CNE Rides – Explore The Midway of Yesterday & Today

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1970s - Enjoying the CHUM Wild Cat ride
1970s – Enjoying the CHUM Wild Cat ride (CNE Archives)

The Midway is a big draw, and while there have been rides and games at The Ex for over a century, one big name that comes to mind is Conklin Shows. In 1937, the world-famous travelling amusement company began providing and operating the rides, games and sideshows that thrilled at the Canadian National Exhibition. A few of those rides included the Polar Express, the Flyer, CHUM Wild Cat, the Tornado, Alpine Way, Swing Tower, and the Zipper.

Those same great rides and games are provided by North American Midway Entertainment, the company that purchased Conklin Shows in 2004. Today there are over 60 rides on The Midway, and the newest for 2023 is the Super Wheel, North America’s tallest travelling Ferris Wheel. The super-sized ride is 46 m or nearly 14 stories tall, and each of its 36 climate-controlled gondolas can seat up to 8 passengers. It takes 20 tractor-trailers to transport the giant wheel around the country.

Classic Rides at The Ex

1970 - The Flyer roller coaster was in operation for 39 years and thrilled more than 9 million riders
1970 – The Flyer roller coaster was in operation for 39 years and thrilled more than 9 million riders (CNE Archives)

The Flyer: Patty Conklin of Conklin Shows was contracted to build the roller coaster, which debuted in 1953. It was designed by Joe “Mile-A-Minute” McKee and was the highest and fastest in the world (at the time), reaching speeds up to 104 km or 65 miles per hour. The mighty roller coaster cost approximately $185,000 to construct and was 796 m or 2,612 ft long. The Flyer operated for 39 years and thrilled more than 9 million riders. It was taken down in 1992.

Alpine Way: Built in 1966, the ride featured two aerial lines of suspended cable cars over 30 m or 100 ft above The Midway. At the time, the Britian-manufactured ride cost $710,000 and was Conklin’s most expensive but most profitable ride. The Alpine Way was torn down in 1994 to make way for the Enercare Centre. In 2012, the Sky Ride debuted at The Ex, and it transports visitors over 12 m or 40 ft in the air across Exhibition grounds.

Ferris Wheel: The modern Ferris Wheel was invented by a civil engineer named George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. Mr Ferris’s wheel debuted at the World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chigaco in 1893. The wheel stood 264 ft or 80 m high and had 36 cars which could each hold 60 people. During the 19-week expo, also known as the Chicago World’s Fair, over 1.4 million people paid 50¢ to enjoy a 20-minute ride.

Wild Mouse: This one was once thought of as the scariest ride. The small cars take erratic, tight, flat turns from way up high, then plunging. It got to some pretty high speeds on the drop.

1953 - The Rotor at the Canadian National Exhibition
1953 – The Rotor at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE Archives)

The Rotor: Riders defied gravity in this ride that used centrifugal force. They stood against the wall of the cylinder, which was 4.2 m or 14 ft high and 3.6 m or 12 ft in diameter. Once the ride was up to a full speed of 15 mph or 24 kph (about two revolutions per second), the floor dropped, and riders were left stuck to the wall. The revolutions slowed when the ride was finished, allowing riders to slide down the wall to the floor gradually. Those that didn’t want to ride could watch from atop. The 1953 CNE was The Rotor’s debut in North America.

Polar Express: You wanna go faster?! Thrilling and loud, the musical Polar Express spins riders backwards around a circular track with peaks and dips. The ride made its first appearance on the CNE Midway in 1969 and is still there today.

Sky Diver: While this ride may have looked like a Ferris Wheel, it was far from it. The Sky Diver had small, 2-passenger caged cars that rotated horizontally around a giant wheel that spun fast and vertically. Each car had a steering wheel which allowed the rider to flip the car around, but after you reached the top and dive for the ground, you were just trying to hold on. The Sky Diver was a classic scary ride that often left passengers flirting with nausea.

The Derby Racer: A fast merry-go-round where 56 horses moved up and down, forward and back. The CNE’s Derby Racer was originally located at the former Sunnyside Amusement Park and was built circa 1908.

Tilt-A-Whirl: The random yet predictable chaos of this ride was invented in 1926 by Herbert Sellner. A woodworker by trade, Mr Sellner mounted a swivel chair on a table in his kitchen. He then rocked it back and forth with his son in the chair. The child was so delighted with the ride that he went on to create the Tilt-A-Whirl, inspired by the simple kitchen experiment. The Tilt-A-Whirl first debuted at the 1927 Minnesota State Fair, and to this day, the ride is a staple at amusement parks worldwide.

The Wild Cat: With its whiplash turns and 4½-storey drop, the high-speed ride debuted at the 1967 CNE. It was a German-variety coaster with 4-passenger cars that travelled alone on the 560 m or 1,835 ft track. A crew of 25 plus six supervisors accompanied the ride from fair to fair, taking about a week to assemble the 2,000 pieces of the Wild Cat. The ride was still in operation in the early 2000s.

The Zipper: Twelve apostrophe-shaped cages that carry thrill-seeking passengers around a moving and rotating narrow “zipper” frame, with each cage freely flipping on an off-centre axis. Still on The Midway today, this ride is used as a measuring stick by which other “screamer” rides are measured.

2022 - The Double Decker Carousel at the Canadian National Exhibition
2022 – The Double Decker Carousel at the Canadian National Exhibition

Merry-Go-Round: Have you ever wondered why carousels have horses? It’s thought to have come about back in the 12th century to train horsemen who would gallop in a circle while tossing a ball back and forth. In the 1700s, the concept was adapted for entertainment, and small versions of human or animal-powered carousels appeared in Europe. During the winter months, artisans would carve beautiful and elaborate animal figures for the ride. The “flying horses” made their way to America in the 1800s, and by the middle of the century, carousels were steam-powered, allowing manufacturers to make the ride larger. They were later converted to electric power, and organ music was added to mask the sound of the engine. These works of art are an amusement park staple, and along with horses, merry-go-round figures include lions, elephants, giraffes, fish, unicorns, motorcycles, chariots, and seahorses.

Shell Oil Tower

Between 1955 and 1960s - Looking west on Princes' Blvd towards the Shell Oil Tower and the Flyer roller coaster once located at Exhibition Place. The contemporary tower was designed by architect George Robb and later became the Bulova Tower
Between 1955 and 1960s – Looking west on Princes’ Blvd towards the Shell Oil Tower and the Flyer roller coaster once located at Exhibition Place (Courtesy of the Canadian National Exhibition Association Archives)

While it’s not a ride, the 12-storey Shell Oil Tower had a great observation deck. It was unveiled in 1955 and featured a huge analog clock that could be seen from afar. Newspapers featured ads with the promotional pitch, “Meet me at the Shell Oil Tower!”

A decade later, the clock was updated to digital and by the early 70s, it was renamed the Bulova Tower. The landmark was demolished in 1985.

CNE Midway Ride Photos

Circa 1892 - A muscle-powered Crank Wheel at the Exhibition. This ride was a precursor to the modern Ferris Wheel invented by George Washington Gale Ferris Jr, a civil engineer. Mr Ferris’s wheel made its debut at the World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chigaco in 1893
Circa 1892 – A muscle-powered Crank Wheel at the Exhibition. This ride was a precursor to the modern Ferris Wheel invented by George Washington Gale Ferris Jr, a civil engineer. Mr Ferris’s wheel made its debut at the World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chigaco in 1893 (CNE Archives)
1900 - Ferris Wheel at the CNE
1900 – Ferris Wheel at the CNE (CNE Archives)
2023 - The Super Wheel at the CNE can accommodate up to 288 passengers at one time. The observation wheel was designed by the world-famous ride-maker Ronald Bussink of The Netherlands. Notice the black VIP pod, which features leather seats and a glass floor
2023 – The Super Wheel at the CNE can accommodate up to 288 passengers at one time. The observation wheel was designed by the world-famous ride-maker Ronald Bussink of The Netherlands. Notice the black VIP pod, which features leather seats and a glass floor
August 20, 2023 – One of the Super Wheel’s 36 climate-controlled pods, which can seat up to 8 passengers
August 20, 2023 – One of the Super Wheel’s 36 climate-controlled pods, which can seat up to 8 passengers
Early 1900s - Water Chute ride on the Exhibition Midway
Early 1900s – Water Chute ride on the Exhibition Midway (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244, Item 276)
August 20, 2023 – Euroslide
August 20, 2023 – Euroslide
Between 1900 and 1910 – Roller Boller Chutes ride at the Exhibition
Between 1900 and 1910 – Roller Boller Chutes ride at the Exhibition (CNE Heritage)
2022 – Niagara Falls flume ride at the Canadian National Exhibition
2022 – Niagara Falls flume ride at the Canadian National Exhibition
1902 – Scenic Auto-Dip when the annual fair was called the Toronto Industrial Exhibition. A local newspaper mentions, "The ride is full of excitement, and as the cars travel through the scenic houses, one gets the impression of travelling on a rapid train through magnificent scenery of the lake and forest." The ride was manufactured by the Pittsburgh-based TM Harton, who were designers, builders and operators of park amusements.” The sign over the exit says, "The Greatest Sensation - Shoot the Cannon - Thrilling Speedy Dips"
1902 – Scenic Auto-Dip when the annual fair was called the Toronto Industrial Exhibition. A local newspaper mentions, “The ride is full of excitement, and as the cars travel through the scenic houses, one gets the impression of travelling on a rapid train through magnificent scenery of the lake and forest.” The ride was manufactured by the Pittsburgh-based TM Harton, who were designers, builders and operators of park amusements.” The sign over the exit says, “The Greatest Sensation – Shoot the Cannon – Thrilling Speedy Dips” (CNE Heritage)
Circa 1911 - "Racing Coaster" at the Exhibition, designed and built by Lynn Welcher Construction Co. A local newspaper mentioned that the American firm invested $35,000 into the ride that was only going to be used for two weeks each year. Also known as the "racer dips," the ride was painted green and built into the Garrison Commons land near what we know today as Stanley Barracks. The sign in the photo says, "WARNING - Hold your hats and keep your ???"
Circa 1911 – “Racing Coaster” at the Exhibition, designed and built by Lynn Welcher Construction Co. A local newspaper mentioned that the American firm invested $35,000 into the ride that was only going to be used for two weeks each year. Also known as the “racer dips,” the ride was painted green and built into the Garrison Commons land near what we know today as Stanley Barracks. The sign in the photo says, “WARNING – Hold your hats and keep your ???” (CNE Archives)
1970 - The Flyer roller coaster was in operation for 39 years and thrilled more than 9 million riders
1970 – The Flyer roller coaster was in operation for 39 years and thrilled more than 9 million riders (CNE Archives)
1919 – A midway ride at the Canadian National Exhibition
1919 – A midway ride at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE Heritage)
2022 -  The Orbiter at the CNE
2022 – The Orbiter at the CNE
August 23, 1919 – The CNE Royal Gorge water ride, with the entrance to Roller Boller Coaster on the right. Royal Gorge was a water-based open boat ride along a dark tunnel with ever-changing scenery along the banks. The scenes included flickering lightning and rain sweeping across a meadow, a Swiss village set in the blue mountains where an old mill turned by a clear stream, a steamship on a stormy sea, a moonlit snow scene that was followed by a quick drop through black clouds into a red-lit cave with twisting dragons and dancing fiends. The ride debuted in 1912 and was built by Lynn Welcher Construction
August 23, 1919 – The CNE Royal Gorge water ride, with the entrance to Roller Boller Coaster on the right. Royal Gorge was a water-based open boat ride along a dark tunnel with ever-changing scenery along the banks. The scenes included flickering lightning and rain sweeping across a meadow, a Swiss village set in the blue mountains where an old mill turned by a clear stream, a steamship on a stormy sea, a moonlit snow scene that was followed by a quick drop through black clouds into a red-lit cave with twisting dragons and dancing fiends. The ride debuted in 1912 and was built by Lynn Welcher Construction Co (City of Toronto Archives, Series 372, Sub Series 1, Item 318)
August 23, 1919 – Inside the tunnels of the Royal Gorge water ride at the Canadian National Exhibition. The ride featured ever-changing scenes, including a steamship on a stormy sea
August 23, 1919 – Inside the tunnels of the Royal Gorge water ride at the Canadian National Exhibition. The ride featured ever-changing scenes, including a steamship on a stormy sea (City of Toronto Archives, Series 372, Sub Series 1, Item 321)
August 23, 1919 – Behind the scenes of the Royal Gorge water tunnel ride with the Roller Boller Coaster in the background. Both rides were built by an American company, Lynn Welcher Construction Co, in the early 1910s decade
August 23, 1919 – Behind the scenes of the Royal Gorge water tunnel ride with the Roller Boller Coaster in the background. Both rides were built by an American company, Lynn Welcher Construction Co, in the early 1910s decade (City of Toronto Archives, Series 372, Sub Series 1, Item 316)
August 20, 2023 – Crazy Mouse
August 20, 2023 – Crazy Mouse
Circa 1930s - Conklin poster for the Canadian National Exhibition
Circa 1930s – Conklin poster for the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE Heritage)
1936 - Ferris Wheels in motion at the CNE
1936 – Ferris Wheels in motion at the CNE (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 11531)
1937 - Looking northeast on The Midway towards the Tilt-A-Whirl and the Coliseum
1937 – Looking northeast on The Midway towards the Tilt-A-Whirl and the Coliseum (CNE Archives)
2022 – The Tilt-A-Whirl at The Ex. This ride first debuted at the 1927 Minnesota State Fair, and to this day, the ride is a staple at amusement parks worldwide
2022 – The Tilt-A-Whirl at The Ex. This ride first debuted at the 1927 Minnesota State Fair, and to this day, the ride is a staple at amusement parks worldwide
1940 - The Midway at the Canadian National Exhibition with the Coliseum Building in the background
1940 – The Midway at the Canadian National Exhibition with the Coliseum Building in the background (CNE Archives)
1940 - Fun on The Midway
1940 – Fun on The Midway (CNE Archives)
1940 – An aerial view of The Midway with Lake Ontario and Toronto Island in the background
1940 – An aerial view of The Midway with Lake Ontario and Toronto Island in the background (CNE Heritage)
1940 – “Here they come – Conklin Shows – World’s Finest Shows” poster depicts the amusement company’s train and a carnival scene
1940 – “Here they come – Conklin Shows – World’s Finest Shows” poster depicts the amusement company’s train and a carnival scene (CNE Archives)
1947 – The Little Dipper children's roller coaster on The Midway
1947 – The Little Dipper children’s roller coaster on The Midway (CNE Heritage)
1950 - The Double Ferris Wheel on the Canadian National Exhibition Midway
1950 – The Double Ferris Wheel on the Canadian National Exhibition Midway (CNE Heritage)
1972 - Double Ferris Wheel with the Derby Racer in the background at The Ex
1972 – Double Ferris Wheel with the Derby Racer in the background at The Ex (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 94, Item 55)
August 20, 2023 – The Wave Swing Ride
August 20, 2023 – The Wave Swing Ride
1950 - The Derby Racer was a speedy merry-go-round. where th horses went up and down, forward and back. The Derby Racer was built around 1908 and was originally located at Sunnyside Amusement Park
1950 – The Derby Racer was a speedy merry-go-round where the horses went up and down, forward and back. The Derby Racer was built around 1908 and was originally located at Sunnyside Amusement Park (CNE Archives)
2022 - Merry-Go-Round at The Ex
2022 – Merry-Go-Round at The Ex
1952 – 25¢ tickets for the Tilt-A-Wheel, Laff in the Dark, No 1 Ferris Wheel and the Roller Coaster on the CNE Midway
1952 – 25¢ tickets for the Tilt-A-Wheel, Laff in the Dark, No 1 Ferris Wheel and the Roller Coaster on the CNE Midway (CNE Heritage)
1953 - A ride on The Midway
1953 – A ride on The Midway (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 536, Item 103)
2022 – Cliff Hanger ride at The Ex
2022 – Cliff Hanger ride at The Ex
1953 – The Flyer's entry or exit platform. The roller coaster had 796 m or 2,612 ft of track
1953 – The Flyer‘s entry or exit platform. The roller coaster had 796 m or 2,612 ft of track (CNE Heritage)
Circa 1953 - The Rotor, the Derby Racer on the CNE Midway
Circa 1953 – The Rotor, the Derby Racer on the CNE Midway (CNE Archives)
1953 - The Rotor, also known as the "Spinning Human Blender" or the "Whirling Wall," at the Canadian National Exhibition. The ride spins at a speed of two rotations per second. The Rotor was a favourite for many and totally terrifying experience for others. Riders stand against the cylinder, and as the ride reaches a top speed of 15 mph, the floor drops out, leaving them pinned to the wall. As the ride slows down, people slowly slide down the wall. This photo was taken the year The Rotor debuted
1953 – The Rotor, also known as the “Spinning Human Blender” or the “Whirling Wall,” at the Canadian National Exhibition. The ride spins at a speed of two rotations per second. The Rotor was a favourite for many and totally terrifying experience for others. Riders stand against the cylinder, and as the ride reaches a top speed of 15 mph, the floor drops out, leaving them pinned to the wall. As the ride slows down, people slowly slide down the wall. This photo was taken the year The Rotor debuted (CNE Archives)
2022 – Starship 4000 ride at The Ex
2022 – Starship 4000 ride at The Ex
1954 – The CNE Midway with the Coliseum in the background
1954 – The CNE Midway with the Coliseum in the background (CNE Archives)
1955 – Racing car ride with the Flyer in the background at the Canadian National Exhibition
1955 – Racing car ride with the Flyer in the background at the Canadian National Exhibition (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 536, Item 414)
1955 - Racing car ride on the CNE Midway
1955 – Racing car ride on the CNE Midway (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 536, Item 415)
1955 - Roto Rocket ride with the Shell Oil Tower and the Flyer in the background
1955 – Roto Rocket ride with the Shell Oil Tower and the Flyer in the background (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 536, Item 417)
Between 1950s and 1960s – A night view of the Ferris Wheels at the Canadian National Exhibition
Between 1950s and 1960s – A night view of the Ferris Wheels at the Canadian National Exhibition (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 492, Item 232)
1956 – Top of the Ferris Wheel at the CNE with the Shell Oil Tower and Toronto Island in the background
1956 – Top of the Ferris Wheel at the CNE with the Shell Oil Tower and Toronto Island in the background (CNE Heritage)
2022 – The giant Ferris Wheel at The Ex
2022 – The giant Ferris Wheel at The Ex
Date unknown - Laff in the Dark Ride on the Midway at the Canadian National Exhibition
Date unknown – Laff in the Dark Ride on the Midway at the Canadian National Exhibition (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1173, Item 162)
Between 1955 and 1960s - Looking west on Princes' Blvd towards the Shell Oil Tower and the Flyer roller coaster once located at Exhibition Place. The contemporary tower was designed by architect George Robb and later became the Bulova Tower
Between 1955 and 1960s – Looking west on Princes’ Blvd towards the Shell Oil Tower and the Flyer roller coaster once located at Exhibition Place. The contemporary tower was designed by architect George Robb and later became the Bulova Tower (Courtesy of the Canadian National Exhibition Association Archives)
1960s – Enjoying a midway ride at the Canadian National Exhibition
1960s – Enjoying a midway ride at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE Archives)
1960s – The Flyer could reach speeds up to 65 miles or 104 km per hour
1960s – The Flyer could reach speeds up to 65 miles or 104 km per hour (CNE Heritage)
1960s – Two pals on a Midway car ride
1960s – Two pals on a Midway car ride (CNE Heritage)
1960s - The dizzying Round-Up spins riders so fast that they're held against its cage-like walls then an arm lifts the platform to a vertical position
1960s – The dizzying Round-Up spins riders so fast that they’re held against its cage-like walls then an arm lifts the platform to a vertical position (CNE Archives)
1963 – Children’s midway scooter ride at the Canadian National Exhibition
1963 – Children’s midway scooter ride at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE Archives)
1964 - The CNE Midway at night. Notice the CNE Stadium sign in the foreground, an illuminated Shell Oil Tower, and the Flyer in the distance
1964 – The CNE Midway at night. Notice the CNE Stadium sign in the foreground, an illuminated Shell Oil Tower, and the Flyer in the distance (CNE Archives)
1965 – The Swing Gym ride on The Midway
1965 – The Swing Gym ride on The Midway (CNE Archives)
1966 - Entrance to the Alpine Way
1966 – Entrance to the Alpine Way (CNE Archives)
1970s - The Alpine Way ride and Shopsy's deli on The Midway. The ride was built in 1966 and was torn down in 1994
1970s – The Alpine Way ride and Shopsy’s deli on The Midway. The ride was built in 1966 and was torn down in 1994 (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 94, Item 63)
2022 -  The Sky Ride at the Canadian National Exhibition before visitors arrive
2022 – The Sky Ride at the Canadian National Exhibition before visitors arrive
2022 – Sky Ride entrance/exit at the CNE before visitors arrive
2022 – Sky Ride entrance/exit at the CNE before visitors arrive
August 1966 – Telegram Fun Cheque Station on the CNE Midway. Fun Checks were clipped out of the Telegram newspaper and could be exchanged to pay for Midway rides
August 1966 – Telegram Fun Cheque Station on the CNE Midway. Fun Checks were clipped out of the Telegram newspaper and could be exchanged to pay for Midway rides (York University Libraries, Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, Toronto Telegram fonds, ASC06903)
August 1966 – Telegram Fun Cheque Station on the CNE Midway. Fun Checks were clipped out of the Telegram newspaper and could be exchanged to pay for Midway rides at the Canadian National Exhibition
August 1966 – Telegram Fun Cheque Station on the CNE Midway. Fun Checks were clipped out of the Telegram newspaper and could be exchanged to pay for Midway rides at the Canadian National Exhibition (York University Libraries, Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, Toronto Telegram fonds, ASC06905)
1967 - Conklin Shows "Conko the Clown" near Alpine Way at The Ex
1967 – Conklin Shows “Conko the Clown” near Alpine Way at The Ex (CNE Archives)
August 20, 2023 – The Berry-Go-Round
August 20, 2023 – The Berry-Go-Round
August 1970 – A Conklin Midway ride at the CNE with the Bayern Kurve ride in the background
August 1970 – A Conklin Midway ride at the CNE with the Bayern Kurve ride in the background (York University Libraries, Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, Toronto Telegram fonds, ASC06896)
August 1970 – The Monster ride on the CNE Midway
August 1970 – The Monster ride on the CNE Midway (York University Libraries, Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, Toronto Telegram fonds, ASC06893)
August 1970 – Bayern Kurve ride on the CNE Midway with cars labelled Austria, USA and Italia
August 1970 – Bayern Kurve ride on the CNE Midway with cars labelled Austria, USA and Italia (York University Libraries, Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, Toronto Telegram fonds, ASC06894)
2022 - Alpine Bobs ride at The Ex
2022 – Alpine Bobs ride at The Ex
1970s - Enjoying the CHUM Wild Cat ride. It was a German-variety coaster with 4-passenger cars that travelled alone on the 560 m track. It took over 30 employees who accompanied the ride from fair to fair, about a week to assemble the 2,000 pieces Wild Cat
1970s – Enjoying the CHUM Wild Cat ride. It was a German-variety coaster with 4-passenger cars that travelled alone on the 560 m track. It took over 30 employees who accompanied the ride from fair to fair, about a week to assemble the 2,000 pieces Wild Cat (CNE Archives)
1970's - The high-speed CHUM Wild Cat on The Midway. The ride, which made its debut at the 1967 CNE, had whiplash turns and a 4½-storey drop
1970’s – The high-speed CHUM Wild Cat on The Midway. The ride, which made its debut at the 1967 CNE, had whiplash turns and a 4½-storey drop (CNE Archives)
1972 - A view of the Sky Diver and the CNE Midway from Shell Oil Tower. The Sky Diver had small caged cars that rotated horizontally around a giant Ferris-like wheel that spun fast and vertically. It was a classic scary ride
1972 – A view of the Sky Diver and the CNE Midway from Shell Oil Tower. The Sky Diver had small caged cars that rotated horizontally around a giant Ferris-like wheel that spun fast and vertically. It was a classic scary ride (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 94, Item 24)
1972 - A view from the Shell Oil Tower observation platform
1972 – A view from the Shell Oil Tower observation platform (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 94, Item 16)
1970s – The midway ride at the Canadian National Exhibition
1970s – The midway ride at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE Heritage)
1970's - The YoYo ride at the CNE
1970’s – The YoYo ride at the CNE (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 94, Item 102)
2022 – Swing Tower ride with BMO Field in the background during The Ex
2022 – Swing Tower ride with BMO Field in the background during The Ex
1970s – Thrill-seeking passengers in one of The Zipper's cages at the Canadian National Exhibition
1970s – Thrill-seeking passengers in one of The Zipper’s cages at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE Archives)
2022 – The Zipper at The Ex has 12 apostrophe-shaped cages that carry passengers around a moving and rotating narrow “zipper” frame, with each cage freely flipping on an off-centre axis
2022 – The Zipper at The Ex has 12 apostrophe-shaped cages that carry passengers around a moving and rotating narrow “zipper” frame, with each cage freely flipping on an off-centre axis
1972 - The Midway and Alpine Way at the CNE
1972 – The Midway and Alpine Way at the CNE (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 94, Item 69)
1972 - Vertigo and Wild Cat rides at the CNE
1972 – Vertigo and Wild Cat rides at the CNE (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 94, Item 41)
1972 - Overhead view of Exhibition grounds and The Midway
1972 – Overhead view of Exhibition grounds and The Midway (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 94, Item 22)
1972 - Crowds on the CNE Midway next to the Bingo booth with the Ferris Wheel and the Zipper in the background
1972 – Crowds on the CNE Midway next to the Bingo booth with the Ferris Wheel and the Zipper in the background (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 94, Item 58)
2022 – Rock N Roll fun house at the Canadian National Exhibition
2022 – Rock N Roll fun house at the Canadian National Exhibition
August 25, 1974 - View of the ride "Hurricane" in motion with the Alpine Way and the Sky Diver in the background
August 25, 1974 – View of the ride “Hurricane” in motion with the Alpine Way and the Sky Diver in the background (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 94, Item 137)
August 25, 1974 – The Spaceship ride on the CNE Midway
August 25, 1974 – The Spaceship ride on the CNE Midway (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 94, Item 94)
2022 – Star Dancer ride at The Ex
2022 – Star Dancer ride at The Ex
August 25, 1974 – Rides and food stands along the CNE Midway
August 25, 1974 – Rides and food stands along the CNE Midway (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 94, Item 97)
1970s - An aerial view of The Midway. Notice the Coliseum at the top, the Bulova Tower in the centre and the Flyer roller coaster track
1970s – An aerial view of The Midway. Notice the Coliseum at the top, the Bulova Tower in the centre and the Flyer roller coaster track (CNE Archives)
1972 - The Flyer and Exhibition grounds from Shell Oil Tower
1972 – The Flyer and Exhibition grounds from Shell Oil Tower (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 94, Item 27)
1970s – The Flyer at the Canadian National Exhibition. When the ride debuted in 1953, it was said to be the world's fastest roller coaster
1970s – The Flyer at the Canadian National Exhibition. When the ride debuted in 1953, it was said to be the world’s fastest roller coaster (CNE Heritage)
2023 - One of 18 granite benches commemorating historical places and events at the CNE and Exhibition Place, this one featuring the Flyer roller coaster. They were designed by Toronto-based artist Stephen Cruise and installed in 2007
2023 – One of 18 granite benches commemorating historical places and events at the CNE and Exhibition Place, this one featuring the Flyer roller coaster. They were designed by Toronto-based artist Stephen Cruise and installed in 2007
2023 - The original "FLYER" sign on display during The Ex, near the Princess Margaret Fountain on Princes' Blvd
2023 – The original “FLYER” sign on display during The Ex, near the Princess Margaret Fountain on Princes’ Blvd
August 25, 1974 – The Giant Slide ride on the CNE Midway
August 25, 1974 – The Giant Slide ride on the CNE Midway (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 94, Item 133)
1974 - The Tornado Roller Coaster, a midway ride at the Canadian National Exhibition. The Tornado was unveiled at the 1969 Ex. It cost $195,000 and could reach speeds of 45 mph or 72 kph as it went round and round. Notice the Bulova Tower, originally the Shell Oil Tower, in the background
1974 – The Tornado Roller Coaster, a midway ride at the Canadian National Exhibition. The Tornado was unveiled at the 1969 Ex. It cost $195,000 and could reach speeds of 45 mph or 72 kph as it went round and round. Notice the Bulova Tower, originally the Shell Oil Tower, in the background (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 94, Item 82)
August 25, 1974 – Midway ride at the Canadian National Exhibition
August 25, 1974 – Midway ride at the Canadian National Exhibition (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 94, Item 97)
1981 - You wanna go faster?! The musical Polar Express is thrilling and loud. It spins riders backwards around a circular track with peaks and dips
1981 – You wanna go faster?! The musical Polar Express is thrilling and loud. It spins riders backwards around a circular track with peaks and dips (CNE Archives)
2022 – The Polar Express and Ferris Wheel at the Canadian National Exhibition
2022 – The Polar Express and Ferris Wheel at the Canadian National Exhibition
March 5,1984 – A snow covered Flyer at the Canadian National Exhibition
March 5,1984 – A snow covered Flyer at the Canadian National Exhibition (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 102, Item 33)
2022 - The Double Decker Carousel at the Canadian National Exhibition
2022 – The Double Decker Carousel at the Canadian National Exhibition
2022 - The Himalaya ride on The Midway before visitors arrive at The Ex
2022 – The Himalaya ride on The Midway before visitors arrive at The Ex
2022 - The scary Haunted Mansion ride on the CNE Midway before visitors arrive
2022 – The scary Haunted Mansion ride on the CNE Midway before visitors arrive
August 20, 2023 – The X-Drive, Wave Swing and Super Wheel with the Niagara Falls flume ride in the background on the right
August 20, 2023 – The X-Drive, Wave Swing and Super Wheel with the Niagara Falls flume ride in the background on the right
2022 - The ticket booth for the Sky Ride at The Ex with BMO Field in the background
2022 – The ticket booth for the Sky Ride at The Ex with BMO Field in the background
SOURCE
  • The Globe Newspaper Archives: Aug 23, 1902, pg 1
  • The Toronto Daily Star Newspaper Archives: Sep 3, 1907, pg 14
  • The Toronto Daily Star Newspaper Archives: Aug 11, 1911, pg 6
  • The Globe Newspaper Archives: Aug 29, 1912, pg 9
  • The Globe and Mail Newspaper Archives: Jul 8, 1953, pg 15
  • The Globe and Mail Newspaper Archives: Jul 9, 1957, pg 15
  • The Globe and Mail Newspaper Archives: May 13, 1967, pg 13
  • The Globe and Mail Newspaper Archives: Aug 17, 1968, pg 23
  • The Globe and Mail Newspaper Archives: Aug 14, 1969, pg 5
  • The Globe and Mail Newspaper Archives: Aug 15, 1969, pg 5
  • The Globe and Mail Newspaper Archives: Aug 23, 1969, pg 25
  • The Globe and Mail Newspaper Archives: Aug 14, 2004, pg M3
  • CNE Heritage
  • North American Midway Entertainment: Super Wheel
  • Amusement Ride Extravaganza: Thrill Rides: Zipper
  • Showmen’s Museum: History of the Merry Go Round
  • Photos: Denise Marie for TorontoJourney416
  • Vintage Photos: City of Toronto Archives, York University Libraries, CNE Heritage & York University Libraries

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