The CNE is back again for the 139th year and it’s better than ever! This year there is a rival to the TORONTO sign – an 8-ft tall CNE sign with a Canadian maple leaf to commemorate Canada’s 150th – it will be illuminated on the west end of the ex grounds near the Princess Margaret Fountain -just one of the many new features and attractions with a True North theme to The Ex this summer.
Highlights for me this year include a specially commissioned Unity Pole designed by Ojibway artist Kris Nahrgang to celebrate Canada’s Indigenous heritage. This 25-ft tall cedar pole guides us through a rich story of symbols, which begins with the turtle a the bottom and culminates with the eagle at the top of the pole.
Another new highlight is a Canadian-themed Aerial Acrobatics and Ice-Skating show starring Elvis Stojko!
And now for THE FOOD! I’m a food blogger and the food pavilion has some of the craziest combinations and wildest flavours! But doesn’t it always!? Okay so here are some of my favs from the media preview…
Deep Fried Cheese Curds called the Great Canadian, sprinkled with icing sugar and served with pure Canadian Maple Syrup.
Find them at The King of Curds.
Dragon’s Breathe Crepe will literally take your breath away. The molecular chemists at Eative have concocted a way to transform CNE guests into DRAGONS! They dip the cream filled crepe into liquid nitrogen and a fog-like gas blows through your nose and mouth.
Deep fried chicken feet are served on a stick and a must visit to Coco Concessions.
The Juicy Oink: pork five ways in one bun! Slow roasted five spice porkbelly, pulled pork shoulder, sweet longanisa sausage, crispy pork skin and a Shanghai soupy pork dumpling, topped with Okonomiyaki sauce, Japanese mayo and apple slaw. Find them at Hot Bunzz Street Cuisine.
Check out the Samurai Ramen burger with fried chicken with kewpie mayo and ramen noodle for buns at Eat Yatai.
Everything is better with bacon at Bacon Nation serving up Pancake Bacon Tacos, an All-Canadian Red Hot Burger and Charcoal Lemonade.
Now this is oddly interesting. Philthy Philly’s created a Strawberry Shortsteak. Yes, steak, provolone cheese, topped with strawberry sauce and all sandwiched between a sweet donut bun.
Deep fried frog kegs and cod tongue from Farm to Fryer. This must be a first for the food building!
MY FAVORITE is the Crispy fried chicken with ginger and green onion from Tokyo Fried chicken.
Yay, I won a prize with my water gun skills!
For more info on the CNE, tickets, programming, directions and hours visit, www.TheEx.com