Date: 1905

Origin: CNE Archives

The Manufacturers Building, the first CNE building designed by G.W. Gouinlock, was a large, one-storey structure. The roof of the building was supported by structural steel roof trusses spanning 108 feet. At that time in Toronto only the Armouries had a wider span.

The Manufacturers Building was constructed to take the place of the Crystal Palace as the “Main Building” on the grounds. While lacking the delicate design of the Crystal Palace, the new Manufacturers’ Building symbolized the sturdy, brick and steel face of growing industrial Canada.

Records show that the Manufacturers Building was not nearly complete for the 1902 exhibition: And the Manufacturers’ Building! That monument to somebody’s incapacity stands with its half-built walls taking up an immense space and giving promise of the grandeur and permanence of the Fair. Work on it has abandoned.
(The Telegram, August 29, 1902)

Once completed, the building featured Canadian and foreign manufacturers who designed opulent booths to display their products. Innumerable manufactured goods, from fine silverware to Crown Corn Syrup, were elegantly presented. Often, the exhibitors did not try to sell directly to the public, preferring instead to foster name recognition and general admiration for their products.