages to take rocks of varying sizes and shapes and form them into the towers you see above.

Darryl Rocks.

  He performs in front of large crowds during the C.N.E.  He selects a rock, feels its weight and lifts it to the top of one of the towers.  He holds it in place making minor adjustments until he is satisfied with his placement.  He pulls his hands away and the rock balances there defying gravity.

Towers of Rock.

  The towers of rock, sometimes as high as 10 rocks, can stay standing for hours.  We have watched Darryl many times through the years and we have never once seen a rock fall.  Sadly, this year he has chosen to retire.  We will miss his magic.

Rock Superstar.

  We chatted with Darryl and he told us a story. He said that when he was young he played guitar and put out an album of music. Shortly after that he put out a second album of music. He said he then attended a concert featuring four young men with mop top haircuts from England. After seeing The Beatles he declared, "This is what I want to do. I want to be a rock star." He turned and pointed to the perfectly balanced rocks behind him and stated. "I just wasn't specific enough."

Rock On.

Map of Our World
Direct Energy Centre

Post # 189

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

The Polar Express

The Polar Express

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address:  210 Princes' Blvd.
Date: August 2014
Website: theex.com

  Do you wanna go faster ?   YEAHHH !!

  The Polar Express has been a part of the Canadian National Exhibition midway for as long as we can remember.  The ride spins backwards as the riders are pulled away from the center of the spin by centrifugal force.  A ride operator blasts music and asks the all important question.  Even if you don't want to go faster no one will hear your screams of protest.

Polar Express is a lesson in centrifugal force.

   We had not been on the ride for many years when we decided to give it another go.  We had forgotten a few of the basic rules of riding the Polar Express.  Each car holds several people in one big seat.  The first rule is that the bigger people should sit on the outside edge of the car.  Once the ride starts to spin, everyone gets pulled towards that outer edge and small riders could find themselves getting crushed by their seat mates.

Princess Polar Bear VS Queen Of The Snow Tigers.

  Another important rule is that you should not bring items onto the ride with you.  They also risk being crushed as the ride spins faster and faster.  This particular year at the CNE, Coca-Cola was printing special cans with your name on it.  We had our cans printed and then put them in a bag right before lining up for the Polar Express.  Next we proceeded to sit on the ride with the smaller person on the outside and our bag in between us.  The music pumped away and the ride picked up speed.  Soon we found ourselves pulled against the far wall of the car with big person pushing on Coke bag against little person.  We feared that now not only did the Coke cans have our name on them, but so did the contents inside.  This ride is always a blast.

Do you wanna go faster ?   Always !!

Map of Our World
CNE Midway

Post # 188

Friday, 25 August 2017

Canadian National Exhibition

Princess Margaret Fountain.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address:  210 Princes' Blvd.
Date: August 2013
Website: theex.com

 The Canadian National Exhibition (C.N.E.) is one of the largest fairs in North America.  It started in 1879 as the Toronto Industrial Exhibition and later the name was changed.  The C.N.E. only runs for 18 days each August until Labour Day weekend where it finishes off with the air show.  It is a great place for rides, food, music, shopping, farm animals and entertainment.  We almost never miss making a visit to the fair each year.  Below are some of our favourite things from The Ex.

The Princes' Gates

The Princes' Gates.

  If you enter the fair from the east side, these gates welcome you.  Princes' Blvd. starts at the gates and then cuts right through the center of the C.N.E. grounds. (Read More)

CNE Midway

CNE Midway.

  The Midway fills Princes' Blvd. with food stands and rides.  You can use the Sky Ride cable car to get a birds eye view of it all or you can choose to join the crowd eating gooey, drippy treats and then trying to hold them down while getting spun around on classic rides such as the Polar Express.

The Food Building

Food Building.

  If you have not had enough to eat after leaving the Midway, you can always make your way over to the Food Building.  Here you will find rows and rows of food vendors ready to please any taste buds.

The Farm

Wolverine VS Aliens

The Farm building has your usual farm animals such as sheep, cows, horses, pigs and more.  It also has a large refrigerated container full of a collection of butter sculptures.

Alpaca Hairstyle.

  There are often more unusual animals such as ostrich or alpacas.  The alpaca above had been freshly sheared and was rocking his new hairstyle.

Rock Balancing

Keep On Rocking.

  Speaking of rocks.  Daryl Maddeaux has been defying gravity at the C.N.E. for almost two decades.  Somehow he manages to build towers from rocks of varying shapes and sizes. Read More

Sand Sculptures

Woman On A Rhino.

  If sculptures of butter are not enough for you, there are usually giant sand sculptures as well.  Star Wars and Star Trek have been featured in recent years along with other creations such as this woman riding a tired rhinoceros.


Top Tomato.

  Who has the best tomatoes?  The Exhibition also features agricultural competitions.  In 2013 the best tomatoes were these pictured above.


Super Duper Dogs.
 The Sitting Wallendas.

  There are always daily shows happening all around the C.N.E.  The hard part is planning your day to fit them all in.  The SuperDogs show is always popular as various breeds compete in obstacle course races.  Other acts such as the Flying Wallendas risk it all to entertain the crowds.

Mardi Gras Parade

Mardi Gras Parade.

  Near the end of the day a Mardi Gras parade passes through the grounds with floats and music.  People scramble to collect the Mardi Gras beads tossed from the floats.

Canadian International Air Show

The Snowbirds.
  The last weekend of The Ex sees the Air Show come to town.  CF-18 Hornets rip through the sky and a sonic wave follows behind them turning heads.  The whole thing wraps up with the acrobatic formations of the Snowbirds.

Let's go to The Ex.  Oh Baby!

Map of Our World
Canadian National Exhibition , CNE Midway
Princes' Gates
CNE (Better Living Center)
CNE Food Building

Post # 187

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Toronto Prop Party

Movie Fan Art.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: 100 Princes' Blvd.
Date: Aug 2014
Website:  www.torontopropexpo.com

  One year at the Canadian National Exhibition we walked through the Direct Energy Centre and were soon surrounded by some familar movie faces.  That particular year there was an exhibit by Toronto Prop Party which is a group of movie fans dedicated to building replicas of props and costumes from their favourite films.


  The amount of detail and time put into these recreations would have fooled us into believing that they were the real deal.  Masks and props from the Star Wars films appear to be one of the most popular fan recreations.

These aren't the droids we're looking for.
Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi you're my only hope.

  There were even some Star Wars replica lightsabers.  Our research shows that in the original film the lightsaber was quite a simple prop and was actually the handle that held the flash bulb of an old Graflex camera.  If you could locate one of those you would be 90% of the way to your own replica.

Han Solo in Carbonite.

  Harrison Ford has been lucky enough to have been a big part of both the Star Wars films and the Indiana Jones movies.  Above he is frozen in carbonite as Han Solo and below is his famous Indiana Jones fedora.  Again these are replicas made by fans.  We expect that more time was spent creating Han's carbonite prison.

Indiana's Famous Hat.

  There were a couple of Transformers.  A huge Optimus Prime towered over anyone who stopped for a photo opportunity.  He stands nearly 23 feet tall and weighs about 2 tonnes. 

More Than Meets The Eye.

  There was also Bumblebee who is one of the Autobots and transforms into a Volkswagen Beetle.  We could tell that this robot was a replica as the real Bumblebee does not have "Please Do Not Touch" signs on his knees. 

Robots In Disguise.

  We never determined if these robot replicas actually had the ability to transform.

What kind of a future do you call that?

  Another movie from the 80s that has fans honouring it with replica props is Back To The Future.  There was a gravestone from Back To The Future Part III as well as the licence plate from the DeLorean time travelling car.  We were impressed with the dedication that went into recreating these movie props from these beloved films.


Map of Our World
Direct Energy Centre

Post # 130

Thursday, 25 August 2016

The Princes' Gates

The Princes' Gates.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address:  210 Princes' Blvd.
Date: May 2014
Website:  theex.com

  The Exhibition or C.N.E. has been a part of summer in Toronto for almost 120 years.  The eastern entrance to the Canadian National Exhibition has become an instantly recognizable symbol of the annual fair.  It is known to many people as the Princess Gates, but that is due to confusion when hearing its true name of the Princes' Gates.

Canadian National Exhibition 1897 to 1927

   The inscription on the front of the gates reads Canadian National Exhibition 1897 to 1927.  It was during the C.N.E. in 1927 that the gates were officially opened by Prince Edward and Prince George.  The gates were named as belonging to the two princes.

Une Photo Floue.

  Another reason for the Princess confusion is due to the winged woman who stands atop the gates.  She is meant to be a copy of the Winged Victory of Samothrace which can be found in the Louvre in Paris.  We visited her headless, armless body during our trip to Paris and took this wonderfully blurry photo (above).

Princes' Fountain.

   At each end of the gates is a fountain.  That would be one for each Prince.

Inside the Gates.

  Above is a photo from inside the gates with Victory looking away towards the rest of Toronto.  Below is a paper version of the gates which was on display one year during The Exhibition.

Paper Princess Gates.

The C.N.E. runs for about two weeks at the end of August and ends on Labour Day which is the first Monday in September.

Let's Go To The Ex.

  During the Canadian National Exhibition the area behind the Princes' Gates is filled with pedestrians, midway rides and strange food combinations.  During the rest of the year, you are free to walk or even drive through the gates and head down Princes' Blvd.  That's Prince's Boulevard, not Princess.

Map of Our World
Canadian National Exhibition , Louvre Museum
Princes' Gates

Post # 129