I met a nice gent in Waterloo once who hearkened back to when his family used to pack into the car to go to The Ex for the archery competitions. "EX-cuse me??"
Ahem. From The Montreal Gazette, August 23, 1940:
The biggest event in Archery circles this week is the annual tournament at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto. This is really the big archery tournament of the year, and always finds the best bowmen of Canada and a very fair representation from the United States competing. The Canadian National Exhibition is too well known to need any boost from us but if you are planning a trip to the Exhibition, we would strongly recommend that you try to see at least part of the archery tournament. The tournament opens on Monday and continues for five days. If you happen to be an archer, we would strongly recommend you take your bow along and try your luck on the targets at the Exhibition."
Right. "Going to the CNE: Why not just tote my bow along?" Fancy waiting in line for the Crazy Mouse with a hefty backpack? How 'bout squeezing it onto the streetcar after?
It tickles me to think of a time when the Ex was really an exhibition of all sorts of cool stuff people do. Blue ribbons for best cherry pie and Ladies' Recurve. And these tourneys were really a real thing from 1931 to 1952. There was even an archery range near the Dufferin Gate. After that it got too big and they moved the competitions to other locations. Archers still came to strut their stuff at the CNE on Sports Day and at an event called "You Try It", sponsored by the Canadian government to encourage people to take up a sport. In the 80s, they brought back the competitions for a few years. (If ya know Gary Gillies, he was the guy you sent your $15 to for registration!) Maybe we should rally for Take 3!