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2009 Air Shows

Canadian International Air Show at the CNE, Toronto 2009

Location: South of the Canadian National Exhibition grounds on the waterfront west of Ontario Place.
Admission: Included with the CNE admission, but can be viewed for free from the lake front shore line parks, in the "spectator" area, however, only two portable washrooms facilities provided in the free section.
Parking: At the CNE or directly at the lakeshore parks $25.00. While public transport (TTC) is available to the CNE, none exists to the free areas. 1/2 to 1 mile walk from and to public transit each way.
Value: Excellent if watched from the "Free Area", Very Good if included in the CNE admission, as longs as one doesn't have to pay for parking.
The air-box corridor for the air show, is on the waterfront. While it is safe for the spectators, but for viewing or for photographing the air show performers, it is far from ideal unless you have a zoom or telephoto lens in the 400mm and up range!
In the City of Toronto windows rattled, and the tall buildings echoed back the blast of the gun fire salutes from the HMCS Ville de Qu ébec, frigate, and from the jets thundering over the skies during the Labour Day weekend. By far the 2009, The CNE – Canadian International Air Show, (CIAS) was the best air show in Toronto over the past decade, as it celebrated the 60 th Anniversary of the air show held in Toronto, and The 100 Years of Flight in Canada.
Even the weather cooperated this year with the three day event, giving tens of thousands of spectators from Toronto, southern Ontario and many from the USA, a great view of the visiting Blue Angels of the US Navy, the Horsemen, the F-16 Viper East Demo Team, the F-22 Raptor Demo Team, the WWII Spitfire, our own CF-18 with the Centennial Flight Demo and our Snowbirds. Civilian performers included Michael Goulian, one of the performing pilots from the Red Bull series of events, who just returned from winning the Red Bull air race at Budapest, and Mike Wiskus who also participated in the air show. The Air Cadets floated by in a glider while the Search and Rescue demo was performed by a CH-146 Griffon helicopter.
By far the best day was on Saturday, when the Canadian frigate the HMCS Ville de Qu ébec was anchored just south of the flight line just west of the show center. The HMCS Ville de Qu ébec, offered a very unique view of the air show with spectacular view of the City of Toronto as a background, to a lucky few invited quests. I want to thank LT (N) Alain Blondin of the Joint Task Force Atlantic Public Affairs (Maritime Ops) National Defence, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Captain Alexander Cadieux Public Affairs Officer 19 Wing Comox, LT Indira Thackorie, CD Op Connection Public Affairs Officer, Joint Task Force Central, Toronto, and Colleen Swider, Media Relations Manager of the Canadian International Air Show, for this rare opportunity. Furthermore, thank you Sub. LT. (N) Gordon Laco,for sharing your historical insights with me while I was onboard the frigate.
The spectacular flight, celebrating The 100 Years of Flight in Canada with the CF-18 piloted by Capt. Tim ‘Donor’ Woods, and the Hawk One F-86 Sabre and the CT-114 Centennial Tutor in formation started the actual flying part of the air show on all three days. This was immediately followed by precision flying of Capt. Woods in the beautifully painted CF-18, as fast as 650 mph, just under the speed of sound.
The Blue Angels have not been in Toronto for several decades, and it was great to see them back and their awesome performance throughout the weekend. I wish to thank the crew of the Fat Albert, led by Maj. Drew Hess, USMC, and Maj. Brendan Burks, USMC for their outstanding demonstration flight on Friday, and Capt. Tyson Dunkelberger, PAO, USMAC, MC2 Chris Laurent, Public Affairs and once again LT Indira Thackorie, CD Op Connection Public Affairs Officer, Joint Task Force Central, Toronto, and Colleen Swider, Media Relations Manager of the Canadian International Air Show, for this rare opportunity.
The Horsemen flew an exciting routine on all days, after all seeing several WWII P-51 Mustangs flying in tight formation is a rare treat! Too bad that on Sunday they only flew two and not the three Mustangs. It was great to see Supermarine Spitfire MK IX flying by, but it would have been even better to see the Spitfire if it would have flown with the CF-18 Hornet for a Canadian Heritage flight, like the Mustangs did with the F-16 Viper and the F-22 Raptor. As for the F-16 and the F-22, more top side fly-by would be recommended, as spectators are not interested in looking at the belly of an aircraft!
Over all, the CNE – CIAS was much improved from the last couple of years. In fact, it was better than Abbotsford in many ways, which is saying a lot, even though Abbotsford has static displays. For this year the Canadian International Air Show earned a well deserved 8.75 out 10!

Some of the participants were:

  • The Blue Angels
  • The Snowbirds
  • The CF-18 Hornet Century Demo Team
  • F-22 Raptor
  • F-16 Fighting Falcon
  • CF-18 Hornet
  • Supermarine Spitfire
  • The Horsemen upto 3 P-51 Mustangs
  • Hawk One F-86 Sabre
Rating: 8.75 out of 10
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er bombers from Ministry of Natural Resources. I send my Thanks to these pilots!