Title and statement of responsibility area
Works Department fonds
General material designation
Other title information
Title statements of responsibility
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Edition statement of responsibility
Class of material specific details area
Statement of scale (cartographic)
Statement of projection (cartographic)
Statement of coordinates (cartographic)
Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
1879-1987, predominant 1950-1985 (Creation)
- Works Department
Physical description area
6 m of textual and photographic records
442 architectural plans/sets
Publisher's series area
Title proper of publisher's series
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Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series
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Archival description area
Name of creator
In 1928, the Canadian National Exhibition Association created a Works Department through the amalgamation of two existing departments: Electrical and Construction. The responsibilities of the Works Department included: the implementation of the capital works program; maintenance of all Exhibition Place equipment, vehicles, buildings and property; and the provision of services to concessionaires, renters, exhibitors and other Exhibition Place Departments.
In fulfilling its obligations, the Works Department performed activities as diverse as: the erection of temporary structures during the CNE; preparation of sets for the Grandstand shows; upgrading, renovating and repairing buildings on the CNE grounds; preparing buildings for occupancy during off-season months; overseeing building security; producing banners, flags, pennants and signs; overseeing the work of contractors; administering the rental of equipment and storage space; providing audio-visual technical support to CNE staff and exhibitors; providing electrical/steam power; producing plans and drawings; and working in cooperation with the City of Toronto and Metropolitan Toronto Parks and Property departments in coordinating the Exhibition Place capital works program.
Carrying out these responsibilities was a permanent and part-time staff of carpenters, painters, labourers, electricians, mechanics, plumbers, decorators, drafts people, cleaners, engineers, locksmiths, storekeepers, security guards, and sound technicians under the direction of foremen and the leadership of the Works Manager.
The Works Department was housed in a building of its own located on the CNE grounds and containing workshops for the various trades and offices for its management staff. This building, originally located just north of the Horse Palace and Food Building, was demolished in 1961, due to the construction of the Gardiner Expressway. In the same year, the Works Department relocated to a building at the north east end of Exhibition Place.
Initially, the Works Manager was solely responsible for the administration of the Works Department. However, during the 1950s, the positions of Assistant Works Manager and Assistant to the Works Manager were created. The two positions divided responsibility over the day-to-day supervision of the trades as well as budget preparation, security, parking, off-season shows, storage and stadium events.
During the 1960s and 1970s, additional administrative and clerical positions were created in the Works Department. The two most significant were that of General Superintendent and Administrative Supervisor. The General Superintendent answered to the Works Manager and was responsible for inspecting CNE buildings and grounds, and directing maintenance work when necessary. The Administrative Supervisor assumed the functions of the Assistant Works Manager and Assistant to the Works Manager and was responsible for assisting the Works Manager in administrative duties, overseeing the capital works program and coordinating the Works Department services for trade and consumer shows.
In 1980, the Works Department underwent a reorganization that established a new administrative level. The Works Manager now reported to an Assistant General Manager of Operations. However, the individual holding the position of Works Manager became the new Assistant General Manager, and the functions and activities of the Works Department were essentially unchanged. Although the Works Manager's position remained technically "vacant", the duties of the position were performed by the Assistant General Manager of Operations.
Further changes occurred in January 1981. The Works Department was renamed General Services Department, and the position General Services Manager was established replacing the position of Works Manager. The new General Services Manager assumed all of the duties of the former Works Manager, and answered to the Assistant General Manager of Operations.
At the same time, additional administrative positions were created in the General Services Department. The General Services Supervisor was responsible for scheduling all production and maintenance requirements. The Building Services Supervisor was responsible for coordinating with show managers their specific requirements pertaining to material handling and rentals, and the Chief of Security and Traffic Control was responsible for Exhibition Place security and parking.
In March 1981, a Senior Project Coordinator was hired, on a contract basis, to supplement and support the General Services Manager in the administration of the capital works program. Gradually, the responsibilities of this position evolved and by 1983 an Engineering Department, a sub-department of General Services and under the control of the General Services Manager, had come into being.
The most significant organizational changes to the General Services Department (former Works Department) occurred in 1985. The General Services Department was renamed Maintenance Department and the General Services Manager became Maintenance Manager.
For the first few months, the change was essentially nominal, however, by late 1985, a number of the functions that fell under the jurisdiction of the Works Manager/General Services Manager were no longer administered by the Maintenance Manager and the Department's focus became exclusively maintenance-oriented.
In December 1985, a permanent Capital Engineer was hired to oversee the Exhibition Place capital works program, and in 1986 the Engineering Department was renamed the Capital Works Department. The Capital Engineer now reported directly to the General Manager of Operations rather than the Maintenance Manager. In addition, parking, security, and the coordination of services for concessionaires and exhibitors were also among the former General Services functions transferred to new departments which by-passed the Maintenance Manager and reported directly to the General Manager of Operations.
The records comprising RG 6 were created or acquired by the Works Department (or its predecessors) from 1879 to 1985 and were transferred to the Exhibition Place Archives prior to 1989.
Scope and content
The records of the Works Department, RG 6, are arranged and described at the series level, with corresponding file and item lists, and consist of 6 metres of textual and photographic material, 1 scrapbook of newspaper clippings, 442 items/sets of architectural plans, and 10 artifacts. The fonds documents the activities of the Works Department in fulfilling its mandate to implement the Exhibition Place capital works program; maintain all Exhibition Place equipment, buildings and property; and to provide services to concessionaires, renters, exhibitors and other Exhibition Place departments.
Series RG 6-0-1, Works Manager's Files, RG 6-0-2, Assistant General Manager of Operations Files, RG 6-0-8, General Services Manager's Files and RG 6-0-9, Maintenance Manager's Files, form a continuum of records documenting the day-to-day management and operation of the Works, General Services and Maintenance Departments.
Series RG 6-0-3, Electrical Department Files, RG 6-0-4, Building Files, RG 6-0-5, Capital Project Files, RG 6-0-6, Photograph Albums, RG 6-0-7, Architectural Plans, RG 6-0-11, CNE Department of Works Scrapbook, illustrate the many facets of the capital works program at Exhibition Place, directed by the Works Department, and the constant evolution of the CNE grounds and buildings.
In addition to textual material, the fonds includes some unique artifacts, series RG 6-0-10, a collection of zinc printing plates designed by the Works Department to produce general floor plans of CNE Buildings that could be customized with the details of specific jobs or projects.
Immediate source of acquisition
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Researchers are advised that citation of Exhibition Place Archives is required in publications and essays. Please consult with the archivist regarding reproduction requests.
File and item lists available for series and sub-series.