We’ll see you in there.
Connect to customize your food & drink discovery.
On May 12, 2020, the Canadian National Exhibit Association (CNEA) released a statement regarding the official closure of the highly anticipated fair this year. The statement read that, "Canada’s largest fair, and an iconic Toronto celebration, will not light up this summer."
The event was supposed to take place from August 21 to September 7, 2020 at Exhibition Place but after deliberation and careful thought, the annual event has been cancelled. The decision comes with a heavy heart for everyone involved with planning such a large-scale event and the millions that intended on attending the fair.
In the statement released by the CNEA, they wrote that, "The historic decision marks only the second occasion in its 142-year history, and not since WWII, has the CNE closed in its entirety."
“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,” said John Kiru, President of the CNEA. They want Canadians to know they stand in "solidarity with the collective effort to curb this global pandemic" and intend to "all do our part to ensure it happens.”
There is an economic impact of $128 million on the province of Ontario and $93 million on the Greater Toronto Area and it is unclear what will happen to the 5000 seasonal workers that the fair employs.
As early as March 30, there was discussion of whether or not the CNE would take place. At the beginning of the pandemic, officials expressed that they would continue to closely monitor the rapidly evolving reports about the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, the CNE was still five months away but officials were optimistic about continuing the 140-year-old tradition.
Many people will miss the highly anticipated food at the CNE. The CNE serves food from local restaurants, offering cuisines from around the world. People come from far and wide for a taste of the vibrant and varied mix of international flavours and traditional fair favourites like corndogs, funnel cakes or monster ice cream cones. The CNE has unique food options like rainbow coloured grilled cheese, pickle pizza and calamari on a stick for those more adventurous.
The decision to cancel is sad but necessary to safeguard the health of employees, volunteers, visitors, vendors and artists. There is a shared responsibility in protecting public safety during COVID-19.
Follow @letsgototheex on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more updates.