When he was courting her in 1964, Don Fisher won his girl a blue stuffed dog in a game of skeeball at the CNE.

Over the years, that plush toy got pretty beat up, moving from one home to another, packed away in boxes or snuggled up to by their two children, Nicole and Neal.

Still, Sue Fisher hung onto it for the better part of her marriage. It was, after all, one of the first gifts her husband ever gave her.

“We did it the old traditional way,” says Don. “Got to know each other a little bit, started to date and then got married.”

The pair say there weren’t any sweeping romantic gestures. “People didn’t have an airplane cross the sky with ‘Will you marry me?’ hanging off the back,” laughs Sue.

The Fishers, who now reside in Burlington, will celebrate their 42nd wedding anniversary next month.

Ask them and they will tell you time has flown by.

The CNE grounds are home to a storied history. And love has been a common thread connecting one year to the next and bringing individuals, just like Don and Sue, together.

So much so, that the CNE Archives is putting on an exhibit this year exploring the history of romance on the grounds.

Love, Longing and Lust at the CNE will be on display daily at the Direct Energy Centre during the Ex’s 18-day stint.

Old photos date back to 1914 when wives sent their husbands off to the First World War from Exhibition Camp. In a 2005 photo, Laura Knorre and Alastair Macrae, married on the Ex grounds before the fair opened, are seen enjoying the Ferris wheel before the crowds arrived.

“The idea is that the CNE is a place where romance happens,” said Meaghan Froh, who put together the exhibit.

“A lot of people have come here with special people.”