trade shows toronto

The top 10 trade shows in Toronto for summer 2014

The top trade shows in Toronto this summer bring a wealth of opportunities (and random consumer products) to the city's doorstep. Our city's event halls and convention centres are hot destinations for folks looking to peddle anything from job opportunities and fitness trends to sportscars and wedding accoutrements. (Many are only open to industry professionals working within the trades in question, so if you were looking to learn about jewelry, limos or apartment investing, you are out of luck, my enterprising friend.)

Fortunately, there are plenty of shows and expos open to the public - with many of them charging less than $20 for admission. Get out there and learn something.

Here are my picks for the top trade shows in Toronto for summer 2014.

ImportFest / July 26
Looking for a sexier, flashier, more sticker-covered and souped-up tradeshow experience? Now in its 14th year, ImportFest is keeping the Fast and Furious dream alive. The import-car show screeches into the MTCC later this month, bringing with it tons of specialty-tuned models, aftermarket car accessories and performance parts, RC car demos, DJ battles, and, um, "bikini and lingerie shows," if that's something that influences your decisions. Spoiler alert: Expect spoilers.

Canfitpro / August 5-10
Fitness professionals and amateur buffs alike will find plenty to love at Canfitpro's Toronto conference, including over 400 workshops on fitness and education, tons of workshops, lectures and shopping, and a keynote address by Olympic hockey dynamo Hayley Wickenheiser. (Be forewarned: Registration pricing is not as cheap as some of the other expos on this list.)

Fan Expo / August 28-31
We don't tend to think of Fan Expo, the city's biggest and most bombastic comic-con, as a trade show. But beyond the raft of celebrity appearances from former captains of the USS Enterprise, that's exactly what this is - a massive sales floor featuring 900 retailers catering to all your gaming and comics-related needs, with new products and services being unveiled for the first time ever. Specific trades represented will likely include interstellar travel, Minecraft-ing, and Chocobo farming.

Canada's Bridal Show / September 5-7
Here come the brides: The MTCC will be swarming with 'em the first weekend in September. Organizers boasts that the show is "the largest bridal show in Canada" (they even absorbed another wedding show last fall), and while details are scarce about this fall's installment, they're promising over 450 exhibitors and daily fashion shows displaying the latest in wedding party threads. Last year, they even brought in Buddy from Cake Boss. (It's not Geof from Ace of Cakes, but I'll take it.)

National Bridal Show / September 5-7
Yep, that's right: Two huge bridal shows on the same weekend. (When I tried to discern which one was more popular among brides-to-be, all I came up with was this forum post musing "what's the point? we're all going to die alone anyway.") If you still believe in love, this show, at the International Centre in Mississauga, promises the latest and greatest in "wedding fashions, wedding venues, decorators, florists, cake designers and more". Cost-conscious brides, take note: Vaughn bridal store Amanda-Lina's Sposa Boutique will be hosting a huge sale.

National Franchise and Business Show / September 6-7
Ever visit the Coffee Culture at College and Bathurst and thought "Yeah, I could run one of these"? The coffeehouse franchise is just one of the companies taking part in the National Franchise and Business Show at the International Centre this September. The North America-wide series of business events is dedicated to matching franchises with people who want to open businesses; other exhibitors include Burger King, Little Caesar's, and Trade Secrets.

National Job Fair / September 16-17
Billed as Canada's "largest, most established and comprehensive" job recruitment event, this fair promises to give your job hunt a major boost through contact with more than 110 companies and over 500 recruiters, admissions officers and career specialists. Get advice from experienced recruiters, apply for jobs on-site, and brush up on your interviewing skills.

Fall Home Show / September 18-21
Do-it-yourselfers and decor aficionados: expect to spend your weekend camping out at the Better Living Centre at Exhibition Place. The Fall Home Show will feature 300 exhibitors offering all kinds of products related to homes, gardening and design; previous expos have included appearances from Cityline and HGTV experts.

Go Global Expo / September 20-21
Maybe you want a really, really big career change - as in, moving to Guam and building houses using your own two hands. The Go Global Expo will bring recruiters representing a host of international opportunities to the Mattamy Centre at Maple Leaf Gardens. Whether you're looking for a job, a volunteer placement, a study term abroad, or an adventure travel experience, you'll be able to discover possible opportunities in over 100 countries.

Toronto Vintage Clothing Show / September 20
Independent vintage vendors from all over Canada will converge for the Toronto Vintage Show, filling the MTCC with retro clothing, jewelry and accessories for one glorious day. Vendors are still trickling in, but the organizers are already offering discounts on admission.

pure leafThanks to Pure Leaf for sponsoring our summer adventures. For more things to do this summer, check out our Best of Summer page.

Did I miss any? Leave your most-anticipated summer trade shows in the comments.

Photo by Tristan Gordon via the blogTO Flickr pool.

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