Canada Blooms and National Home Show roll into one
Mark March 2012 as home and garden month. Two mega-shows, Canada Blooms and the National Home Show, are combining to create North America’s biggest home-plus-garden outing. The shows run simultaneously for a full 10 days.
One ticket gets you into both events, though one day probably won’t be enough to get your fill of all the exhibits and info on offer. So if you have the stamina for it, two-day passes are also available.
- Twice the fun
This the first time the two events have joined forces, and some garden purists are skeptical of the outcome. Organizers insist the move isn’t a merger, but a “co-location” that brings similar interests under one roof, for the benefit of show-goers.
“Audiences of both of these powerhouse events share many common interests,” says Canada Blooms general manager Gerry Ginsberg. “It was a natural extension for us to co-locate.”
Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place will be packed with exhibits and vendors from both shows. Canada Blooms display gardens and floral/horticultural displays will take over the west end of the building. The home show will fill the rest, with the ever-popular Dream Home set off in the northern extension. The Blooms Marketplace will take a new position in the middle ground of the Heritage Court.
- Restore, renew, refresh
Each show will have its own programming. Time on the big Celebrity Stage, however, will be shared by speakers from the two shows.
National Home Show programming wasn’t finalized in time for this column. Some of the things visitors can expect, though, include:
• The 2012 Dream Home, called R-House and designed by Probuilt/Michael Upshaw. The ultra-modern 3,600 sq. ft. house spotlights energy efficiency, sustainable luxury and the latest in home-building technology.
• Celebrities from the field of home design and building appearing on the Celebrity Stage (where gardening celebs will also speak). Look for presentations by Bryan Baeumler (of Disaster DIY), Jim Caruk (of Real Renos), Jane Lockhart (longtime host of Colour Confidential), Glen Peloso (from Take This House & Sell It) and others.
• The Destination Renovation hub, where visitors can talk shop with some of the GTA’s top contractors and builders.
• One-on-one consultations with interior designers at the What’s Your Design Dilemma centre.
• A discussion of 2012′s new furniture trends, presented by Interior Stylist Janette Ewen.
- Stop and smell the flowers
At Canada Blooms, flower and garden fans will be able to tour large and small feature gardens created by top designers. Kids and their parents can hang out at the children’s activity garden and play area. Music fans will enjoy the four Juno Rock gardens interpreting the individual styles of award-winning artists Jann Arden, Feist, Kesha Chante and Sarah Slean/Royal Wood.
On the Celebrity Stage, crowd-pleasers include author and broadcaster Mark Cullen, Frank Ferragine (TV’s “Frankie Flowers”), garden expert and broadcaster Charlie Dobbin, Marjorie Mason of Mason House Gardens and Paul Zammit of the Toronto Botanical Garden.
In addition, smaller meeting room sessions will cover subjects such as easy-care native plants, roses, invasive plants, herbs and lots more.
- Make it a stay-cation
Garden groups and societies will again have their space in the Gardeners Fare section. And of course, there’ll be plenty of goodies to buy at both shows, from refrigerators to sunrooms to spades and garden boots.
Even if you’re not headed away for March break, you can still have a fab stay-cation at this year’s combo Canada Blooms and National Home Show. (Bring your camera!)