Thursday, March 17, 2016

More Vintage Postcards - Canadian Parks

Today I am proud to present the twenty first installment (!) of Ken Martinez's vintage amusement park postcards. Here's Ken:

Canadian Coasters

Today I have three postcards from two different parks in Canada.

Crystal Beach Amusement Park was located in Crystal Beach, Ontario, on the northeast shore of Lake Erie and served the Buffalo, New York area from 1888 to 1989. The roller coaster featured here along the shore was known as the "Comet". It was moved to New York's Great Escape (formerly Storytown USA) after the Canadian park closed. The "Comet" was a hybrid coaster in that even though the track was classified as wood, the structure was built of steel. I think the yellow coaster further back was called "Giant Coaster", though I'm not 100% sure. Maybe a GDB reader could chime in to confirm.

The following cards feature the Midway of the Canadian National Exposition located in Toronto, Ontario. I like them because they show both daytime and nighttime shots from the exact same viewpoint with the time of day showing on the observation platform. The main coaster in view is the wooden "Flyer" which existed from 1953 to 1992. The Midway flat rides were provided by Conklin Shows and are removed after the exhibition is over for the year even though the permanent coaster and observation platform remained year round. Both are gone now, but the Exhibition continues to this day.

The Midway in Daytime - Note the Wild Mouse and Round Up in action.

The Midway at Nighttime - Wonder what the Bonnie & Clyde exhibit was about?

Hope you enjoyed the quick trip to a couple of Canada's parks.

Information Source material:
Finland U.S.A. copyright 1978 by Tim Onosko
Roller Coaster Database

THANK YOU Ken! Somewhere I have a distant shot of the Canadian National Exposition, I wish I could have located it to include with this post.


Nanook said...


Evidently the "yellow" coaster really was called the Giant Coaster - a side friction coaster no less-! I rode it many years ago, and seem to recall quite a thrill for a side friction roller coaster.

The "Comet" was the jewel of that park, and quite the ride - not to mention the incredible view of Lake Erie afforded those riders who chose to 'take-in the view'.

Thanks, Ken, for bringing back more memories.

TokyoMagic! said...

Thank you for sharing more of your personal collection with us, Ken!

I hope the Giant Coaster had an exclamation point at the end of its name. GIANT COASTER! Or even in the middle would work. GIANT!COASTER ;-)

Chuck said...

Yes - much better than GIANT;COASTER?

Thanks again, Ken? Er, I mean, Ken!

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Thanks Ken for the great shots from the Great White North. I can almost picture Bob and Doug McKenzie swilling down Elsinore beer and then riding the coasters. Eh. Is that Rush music I hear in the background? Beauty.

Anonymous said...

On the midway-at-night postcard, there is a sign on the lower half underneath the Bonnie and Clyde attraction marquis that says 'Death Car'. Maybe the actual car they were shot in was touring?

Chuck said...

Apparently, the "Death Car" (and a few counterfeits) toured fairs and amusement parks for years. I'm curious as to whether this was genuine or a fake.

K. Martinez said...

Nanook, Glad you enjoyed these. Unfortunately Crystal Beach is one of those parks I missed in my travels. I think the Comet would've been awesome from what I've seen of it.

TokyoMagic! Whah?!? I'm not awake.

Chuck, I don't know. These days I feel like a "Ken?" instead of a "Ken!".

Alonzo P Hawk, Weren't those two from SCTV? That seems like a gazillion years ago. Glad you enjoyed.

Anonymous, You may be on to something there.

Chuck, I knew you'd come through. Thanks for all those links. So Cool! I wonder if the real one is still on display at Whiskey Pete's Casino as mentioned in one of the articles?

Thank you all and have a safe and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Dean Finder said...

Is this the park immortalized as "Lakeside Park" in the Rush song?

Nanook said...

@ Dean Finder-

The "Lakeside Park" referenced in the Rush song is the Lakeside Park on the south shore of Lake Ontario. Crystal Beach is on the north shore of Lake Erie, and about 30 miles south of Lakeside.

Whenever I think of a 'Lakeside' Amusement Park, I always think of the one in Denver, still there since 1908.

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, Sorry to confuse you so early in the morning. The name "Giant Coaster" made me think of the 1960's English-dubbed Japanese TV series, "Giant Robot". Then for some reason, that led me to think about some of Tokyo Disneyland's attractions (MICRO ADVENTURE!), parades (JUBILATION!) and stage shows (MINNIE OH! MINNIE) and how everything is better with an exclamation point either at the end of it (FANTASMIC!) or in the middle (BIG!LOTS). I know, I still doesn't make sense. :-/