Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Rally round the Ex!

I feel terrible about the illness at the Ex yesterday. As it happened, I myself was at the Ex yesterday. I had fantastic food there: roasted corn on the cob, an ice cream waffle, a Korean taco, freshly squeezed lemonade, ice coffee.

I saw the stand that was selling Cronut Burgers (the supposed cause of the illness). I noted it because nobody was buying any. I'd hazard a guess that not many people actually buy one, and maybe that's why the cooking area became contaminated.

I feel terrible because this bad publicity will probably reduce attendance this year, and reduce food purchases even more. I have heard lots of comments about how awful the food is at the Ex, which is purely ignorant. In the Food Building you can get fantastic Indian, Caribbean, Greek, Korean, German, Mexican, Thai, etc etc etc - as well as all kinds of meat, veg, fruit, and dessert. It's charming. You can get a giant dill pickle on a stick, or a hot dog wrapped in bacon. Preferably, both.

Just a week ago a bunch of prominent Torontonians were published in the Globe saying that the Ex is a waste of space. They all suggested something for the Exhibition grounds, and all of their plans involved tearing down historic buildings and replacing them with condos, casinos, restaurants, retail, or similar.

The Ex is an historic gem and should be preserved. I know that some of the old Beaux-Arts buildings are designated as heritage buildings, but that assures us of nothing: after all, the old Bay Street Toronto Stock Exchange was designated and yet it was gutted, leaving only the facade hidden in a sea of uncomplementary black glass.

I am very lucky that for many years I lived just a couple of blocks north of the Princes' Gates. I regularly cut through the grounds on my bike, went to the CNE and Royal Winter Fair, attended craft shows and conventions, and even went to the surprisingly good Medieval Times. The grounds are used year round. They're an oasis in an acne outbreak of high-rise condos. We need to respect our history and leave the Ex be.


EdtheTed said...

Right on, long live the EX! It is a bit deflated from its glory days, but still an EXcellent place to spend a day!

Ron said...

The Ex has been dead to me for a long time. I used to live outside the Dufferin Gate for several years. A great buzz and great memories. To me it's become a big sell and little else. The Hockey Hall of Fame, Alpine Way, Coliseum, midway, Ontario Place are all either reduced in quality or extinct.