Is the Toronto air show even worth it anymore? Many people say no

Is the Toronto air show even worth it anymore? Many people say no

(Image: Wanda Gould)

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 We think it’s an outdated tradition,” said [west-end resident Farzana] Doctor.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• Protesters want ‘outdated’ air show grounded [Toronto Star]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]