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Exhibition Place

I see that the Indy car races are back for 2024. I have mixed opinions about this. One, I haven”t been in years, and two, although I appreciated the ease of getting there (GO), I never thought it was that great a race or a race facility. And then three, the Toronto summer calendar is getting so jam packed, add in the mega and more minor construction projects, and this is an event that could be seemingly be moved.

What we need is a purpose built track(s) for a variety of races F1, Indy Car, Stock, Sports etc And it should incorporate and encourage organized and safe amateur racing - helping to divert drivers from exhibiting their skills on the 400 series highways.

And where? The existing tracks are too far away (Mosport and Shannonville for instance) Once it could have been Downsview and that would have been very cool, there was once a proposal for a track at the corners of Hwy’s 5 & 6 (Freeman's Corners) and it that is long dead. Since we seem to be in the business of repurposing malls these days….Vaughn Mills?
Auto racing/motorsport is in the category of things like boxing and the CFL, that aren't necessarily dying, but are unlikely to regain the level of popularity they had decades ago in their heyday. Spending a huge amount of money on a purpose-built racing facility would be a white elephant in the same way as building an elaborate multi-billion dollar stadium just for the CFL. Mosport (now "Canadian Tire Motorsport Park") is owned by a multi-billionaire, Carlo Fidani, yet he won't spent the huge amount of money it would take to turn the place into a modern F1 track because it would be a foolish move. Promoting big event pro racing is largely a break-even at best prospect today, more likely a big money-loser. There actually are some new tacks getting built, but these are all "country-club" type of places like Oro Station that won't have any professional racing events with spectators.

Downsview Airfield, Billy Bishop City Airport, and mall parking lots may be physically possible locations for a temporary track, but I doubt the owners of those properties would have any interest in allowing it to happen. The current promoters (Green Savoree Toronto) may not be able to afford the cost of renting those places and setting up all the required facilities and repaving. And almost everyone in the GTA has been to Exhibition Place or at least knows where it's located, so moving the event from the site where it's been since it started in 1986 would likely risk losing the sponsors and casual attendees that have kept it going.

Edit (14 Dec 2023): Honda is suggesting they could end their involvement with IndyCar racing after 2026. That could end the Toronto race if there was no other corporate title sponsor to take their place.
I love the Vaughan Mills reference! No need to change a thing......just take the doors off each end and it can be an indoor/outdoor course!
The track used by Formula E (electric racing cars) in London (UK) is indoor/outdoor. I suppose it could be done here through the Enercare Centre at Exhibition Place, using those big garage door type of things on the west side of the building.
 
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...the suggestion that ... the better living center food building ... should be torn down is honestly laughable. the loss of any of those buildings equate to a total loss of the CNE as we know it ...
I also wouldn't be so quick as to throw the Better Living Centre away. Designed by Marani Morris and Allan in 1962, it won the Massey Medal for Architecture in 1964, and is one of the CNE's finest Modernist buildings...
PnkFlydExhbt.JPG

I suppose the entrances are somewhat distinctive. But the inside of the Better Living Centre, Queen Elizabeth Building, and Food Building seem quite warehouse-like to me. It's not like there's a shortage of exhibit space with the Enercare/trade centre and Beanfield Centre/Avtomotive Bvilding there.
Avtomotive_Bvilding.JPG

I don't see how they would be hugely missed if one or two of them were rebuilt into something else that would be used year-round, like a 7000-seat theatre. And I would assume there would be something serving an equivalent function to the Food Building during the CNE, even if the present structure was rebuilt.
 
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The present one (1140 seats according to their website) is against the exhibit building, but I would think could probably stay intact if and when the larger structure was rebuilt.
Don't forget that LiveNation is (presumably) upgrading the Amphitheatre to a year round venue, with 20k outdoor capacity and 9k indoor. Any venue of comparable size at the Exhibition Place would be competing with that.
 
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Don't forget that LiveNation is (presumably) upgrading the Amphitheatre to a year round venue, with 20k outdoor capacity and 9k indoor. Any venue of comparable size at the Exhibition Place would be competing with that.
As I've mentioned in other threads, I have doubts about the two presently proposed entertainment venues. The Live Nation plan for Ontario Place seems like an overly complicated plan to end up having a venue with a suboptimal indoor layout in a suboptimal location for crowds of thousands to walk from the Exhibition GO/TTC station on a winter night through freezing rain. Perhaps even more than the indoor water park/spa, the Exhibition side of the road would seem to be a better location for them to put a purpose-built large indoor theatre for year-round use (once the under-funded OverActive Media proposal is officially declared to be not happening), while probably keeping the present Budweiser Stage going as it is now, for outdoor summer shows.
 
As I've mentioned in other threads, I have doubts about the two presently proposed entertainment venues. The Live Nation plan for Ontario Place seems like an overly complicated plan to end up having a venue with a suboptimal indoor layout in a suboptimal location for crowds of thousands to walk from the Exhibition GO/TTC station on a winter night through freezing rain. Perhaps even more than the indoor water park/spa, the Exhibition side of the road would seem to be a better location for them to put a purpose-built large indoor theatre for year-round use (once the under-funded OverActive Media proposal is officially declared to be not happening), while probably keeping the present Budweiser Stage going as it is now, for outdoor summer shows.
The reason is that LiveNation has lease for the Budweiser Stage facility/land, not the municipal land at Exhibition Place. Their lease extends until 2025. It seems like a no brainer that LiveNation would want to extend the lease, as the facility is surely profitable for them, hence why they were part of the RFP in 2019.
To have two facilities will increase their costs (leasing two properties instead of one) versus colocation at the current facility. So the reasons why they want to stay should be fairly obvious.
 
As an update to the Dufferin Gate lights being on every night, Exhibition Place's Instagram announced that the lights will be on every night permanently going forward. And might I add it brings a smile to my face every time I see it. I don't know why they went so many years not doing this but I'm thankful that whoever is in charge now made the change.
 

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