Exhibition Place?is a publicly owned?mixed-use district?in?Toronto,?Ontario, Canada, located by the?shoreline?of?Lake Ontario, just west of?downtown. The 197-acre (80?ha) site includes exhibit, trade, and banquet centres, theatre and music buildings, monuments, parkland, sports facilities, and a number of civic, provincial, and national historic sites. The district's facilities are used year-round for exhibitions, trade shows, public and private functions, and sporting events.
From mid-August through?Labour Day?each year, the?Canadian National Exhibition?(CNE), which is now a private company, from which the name Exhibition Place is derived, is held on the grounds. During the CNE, Exhibition Place encompasses 260 acres (1.1?km2), expanding to include nearby parks and parking lots. The CNE uses the buildings for exhibits on agriculture, food, arts and crafts, government and trade displays. For entertainment, the CNE provides a?midway?of rides and games, music concerts at the?Bandshell, featured shows at the?Coliseum, and the?Canadian International Air Show. The fair is one of the largest and most successful of its kind in?North America?and an important part of the culture of Toronto.
The buildings on the site date from the 1700s to recent years. Five buildings on the site (the Fire Hall/Police Station,?Government Building,?Horticulture Building, Music Building and Press Building), were designated a?National Historic Site of Canada?in 1988.?The grounds have seen a mix of protection for heritage buildings along with new development. The site was originally set aside for military purposes and gradually given over to exhibition purposes. One military building remains.
Exhibition Place is a rectangular site located length-wise along the north shoreline of?Lake Ontario?to the west of downtown Toronto. The site is mostly flat ground sloping down gently to the shoreline. It was originally forested land, and was cleared for military use. Sections east of Stanley Barracks and south were filled in the early part of the 20th century. Today, the district is mostly paved, with an area of parkland remaining in its western section. There is a large open paved area in the southern central section, which is used for parking and the temporary amusements of the?Canadian National Exhibition?(CNE). The site has a variety of historic buildings, open spaces and monuments. The eastern entrance to Exhibition Place is marked by the large ceremonial Princes' Gates, named for?Edward, Prince of Wales, and his brother,?Prince George, who visited in 1927. The roads are all named after Canadian provinces and territories except for Princes' Boulevard which is the main street east-west. Several of the roads are used for the annual?Honda Indy Toronto?car race. South of the grounds is?Ontario Place, a theme park built in 1971 on landfill in Lake Ontario, and operated by the government of Ontario.
The site also has a long history of sports facilities on the site, starting with an equestrian track and grandstand. The grandstand eventually was converted for use by music concerts, major league baseball and football teams. The newest sports facility built is the soccer-specific stadium, BMO Field. There is also an arena, the Coliseum, home to professional ice hockey. The site was used for several sports venues of the 2015 Pan American Games.
The site is administered by the Board of Governors of Exhibition Place, appointed by the City of Toronto government. As of 2014, the organization had 133 full-time employees, up to 700 during major events, contributed $11 million annually to the City of Toronto, and attracted 5.3 million visitors annually to the site. The grounds are 192 acres (78 ha) in area.