The “Greenest Fair in North America”

The Ex’s midway. Source:

The Toronto CNE is on! While the midway and games have always provided entertainment and fun, the CNE also signifies that there are only two more weeks until school is back in session – bittersweet for all students. As I was planning my trip to what we affectionately call “the Ex”, and looking online for ticket prices, I noticed one section titled: CNE Green Initiatives.

I personally had never thought about the impact that fairs and amusement parks have on the environment, but it must be enormous! Waste from some quick, greasy deep-fried butter, electricity galore to all the flashing lights on the rides and games, and continuous water for all the vendors and washrooms.

So what types of efforts did the CNE go through to achieve the title of “Greenest Fair in North America” from EcoLogo? Here’s a sampling:

  • Signed on with Local Food Plus  to connect the CNE with local and sustainable food suppliers
  • Purchased renewable energy certificiates (RECs)
  • Ensured all plates, cups, etc. used by vendors are biodegradable
  • Installed solar panels and a wind turbine on property
  • Recycled over 70% of waste produced on the fair grounds
  • Organized a CNE Green Day to exhibit and educate sustainability and environmental responsibility

The list goes on, and proves that even large scale events can be environmentally responsible. Congratulations to everyone who has been involved in this initiative and I know I can be proud when I go to the Ex!

Lauren Wingham-Smith is a Municipal Peer Review Team Project Assistant with Hardy Stevenson and Associates Limited, acting on behalf of the Municipality of Port Hope. She holds a Bachelor of Engineering, specializing in Materials Science and Engineering with a minor in Economics. This multidisciplinary background allows Lauren to view both the environmental and human effects of engineering projects. She is also passionate about green innovation and design.


About Hardy Stevenson and Associates Limited

Hardy Stevenson and Associates Limited (HSAL) is a multidisciplinary strategic planning and public affairs consultancy, focused on environmental and land use planning, stakeholder relations (including communications, facilitation, public consultation and engagement), socio-economic impact assessment, communications, engineering and related services. We have the expertise to predict and decipher technical and public policy issues, and significant experience mitigating them, building consensus and attaining even the most complex approvals. For more information, visit
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2 Responses to The “Greenest Fair in North America”

  1. Pingback: The “Greenest Fair in North America” « EcoUtopia

  2. Dan Jacobs says:

    Unfortunately, the vendors aren’t sticking to the ‘biodegradable’ requirement. Problematic, since there isn’t a single garbage can to be found on the grounds. As a result, the compost / recycling ends up getting contaminated.

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