The EX

Toronto Travel Blog

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the big, steep ferris wheel
Every year Toronto's largest exhibition centre opens it doors to a huge variety of different shows, but recently I found out about the pinnacle of the Toronto calendar, the show of shows, an event known simply as...

THE EX

After missing two trains, the first being a sliding-doors moment* and the second was down to the infinite wisdom of the Go transit timetable scheduler (who in some whimsical moment decided to make the next train NOT stop at the station I needed) I finally arrived at the Ex to find R impatiently waiting. Incidentally, I have a conspiracy theory that the train timetable scheduler, the town traffic light timing planner and a number of amateur trouble makers meet up every Thursday night over a cheeky white wine spritzer or two and decide how to keep the art form of testing our patience alive.
the result of balancing stones on top of other stones.


The Ex is like a huge collection of different mini-exhibitions that have put into a blender*, whizzed up and poured out to fill every available lot at Exhibition place. For example there is a food hall, right next to a huge fair ground, next to a huge arts & crafts hall, then there's halls full of clothes for sale, and electronics and hot tubs and kitchen utensils and garden equipment and before you know it you've spent $100, had way too much candy floss, purchased a potatoe peeler and you're just recovering from the briefest of trips on the Ferris wheel (they totally take you for a ride. It was $12 for the two of us to go around twice - plus we had to share our gondola with a very dubious group of pot smoking train timetable schedulers) when you notice a guy whose job it is to balance stones on top of other stones.
sand sculptures!
Quite incredible and at impossible  looking angles, this guy manages to entertain crowds of onlookers with his relentless stone stacking abilities. These were literally shadowed only by the even more unbelievable and yet still sedimentary based entertainment of sand sculpture making just next door.

We staggered eventually off towards the exit, pausing only to witness the amazing feats of telepathy presented by a chap called Antony Intin (a University of Toronto Major in Botany no less), who for 5 bucks will attempt to determine your age or weight. If he's correct (to within 2 years or a few pounds) then you loose your money. If he's not then you get a cuddly toy. He wins around 80% of the time. To prove him wrong we went in search of some pocket sized lead plate, but then realised we were going to miss our train.

* - Gwyneth Paltrow eat your heart out.
* - Remove the frog first.
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the big, steep ferris wheel
the big, steep ferris wheel
the result of balancing stones on …
the result of balancing stones on…
sand sculptures!
sand sculptures!
the food hall. yes there were ribs.
the food hall. yes there were ribs.
one of numerous fair ground game s…
one of numerous fair ground game …
the Ex is big. BIG I tell you.
the Ex is big. BIG I tell you.
The Ex fair ground
The Ex fair ground
The Ex fair ground viewed from the…
The Ex fair ground viewed from th…
Toronto
photo by: yasuyo