Here are the best ways to beat Toronto traffic and crowds at the CNE in 2022

After a two-year hiatus, the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) is about to make its long-awaited return.

The 2022 CNE is scheduled to run from Aug. 19 to Sept. 5, 2022, marking the first instance of the annual summer celebration since it last lit up the Exhibition Grounds in 2019.

And after so long without that iconic end-of-summer tradition, it’s safe to assume that years of pent-up demand will translate to throngs of crowds and traffic headaches.

For those lucky enough to live within walking distance of the Ex Grounds, making the trip on foot is always going to be your best option and will allow you to spend that much more of your hard-earned money on calorie-laden treats and entertainment.

The rest of CNE visitors, especially those travelling from outside the city centre, may be tempted to bring their car and duke it out for a parking space near the Ex grounds, but Metrolinx is reminding the public of easier alternatives via direct transit routes serving the CNE.

Metrolinx touts GO Transit as the best way to get to the Ex grounds, with GO trains serving Exhibition Station providing a direct route in and out. But most have that figured out by now, and Metrolinx admits that “GO Trains and buses will be busier than usual, as will stations, parking lots and ticket counters.”

Riders attending the CNE can purchase a $10 One-Day or $15 Weekend Pass, which will usually cost less than the surrounding parking lots for small groups.

Beating gridlock isn’t the only perk of taking public transit, as Presto cardholders will benefit from up to 36 per cent off admission to the Ex and up to 46 per cent off pay-one-price admission and ride tickets by entering their Presto card number by Aug. 18.

Without the Presto discount, tickets are $15 (plus a $1.99 service fee) for general admission to the grounds, shows and exhibits on any one day of the CNE.

If you want to scoop up a ticket early, advance admission passes are up for grabs at $20, while advance ride passes are on sale for $41.59.

Even those who insist on driving to The Ex can get a taste of the GO Transit experience, as Metrolinx will be hosting a display with a fully-wrapped GO Bus for visitors to tour, and other fun offerings.

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