CNE Vendors Were A Lot More Plastic-Friendly This Year


In the City of Toronto, each and every summer ends off with a wonderful display of food, music, rides, games and shopping at the CNE. Short for Canadian National Exhibition and often referred to as “The Ex”, the CNE is located in downtown Toronto. It’s practically a summertime must-do as the 18-day event is part of an incredibly fun tradition for people of all ages. This year, The Ex ran from August 16th to September 2nd.

For most people, going to the CNE is an excursion that requires cash.

They assume that, since there are so many different things to spend money on, it’s wise to have cash handy. It’s also wise because so few vendors accept credit cards and debit cards. At least, this is the impression you might have if you pay a visit to the The Ex’s website before attending.

“Since a number of our vendors only accept cash, Interac banking machines are located throughout the grounds,” reads the banking section of the site. And while cash-only vendors were still found all over the CNE grounds this year, there was a noticeable difference in how many there were.

Credit and debit was widely accepted at The Ex this year.

“I paid with my credit card all day,” commented one of our colleagues after attending in August, “I was surprised how many vendors accepted it. I actually took cash out before I went, but I ended up getting all my drinks and food from vendors who took credit. It made the whole experience so much more convenient.”

Our colleague admits that he spent the majority of his time eating and drinking in a section of the CNE that played host to food trucks and alcoholic drink booths. He noted that they all accepted credit and debit, but couldn’t comment on the many other vendors throughout the CNE. “My guess is that there were several other places that took cards,” he told us, “It only makes sense. I saw other people paying with cards too. It’s just so much easier and safer.”

What makes credit and debit use “safer”?

The “safe” part about being able to use credit and debit cards to pay for purchases is that it eliminates the risk of losing cash or even having it stolen. Credit cards and debit cards can be replaced if they ever go missing. Unless you’re really lucky, lost cash is generally gone forever. Hopefully, in future, vendors all over the CNE will accept credit and debit. For now, that isn’t the case.

“Debit and credit machines are not mandatory for CNE vendors,” reveals The Ex’s Frequently Asked Questions section, “They use them at their own discretion and many vendors accept cash only. There are ATMs available throughout the grounds and in most buildings.” The Ex, however, is up to date enough to accept credit and debit for all of their ticket sales.

“Visa, MasterCard, Debit, Visa Debit, and cash are accepted forms of payment when purchasing tickets at the gate,” the FAQ section reports, “All charges will be made in Canadian funds…Visa, MasterCard, Debit and Visa Debit are all accepted forms of payment when purchasing tickets online.”

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