Is the Toronto air show even worth it anymore? Many people say no
What’s loud, brings people to the city from all over the country, annoys the locals, has military overtones, rattles windows and is increasingly unwelcome in Toronto? No, not the G20—it’s the annual air show over the CNE grounds. Since it started over 60 years ago, the awesomeness of this annual aviation event has warn off for a few wet blankets who apparently prefer not to have war-grade equipment fly in low circles over their densely populated city. Their complaints were reported in the papers this weekend.
From the Toronto Star:
About 10 people huddled for a picnic beneath a rain-soaked tarp in Trinity Bellwoods Park on Monday to protest what they call an antiquated event that pollutes the environment, disturbs residents and promotes symbols of militarism.
“So often the argument people use for keeping the air show alive is: ‘It’s tradition.’ We think it’s an outdated tradition,” said [west-end resident Farzana] Doctor. “We hate that there are these war planes flying over Toronto neighbourhoods.”
These protesters seem to be in the minority, even if the Star‘s Joe Fiorito backs them up with a column calling for the air show to be replaced with an electric car race. (Something that would be both cool and silent.) As Fiorito notes, the weather did some work for the protesters, shutting down the air show on Saturday with high winds. We can only wonder how fearsome the military hardware on display is if a gust of fall wind is all it takes to keep it on the ground.
Meanwhile, even people who are fond enough of airshows to have shared pictures of them on the Internet are calling the 2010 iteration underwhelming. Flickr user Noisejammer was so bored by the planes he took a time-lapse video of the weather instead. That’s probably the biggest threat the air show faces: not weather, protesters or crotchety columnists, but a growing sense of boredom. How many times can we watch the Snowbirds fly in a perfect diamond?
• Protesters want ‘outdated’ air show grounded [Toronto Star]
• Fiorito: It’s time we killed the air show [Toronto Star]
• Toronto air show takes off [CBC News]
• CNE air show cancelled Saturday, but the draw still continues [Toronto Star]
• Air show cancelled because of weather [CBC News]
• NoiseJammer’s photostream [Flickr]
11 thoughts on “Is the Toronto air show even worth it anymore? Many people say no”
These pilots have great skills, why not use them for ceremonial purposes instead? Hearing the noise repeatedly through the course of the week-end for the purpose of entertainment (after summer long construction) was just plain annoying.
Hey, John McGrath…the airshow did not happen on Saturday because the rescue boats could not effectively operate on such high waves and wind-swept conditions…wait a minute – the wind kept the military wings from the sky and the rescue boats from The Lake?
Seems like we need a rescue plan for the rescue boats.
Get some appropiate vessels to work in Lake Ontario so that they can perform well under the conditions dictated by the situation in the waters.
We do that in the oceans.
Central Canada is full of water part-timers. Get some experts to work the waters, not people who cannot work in ‘gusty’ conditions.
Edit this out, TOLife:
Get a job inland, ya pansy’s
I cannot say strongly enough how I loathe and abhor the Air Show.
To be honest, it’s not because of the militaristic aspect of it; nor even the waste of funds, or the question of whether or not it’s an appropriate thing to do in Canada in 2010.
Simply put, I live close to the Lakeshore, and I find it emotionally, physically, psychically damaging to have someone breaking the sound barrier over my head repeatedly for hours.
Now, I’m a healthy specimen all in all (spit three times!), but I can imagine how distressing ‘The show’ must to someone who is ill, distressed, sensitive to extreme sound for any number of reasons or – as in my case – just wants to spend the last holiday weekend of the summer quietly reading in my garden.
Circumstances kept me in Toronto this time around, but had it been otherwise I was planning to leave town just so I could not have to be subjected to this assault on my senses yet again. I cannot adequately express the relief I experienced to escape it.
I dont even read these articles anymore. Its makes me extremely happy to know that there are pathetic, whiny, hippy, babies crying for at least 1 weekend every year…The Air Show isnt going anywhere. Cooooombaya until next year!
Unfortunately the negative squeaky wheels are getting most of the medias attention. There are not enough people voicing their opinions on KEEPING the air show. My family LOVES the airshow and, tradition or not, wholeheartedly supports the continuation of this show. And yes, I live near Trinity Bellwoods Park and have to hear the show all weekend, but it’s a welcome special event.
Sorry John that there wasn’t enough action for you, sorry they didn’t blow up something and didn’t have fire bolls. Sorry you couldn’t change the channel when you get bored from the show but this is what is called REALITY. Snowbird are excellent pilots and they did excellent job. It’s a great tradition and even though the weather was bad, still, there were lots of people supporting the show.
The only thing I hear when I read articles like this, is how Toronto is just a city where all the whiny, hippies gather and live. If you want peace and quiet go live in the mountains and be a REAL hippy with the rest of your whiny friends.
I hate the airshow so much. I actually start sputtering with rage when I consider that this is something that is deemed acceptable. Never mind the air pollution, the noise pollution, the cost, the fact that it needlessly terrifies young children and animals and the unacceptable risk to human lives…it’s so embarassingly WANKY. I’m totally ashamed to live in a city where this display of military machismo is considered an attraction.
I’m sort of caught in the middle and I bet that others are too. I enjoy watching the airshow. I also need to work on the practice day(s) and often on the weekend. Running out to the yard every five minutes to try to catch a glimpse of whatever is making all that noise is tiring and makes it hard to accomplish anything else. I don’t mind a couple special runs over the city to remind everyone that they should come down to the lakeshore but I’d be in favour of CIAS being replanned so that 95% of the routes flown occur over the lakeshore, island or lake.
Of all the years of the Toronto air show this was the worst. As a member of the Canadian department of national defense I was embarrassed. If your going to continue having these events spend some money and have aircraft’s closer to this century. The 2013 air show was a bust.
Yup, the air show is a mere shadow of itself. So sad. No B1, no Vulcan, No F15, etc. All the coolest hardware gone. Seems like with most everything else these days, the tail is wagging the dog. The silent middle class are too tired, I suppose, of endlessly fighting the never-ending fanatical fringe..
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