MP-0000.158.39 | The Midway, Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto, ON, about 1925

Photograph, glass lantern slide
The Midway, Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto, ON, about 1925
About 1925, 20th century
Silver salts and transparent ink on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
8 x 10 cm
Gift of Mr. Stanley G. Triggs
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  annual (2) , Canadian National Exhibition (1) , Cityscape (3948) , cityscape (422) , crowd (32) , event (101) , exhibition (2) , exhibition grounds (1) , fair (2) , figure (1849) , group (644) , history (162) , midway (1) , Photograph (77678) , view (1387) , view (243)
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"Toronto Exhibition: Toronto is the scene every fall of the Canadian National Exhibition -- the biggest thing of its kind in the world. Representative displays of every kind of Canadian product are brought together here, while in addition there are always numerous attractions in the main enclosure, to say nothing of the "Midway" with its countless side shows. The attendance at this Exhibition during the two weeks of its being open runs up to the two million mark."

Excerpt from "ACROSS CANADA BY C. P. R.", Section 3--The Province of Ontario; booklet, McGill University Illustrated Lectures, 1928.

Keys to History

At the end of the 19th century, attending an industrial exhibition represented one of the best ways for people to enjoy an outing while learning about the latest technological advances. Conceived to introduce the public to the products of the Industrial Revolution, to praise the merits of Canadian industrial and agriculture products and to instruct people in a pleasant way, such exhibitions were very popular during this period.

They were usually held annually in rural communities and big cities. People flocked to them to learn about the most recent scientific and technological inventions, and to get a chance to try out items such as the telephone that they didn't personally own. In fact, despite their great utility and appeal, the telephone and home appliances long remained out of reach for all but the wealthiest families.

  • What

    This photograph shows a long line of booths exhibiting a multitude of products such as furniture, tools, beauty products, clothes, toys and food.

  • Where

    To this day, the Canadian National Exhibition is held annually in Toronto. After 1904, it became Canada's most important commercial exhibition.

  • When

    The Great Exhibition of 1851 in London was the first international exhibition of manufactured products. Of the many exhibitions that followed it, few attained its splendour.

  • Who

    Industrial exhibitions were designed to appeal to everyone: city and country folk, rich and poor, young and old, women and men.