Canadian International Air Show

Canada's largest air show is a
CNE Labour Day tradition



canadian international air show Signifying the end of the CNE the Canadian International Air Show has been an annual tradition in Toronto for over 60 years. Dazzling the huge crowds with magnificent aeronautic and acrobatic displays it is the largest and longest running display of aviation in Canada and one of the largest air shows of any kind in all of North America.

Taking place over 3 days on the Canadian Labour Day weekend from 12:30 PM – 4:00 PM visitors to the Canadian National Exhibition are treated with front row seats as some of the most highly skilled pilots on the planet perform precision maneuvers and acrobatic stunts.

With no on ground displays the Canadian International Air Show is a complete spectator event and over the years has featured numerous teams and aircraft from around the world with many using this prestigious event to make their first air show appearances including:
  • The Concorde
  • V22 Osprey
  • F-22 Raptor
  • B1 & B2 Stealth Bombers
  • B-17 Flying Super Fortress
  • Harrier
  • B-52 Strato Fortress
  • Canadian Forces Snowbirds
  • RCAF Golden Hawks
  • USAF Thunderbirds
  • RAF Red Arrows
  • USN Blue Angels


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Location of the Canadian International Air Show



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Getting to the Canadian International Air Show:

For those wishing the best viewing spots possible follow my directions to the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) by visiting my Canadian National Exhibition page for more information.


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canadian international airshow The City of Toronto has long been associated with the aircraft manufacturing industry and throughout the early years of the 20th century staged numerous air shows.

In 1946 de Havilland, one of its largest manufacturers, in association with the National Aeronautical Association of Canada put on a public air show display at its airfield in Downsview (a northern suburb of the city). This proved to be so successful that the Canadian International Air Show (CIAS) was born. The CIAS moved to the airspace above Exhibition Place in 1949 and in 1956 became an annual event.

Aircraft utilize the facilities at Pearson International Airport and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (more commonly known as Toronto Island Airport) and perform in the skies over Lake Ontario. While best viewed from the grounds of Exhibition Place portions of the air show can be viewed from pretty well anywhere in downtown Toronto. Visitors that wish to view the aerial displays but not pay admission into The Ex can also see the show at most spots along the Toronto Lake Ontario waterfront particularly:
  • Coronation Park
  • Marilyn Bell Park
Each year the Canadian International Air Show has different features but a few teams and aircraft have become staples of the show including:
  • Canadian Forces Snowbirds
  • United States Air Force (USAF)
  • Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association
  • United States Navy (USN)
  • Vintage Wings of Canada
  • Royal Canadian Air Cadets

It is best to visit the CIAS's official site to see the event schedule and lineup at www.cias.org

If you are in the Toronto area at the time of the running of the Canadian International Air Show I highly recommend that you take a trip down to the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) to watch the show. Admission is free for the show but you will have to pay to get into the CNE. If you visit my CNE page you will see that you really shouldn't miss a trip down to "The Ex" if you are in Toronto while it is running as it is one of the highlights of Toronto's summer entertainment calendar and the Air Show is in fact one of the highlights of the CNE in itself.

Many people from across North America make their way up to Toronto to visit the CNE and in particular view the Air Show. Please note that the Labour Day weekend is the busiest time for The Ex and the crowds will be huge and the traffic a nightmare. You are highly advised to take public transport if possible even if you have driven your vehicle from out of town. Park at a Go Station in the suburbs or utilize the TTC and/or Go Transit if staying in a downtown hotel. Visit my Canadian National Exhibition page for the various transport options and you can save yourself some headaches.

While you may not have interest in attending an air show in itself most people who view it come away thoroughly entertained (especially children), as the sight of advanced and vintage aircraft performing daredevil aerial acrobatics and precision maneuvers is definitely thrilling.

Check out this video from the 2012 cias:



For more information visit:

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