The Canadian Lakehead Exhibition was known in 1922 as the “WESTALGOMA AGRICULTURE SOCIETY“. Mr. Walker was engaged as the Secretary / Manager in 1917 and served in that capacity until 1929.

At this point the Society never had a midway at its fair.

The Society looked at a name change for the West Algoma Agriculture Society, it was felt a name distinctive of the Area should be considered. The suggestions put forward to the Board members were as follows:

  • Ontario Lakehead Exhibition
  • Superior Exhibition
  • Great Northern Exhibition
  • Western Ontario Exhibition

Unfortunately these names did not appeal to the members.

It was not until the year 1929, on a motion by J.R. Hutchison that the name of the West Algoma Agriculture Society be changed to “Canadian Lakehead Exhibition”. All agreed to this name and the Federal Government was petitioned, two months later authorization was received in the form of a letter from the Hon. John S. Martin.


On August 20th, 1920 the Globe and Rutgers Fire Insurance Co offered Weather Insurance for the Fair. They paid a proportionate each day if the rainfall amounted to one-fifth of an inch or over between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Local No. 489 American Federation of Musicians did up a contract with the C.L.E. on Aug 31st, 1920 to perform for the fair. They furnished 25 Musicians at a cost of $2.50 per member and one Bandmaster at a cost of $5.00. The band played three hours in the afternoon and three hours in the evening of Sept 16th, 1920.

The Society had the support from both City Councils and the Society was very pleased that both Mayors and Council members attended many board meetings and jumped in to assist where ever possible.

Another popular sport in the 1920’s was “Auto Racing” the sponsor was “TwinCity Driving Association”.

The long remembered race track was built in 1922

At the 1923 Fair, it was decided a midway would be implemented.

Admission Fee in 1923 was 10 cents for Adults – 5 cents for Children.

Also in 1922 Mrs. B.O. Allen suggested the Society sponsor a Baby Clinic, the forerunner of today’s Baby Contest.

The 1925 the midway changed hands to the “Fort William Hockey Club“.

In 1926 it was decided that a Special Day for all School Children would be incorporated into the Fair.


The 1939 the Fair was held Aug 7th to 12th – this fair had Grand Stand attractions such as:

  • Christy’s Performing Elephants
  • Horses
  • Dogs
  • Pat Rafferty, Comedian
  • Happy Kellens, Beautiful Girl Chorus
  • and Light Horse Shows.

Grand Attendance Prizes

New 1939 Ford Car – Leonard Refrigerator – Cabinet of Silverware – Victor Radio – Spode China Service – Chesterfield Suite. Merchants gave Free Attendance Prize Tickets.

Special Admission Rates: Weekly Tickets – Good for 6 admissions $1.00. Which was on sale at Rutledge’s Book Store and McAuliffe’s Drug Store.

To call the C.L.E. office you phoned South 170.


1966 Fair admission price was $1.00 for Adults and 25 cents for children. The Attendance Prize each night for seven nights for 7 Beautiful Fords, one 1966 Mustang will be drawn and 6 1966 Falcons, all from Gibson Motors Memorial Avenue.

Also in 1966 the Police Department and O.P.P. held their Bike Skill Test known as Bicycle Rodeo for young bicyclists.

1967 the C.L.E. hosted the RCMP Musical Ride and Concert Band. Cost to attend this event was Adults $1.00 and Children .50 Cents.

Also in 1967 the yearly Fair was held July 21 – 29 which featured 7,000 Free Displays, 70 Midway Attractions, 7 Free Cars for the Attendance Draw and many Grandstand Shows. On the Saturday the Fair was officially opened by one of the Lakehead’s most attractive young Citizens – Miss Candace Kartinen who was Miss United Appeal for 1967. Opening the Fair was one of her first duties of her new job as Miss United Appeal 1967.

1968 Fair also featured a new 1968 car for the attendance draw each night. This is the 78th Fair the board was so proud of this years fair, President Joseph L. McCormack invited Prime Minister Trudeau to participate in opening ceremonies. The fair had many great attractions such as: Cheetah which can beat a car to 70 mph and Jughead a ostrich.

1968 Fair also saw the Mighty Thomas Shows run the midway.

Did you know that in 1968 Fair goers could leave their cars at the Simpson Sears Allstate Service Station and have their cars filled up with gas for Premium it was 52.9 cents a gal. and for Regular 47.9 cents a gal.

At this point we should mention that all the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition’s were very heavy with cattle displays, horse racing, farm equipment, horse shows, petting zoo’s etc. Many trophies are still on display in the C.L.E. Office 425 Northern Ave for your viewing pleasure.Office staff of 1968 were Jessie Wishart, Ruby Fairbairn , Madeline Anderson, Dorthy Prince, Phyllis Bailey , Vera White and Barbara Rutledge.


As Quoted by one of the C.L.E’s past President Norman Shields – 1972 – 1973

The C.L.E. is a non-profit corporation owned by its members.

The members are people from the community who pay $10.00 a year. However, to be a voting member you have to have been a paid-up member for two years plus the current year.


We are govern by the Agricultural Act, which tells us to have a Board of Directors without a chairman, and a 5 person executive which carries out the policies laid down by the board.

Being a Board Member of the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition is a voluntary position, not a paid position.

The Directors put in many long hours working on bringing you the many long time favorites such as Family Fair, Home & Garden, Project Pizza and much more, also many hours are put into over seeing the day to day operations of the C.L.E.

The only people who get paid are the employees of the C.L.E. which includes two secretaries, one Accountant, one Maintenance Supervisor and three Maintenance Men.