A Long Overdue Date with the CNE

Prince's Gates at the CNE
Prince’s Gates at the CNE

I must be a terrible husband because I have never taken my wife to the CNE. We’ve been together as a couple for over ten years and we have not gone once. Why? Because every year when the subject comes up I say how much I hate the CNE because its full of crap, its the same stuff from the Stampede, and maybe the rides aren’t safe. I had no idea that she had only been as a child and I felt like a jerk when I realized she had always wanted to go with me. So off we went. (By the way I take her to Wonderland all the time so I’m not really a jerk).

Parking was only $20?!!!!
Parking was only $20?!!!!

We went in the evening and although the parking was expensive the admission on a Monday evening was only $5.00. Not bad.

The Parade is Coming!
The Parade is Coming! (Photo by J. Ross)

As soon as we got through the gate we could see that everyone was clearing a path for a parade. A parade? How exciting! What wonderful characters will march past? Which types of musical bands will move our spirits? Which local celebrities will we see?

Oh...these guys. Cue the Darth Vader music
Oh…these guys. Cue the Darth Vader music.                      (Photo by J. Ross)

Yep. The parade was a bunch of cops. Boooo! To me this was more a show of force than anything else. I really couldn’t believe how many cops were there. I was kind of frightened. So we left.

Our deep fried feast began (Photo by J.Ross)
Our deep fried feast began (Photo by J.Ross)

Our personal fried food celebration began with a corn dog. My wife felt this was one of the greatest corn dogs of her life. Then we went to the food building where I gave into a craving for fish n’ chips. My wife had ribs. The food building is one of the greatest parts of the CNE. It’s just a giant building with a large number of fast food booths. We ate outside, where I used to eat with my comrades when I worked at the nearby Ontario Place.

Funnel Cakes
Funnel Cakes

For dessert we had Tiny Tom Donuts and Funnel Cakes. We basically ditched our diet for this date so we could live on a cloud of deep fried heaven.

Action shot of the Ferris Wheel (Photo by J.Ross)
Action shot of the Ferris Wheel (Photo by J.Ross)

We decided to take the risk and go on the rides. I feel much safer on the Wonderland rides. There is something about the rickety nature of these rides which makes them even scarier. The easiest to take was the Ferris Wheel so we started there. You can get a spectacular view of downtown and Ontario Place from here.

View from the Ferris Wheel
View from the Ferris Wheel (photo by J. Ross)

The next ride we took was called The Fire Ball:

The Fire Ball at the CNE
The Fire Ball at the CNE

The Fire Ball is a massive pendulum which is circular in shape with humans strapped in precariously. As it swings to and fro it also spins around.

The Pit and the Pendulum (photo by J. Ross)
The Pit and the Pendulum (photo by J. Ross)

The carny who strapped us in took a run towards to me and then slammed the safety bar into my stomach. They could use a little bedside manner I believe. There is a sign that says if you are too heavy you shouldn’t ride it. I had trouble breathing for this whole ride as the bar jammed into my gut. Oh yeah and I screamed in terror for the whole ride as well because I thought I was going to die.

Crazy Mouse (Photo by J. Ross)
Crazy Mouse (Photo by J. Ross)

The Crazy Mouse was the next ride we took. This ride had the longest line. A spinning cart goes quickly along this track. It is similar in style and design to The Fly at Wonderland. While we were waiting we could see that parts of the ride were being held up by loose pieces of wood. One of the cars wasn’t working and for some reason would splash water onto the waiting line-up, even though there is no water on this ride. Still it wasn’t a bad ride, but not worth the long wait.

Evening at the CNE (photos by J. Ross)
Evening at the CNE (photos by J. Ross)

We then got onto the Gravitron 4000, which is a saucer where you lean against the wall and then it spins around super fast and you feel really stoned and slide up the wall. It was full of kids, of course. This ride has been known to make people very sick. But we made it through.

The final, and scariest ride we took, was one of those spinny swings. There are two rides like this at the CNE, a traditional ride where everyone gets a single seat, and a newer larger one with couple seats. This is the one we took.

The Scariest Ride at the CNE
The Scariest Ride at the CNE

You feel really exposed in this ride. It’s just you and your partner flying through the air, with nothing but a cheap looking bar holding you in. It also makes sudden drops just to jolt you out of any false complacency you may have been feeling. After this we were done with the rides.

The CNE Trade Centre looks like Xanadu
The CNE Trade Centre looks like Xanadu

After that there was not much else to do except go to the massively huge Trade Centre which looks like the building from the movie Xanadu on the outside. One time when I worked near here I wanted to show my brother this new building. We walked up to it and went in an open door. We were looking around innocently when we were suddenly accosted by a group of rabid security guards who insisted we broke in. I stood at the door and told them off before leaving. Then I got into show business. But just in case you don’t know, I don’t really react well to power tripping security guards.

Sand art at the CNE
Sand art at the CNE

I also saw a concert here which had Puff Daddy, Lil Kim and Destiny’s Child before they were huge. But today, at the CNE, it was mostly just cheap stuff you can buy, some interesting sand sculptures and an exhibit about ghosts at the CNE.

Through the use of a mirror I am able to make myself thin again.
Through the use of a mirror I am able to make myself thin again.

When we left we realized what a good time we had. Next year I won’t be so grouchy and unromantic and I will take my wife again for more good ole deep fried Canadian fun.

Goodnight CNE
Goodnight CNE
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