The CNE of the 1970s was a technicolor super dream of deep-fried food, neon lights, and eye-popping paint. For 18 days every year, the Tornado rollercoaster hurtled around its metal track, the Sky Diver ferris wheel tipped screaming riders through endless, nauseating barrel rolls, and the erratic Wild Mouse dispensed whiplash injuries.
Elsewhere, the popular menagerie included everything from bright orange Honey Dew Orange Drink to bingo and underwater diving displays. Some of the attractions live on, others have (sadly) disappeared as the fair has evolved.
Behold, the psychedelic CNE of the 1970s.
Aerial view of the CNE grounds, the Princes' Gates, and the city skyline minus the CN Tower. August 20, 1972.
Partial view of the Wild Mouse rollercoaster and the streetcar line entering the CNE grounds.
CNE grounds and midway, Aug. 20, 1972.
Aerial view including a streetcar loop packed with PCC streetcars.
Aerial view of the Sky Diver Ferris wheel from the Shell Tower observation deck, Aug. 20, 1972.
Exhibition Stadium from the Shell Tower, Aug 20, 1972.
The observation deck of the Shell Tower in 1972.
View of roller coaster from Shell tower. August 20, 1972.
Tornado roller coaster.
Riders take the plunge on the Tornado in 1974.
The Tornado prepares to claim four more victims.
Ferris wheel with bingo and casino buildings, August 20, 1972.
Blue sky, bright clothes, and a view of the cable car.
Press Building, formerly the Administrative Building.
"Honey Dew Orange Drink!!" concession stand. Check out those pink flares.
Crowds in front of a deli, Sept. 4, 1978.
The display tank of the Underwater Club of Canada ("Quality Skin and Scuba Diving Instruction") on Aug. 25, 1974.
A new two-level GO car, a PCC streetcar, and a vintage TTC bus on September 4, 1978.
Warren Riddell and his son in front of the CNE fire hall, Aug. 31, 1979.
The steel-and-glass Shell Oil Tower in the 1960s. The observation deck, a CNE landmark, opened in 1955 with a giant analogue clock face. It was later upgraded to digital before being demolished in 1985.
Carillon Tower branded as the Carlsberg Carillon some time after 1974. It was presented to the CNE by Carling-O'Keefe Breweries that year.
Rides at the CNE from the Ontario Place Parking lot. July 7, 1973. Note the digital display atop the Shell Tower.
CNE rides from a parking lot. Half-finished CN Tower rising in the background. Aug. 25, 1974.
Rides in action as viewed from the CNE parking lot. Aug. 25, 1974.