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CNE reassures visitors event is safe on the heel of Barcelona attacks

Organizers said the security plans for the 18-day fair were modified earlier this year following a number of terror attacks in Europe in which cars were used as deadly weapons.

The organizers of the Canadian National Exhibition, which opened its gates on Friday – one day after two deadly terror attacks in Spain – are reassuring the public that the Toronto event will be safe.

They said the security plans for the 18-day fair were modified earlier this year following a number of terror attacks in Europe in which cars were used as deadly weapons.

"We have hardened some areas around the site that we thought were vulnerable," said Virginia Ludy, the event's chief executive officer. "So we have taken measures so that we can prevent incidents of the nature that we heard about yesterday."

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Thursday's van attack in Barcelona killed 13 people and injured 120, while a car attack early Friday in the Spanish seaside resort of Cambrils left one dead and five injured.

Spanish authorities have said Canada is among 34 countries with citizens killed or injured in the attacks. Global Affairs said Canadians were "affected" by the attacks, but didn't provide further details, citing privacy concerns.

In the past 13 months, there have been nearly a dozen vehicle-ramming attacks in Europe and the United States.

Ms. Ludy said the CNE does not allow vehicles onto the fair's grounds when it is open to the public, but it will be closely monitoring anyone driving on-site with deliveries.

"We can't just stop living our lives," Ms. Ludy said. "We take security and the safety of our visitors very seriously."

Toronto police said they are involved in providing security for the CNE as well, but wouldn't give details on what that entails.

Mayor John Tory said he had discussed security with the city's police chief.

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"He is satisfied with the plans that have been put in place in consultation with the Toronto Police Service by the CNE," Mr. Tory said, as he attended the opening ceremony on Friday morning.

The CNE runs from Aug. 18 to Sept. 4 in Toronto and is expected to attract about 1.5 million people.

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