Toronto trade shows 2011
Toronto hosts a number of trade shows each year, which appeal to a whole range of interests. Whether you're a car junkie, an artist, foodie, or (like me) simply a sample-enthusiast, you can probably find a show that's worth the trek to the Exhibition Place or the congestion of people standing too closely together. Though a few of the major shows of this year have already passed, such as the Interior Design Show, there's still a whole roster of trade shows awaiting Torontonians for 2011.
Here's a list of the top upcoming Toronto trade shows for 2011:
A favourite event for decorators, renovators, and lovers of all things home décor, this year's National Home Show is quickly approaching and will be held at the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place. With a renovation station, Live Green pavilion, two model homes and over 700 exhibitors, the show typically offers great savings on products and a glimpse of the newest emerging trends in décor. This year's event will also feature an appearance by Debbie Travis. Adult admission is $16 at the door, $13 online.
An opportunity to sit in a car you could never, ever afford, the Canadian International Auto Show is again being held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre this year. With everything from electric hybrids and hydrogen-powered cars to luxury models and famous F-body retros, the International Auto Show is a car-lover's paradise with over 1,000 vehicles. The show also includes special exhibits on in-vehicle technologies, a PlayStation interactive area, and on-site test drive opportunities. Adult admission is $20 at the door, $18 online.
Now in its 15th year, The Outdoor Adventure Show is all about everything outdoor excitement. Held at the International Centre, the event showcases products, info, and exhibits on everything from family camping trips to mountain adventures. There also a whitewater demo pool, rock climbing wall, and scuba tank to get you in on the action. This year's event features expert survivalist Les Stroud. Adult tickets are $12 at the door, $10 online.
Someone tell Rob Ford, the Toronto International Bike Show is coming to the Better Living Centre at Exhibition Place in March. Now in its 25th year, the show is one of the largest of its kind in North America and features some of the newest bike products and accessories on the market. A big hit at the show is the Toronto BMX Jam where cyclists do some crazy stunts for your agape-mouth enjoyment. There's also a test ride zone and electric bicycle exhibitors. Adult admission is $13.
The theme for this year's Total Health Show is "Traditional & Future Healing Methods," where speakers will focus on traditional medicines and preserving a healthy environment for future generations. The show attracts speakers from all over the world and showcases over 200 exhibits focused on maintaining naturally healthy lifestyles. The event also includes a gourmet organic café and spa oasis. Adult passes to the exhibit hall and health demo stages are $10. The lecture passes are $15 on Friday and $25 on both Saturday and Sunday.
Unless IKEA's framed black-and-white shots of Times Square are your thing, Toronto's One of a Kind Show is the place to nab unique items you won't find anywhere else. Held at the Direct Energy Centre, the show features over 450 artisans from various backgrounds, including Muskoka artists chosen to make their debuts at the 2011 Muskoka Artists Marketplace. The show's features include the "Tooled to Perfection" one of a kind exhibitor competition where exhibitors are challenged to create their own tool, and the One of a Kind fashion show with looks by emerging designers. Adult tickers are $12 at the door, $10 online.
Perhaps to get you in the mood for Woofstock, the All About Pets Show will be holding its 18th annual event in April at the International Centre. The show is Canada's largest pet show with more than 160 exhibitors dedicated to dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles, adoption, training and grooming. The grooming showcase features seminars on topics such as how to prepare your dog for its first groom, and Centre Stage is all about guest speakers and pet fashion shows. Unfortunately, unlike Woofstock, you can't bring your pet. Adult admission is $12 at the door.
After a 15-year hiatus, the Toronto International Antiquarian Book Fair returned in 2010 and will again be held this year at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. It is the only international antiquarian and collectible book fair in Canada and features exhibitors from across Europe, as well as North America. Though many of the details on this year's event haven't yet been released, you can expect thousands of books on topics such as history, art, literature and the military, as well as limited editions and rare books. Information on 2011 tickets is not yet available, but a 3-day pass last year was $15, $10 if you pre-registered.
With many bag-toting boyfriends and husbands, the National Women's Show attracts thousands of women each year to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to explore its 450+ exhibits. There's everything from yogurt stands to cooking stages to areas where brave individuals get their teeth whitened right on the floor. This year's event features special guests Eric Braeden from The Young and the Restless and Erin Nadler of Better Styled. The show also includes a salon stage where visitors can get free makeovers and a home renovations zone where experts are are hand to answer questions. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $14.
A foodie favourite, the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo is being held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in November this year. Visitors have the opportunity to sample over 1500 international wines, beers, and spirits, as well as gourmet dishes from venerable chefs from around the globe. There are tasting lounges, a cheese section, Food Network stage, as well as a gourmet gala for the socially inclined. Admission is $16, which does not include sample tickets.
Photo by Roger Cullman.