Toronto Air Show CNE

Toronto Air Show 2012 at the CNE

The Toronto Air Show at the 2012 CNE — or, more properly, the Canadian International Air Show — has drawn its fair share of criticism over the last few years. Some say it's too loud, while others cite safety concerns. And then there's people who get giddy at the prospect of supersonic jets screaming overhead in Toronto. I'd probably fall in the latter category, my only complaint being that the sound of these planes criss-crossing the city always serves as an inexorable reminder that summer is unofficially over.

Here's what you need to know about this year's show.

When: Saturday, September 1st to Monday, September 3rd. 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Where: The VIP viewing area — i.e. the one that you need tickets to get into is nestled on the waterfront between Ontario Place and Marilyn Bell Park. The advantage to paying for tickets is that you'll have guaranteed sight lines and a seat. If you only plan to watch for a bit, I'd recommend heading to pretty much any area along the central-western waterfront, with the stretch between Marilyn Bell Park and Sunnyside providing the best views.

What to expect: Highlights will include the Canadian Forces' Snowbirds, a CF-18 Hornet (loud!), a F-16C Fighting Falcon, a T-33 "Mako Shark" Demonstration, and the Mike Wiskus & the Lucas Oil Air Show (amongst other performers)

Tips: Aside from the fact that you should know that you don't really need to pay any money to enjoy the air show, the big key for those looking to spend the day watching this display of militarism is that you need to save your spot along the waterfront early if you hope to get the best view of the action. I'd also bring a chair. I hate sitting anywhere without a back rest for too long.

Photo by David G. Tran


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