The Princes’ Gates are located at Exhibition Place (at Strachan Ave and Lake Shore Blvd W) in Toronto. They are one of two main entrances to the grounds and The CNE, the other being the Dufferin Gate.
About the Grand Gates
The iconic gates were opened in 1927 in celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Canadian Confederation at the Canadian National Exhibition. The entrance was initially named “The Diamond Jubilee of Confederation Gates.”
The Beaux-Arts style structure was designed by Toronto architects Chapman & Oxley, while the sculptures were created by Charles McKechnie, all made from cement. The nine Ionic columns that flank the arch represent the then-nine provinces that were part of the Confederation. Earlier in the decade, Alfred Chapman had also been hired to design the nearby Toronto Harbour Commission building.
High atop the gates is the Goddess of Winged Victory, leading Canada into the future. She’s 3.6 m or 12 ft tall and holds a crown overhead in her left hand and a maple leaf in the right. The goddess stands in a ship of state protected by seahorses in waves. The four sculptures around her include:
Two figures, each holding a beehive representing labour
Two figures, each having a cornucopia representing agriculture and fruits of the harvest
A man with his hand on a cogged wheel with chains near his feet and drawings in his lap representing industry and construction
Goddess of Winged Victory Gets Replaced
The Princes’ Gates received heritage status in 1973. The Winged Victory sculpture was severely weathered and, in 1987, was replaced with a polymer resin replica. Until this time, she was holding a lamp in her right hand, which was replaced with a crown. In 1994, the other four sculptures were replaced with poured concrete, the medium they were initially made.