The Garden City Refugee

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A Visit to the CNE

August 17, 2019

Highlights and a few pictures from my first visit to the CNE, where the entire country is represented, everywhere from Scarborough to Etobicoke and all points in between:

1. Dear Metrolinx: After many months of unexplained delay, thank you for finally making a Presto/ticket machine available at Fairview Mall. Now can you please deliver one that actually works?

2. Spotted on the QEW en route to Burlington was a pickup truck with an “Extremely Deplorable” bumper sticker. Maybe there’s still some hope for us yet.

3. A little deferred maintenance on the roof of the shelter at the Oakville station:

4. Even though I got there well in advance of the 10:00 opening, the ticket windows were open and they were letting people though the gates. This is not the Old Country, chapter 7,451.

5. I was pleasantly surprised that there was no shakedown at the gates. So for those keeping score, it is easier to get into a major national attraction that draws more than a million visitors annually, meet the prime minister and get across an international border than it is to get through “security” at the Meridian Center to watch an IceDogs game.

6. Another pleasant surprise was the presence of water bottle refill stations like this one near the gate opposite the Exhibition GO station. That in addition to being officially allowed to bring your own food in, unlike the case at the Meridian Center.

7. A few scenes along the midway:

8. This guy, doing a live broadcast next to the Tilt-A-Whirl, called it the “Tilt-A-Swirl” instead:

9. Donut tickets? Now I’ve seen everything.

10. I’m not one for rides, but the only one that tempted me was the Skyride that takes you from end to end high above the midway. Unfortunately, you needed five ride tickets for it and they only sold them in increments of four. I’m not playing that game.

11. At the opening ceremonies:

12. Someone was obviously not applying the principles of diversity and inclusion when selecting potatoes:

13. A place for the fire to get out . . .

14. Poo or false . . .

15. Turkey under glass:

16. I can’t imagine how many Torontoians walked past this and wondered what it was all about:

17. Enough already . . .

18. Chicken in a cone. As they say in Texas, El Paso.

19. Spotted in the food building was a guy wearing a “Make the Leafs Great Again” cap.

20. The so-called “EXpress trains” that shuttled visitors from end to end was, in reality, a slow-moving cart with tin seats that must have been salvaged from the wreckage of Winnipeg Stadium.

20a. Despite their deficiencies, the CNE should consider adding more of them.

21. On the return trip, I was watching a family seated across the aisle sharing the same apple. And no, they weren’t using a knife. One would take a bite or two, then pass it on.

22. While boarding the #12 bus at the Burlington GO station, the driver told Falls-bound passengers there would be an express bus coming soon and to wait at a nearby platform. So they did. Except that said express bus wasn’t coming for another hour, as another driver informed him prior to departure. Yet instead of motioning for those people to return to the bus or stopping at the platform to pick them up, he just took off and left them standing there. It was a major blunder from the guy admittedly on his first day on the job and he will deserve every bit of the heat he’ll be getting when those people call customer service to complain. But if he doesn’t make the cut with GO, having experience with rudely leaving passengers at the curb will certainly give him a leg up on any openings with Winnipeg Transit.

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