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Taking the Sky Ride over the expanse of the Canadian National Exhibition during media preview of this year's Canadian National Exhibition on August 17 2016. The Exhibition was closed down early on Tuesday, August 30 due to overcrowding and fights breaking out. (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)
Taking the Sky Ride over the expanse of the Canadian National Exhibition during media preview of this year's Canadian National Exhibition on August 17 2016. The Exhibition was closed down early on Tuesday, August 30 due to overcrowding and fights breaking out. (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)

Canadian National Exhibition shuts down early due to fights, overcrowding Add to ...

The Canadian National Exhibition shut down a few hours earlier than planned on Tuesday night due to overcrowding and fighting inside the fairgrounds.

The CNE said on its website that it was experiencing one of its busiest nights due to the popularity of Youth Day, when the price of admission was reduced to $6 per person after 5 p.m.

It said the early closure was a “proactive measure” to curtail overcrowding and ensure the safety of guests.

Police said there was no risk to public safety, but officers on horseback and others were deployed to the lakefront facility to disperse the large crowds.

Const. Craig Brister said there were a number of fights inside the grounds but no injuries were reported and there were no arrests.

The CNE gates close usually at 10 p.m., but rides and other attractions continue to operate until midnight for those already inside.

Virginia Ludy, the general manager of the CNE, told television station CP24 the trouble began with some “large groups of youths” on the midway.

“Their behaviour became a little bit undesirable and started running through the midway and just for public safety reasons, we made the decision in consultation with the Toronto Police Service that we were going to shut the fair down,” Ludy said.

“The issue is the behaviour of a few. A few have ruined it for a larger group of folks who were down here tonight just to enjoy the fair.”

The CNE is Canada’s largest fair and has been staged at Toronto’s Exhibition Place for 138 years.

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