Construct Canada Celebrates Silver Jubilee
By: Mudeeha Yousaf
The Metro Toronto Convention Center set the stage for the industry’s elite to exhibit their brand and products to attendees at the 25th annual Construct Canada – the country’s largest building and construction show. The show offers vital marketing and networking opportunities for one of the largest industries in Canada, as well as introductions to the latest revelations the architects, builders, contractors, engineers and renovators have come across. Students, business execs and avid connoisseurs of the construction trade packed under one roof from December 4th – 6th to view the latest trends, accolades and themes the past year had to offer — Business Elite Canada was there to report on the unfolding of the event.
The event was held by Informa Canada, and accompanied by PM Expo, DesignTrends, the HomeBuilder & Renovator Expo, The National GreenBuilding Conference and Concrete Canada who shared in the limelight. Day 1 of the exhibit had the city of Toronto buzzing with excitement, and had the biggest players within the industry travel near and far – from Alberta to Houston and back — to reach the annual event. The 24th CEO Power Breakfast kick-started the three-day event on December 5th, and brought together the industries most influential senior executives to discuss the future of Construction over OJ and scrambled eggs. The elite panel of members included Dan McAlister, Chairman of B+H Architects, Jim Dougan, President of Eastern Canadian Buildings for PCL, Mike Reinders, President of Maple Reinders Constructors and Douglas Smith, Principal at Smith + Anderson.
This years guest list consisted of 24, 000 attendees and a roaring 1,050 exhibits, as well as 450 motivational speakers and seminars that carried on throughout the day. Some of the more popular seminars looked at various trends and challenges such as sustainable building and education of new technologies implemented in the practice.
A variety of exhibits showcased one of the themes apparent in this years show: the innovation in technology. “Every year there is a focus on innovation and the AEC want to see new things. People want to find out about the latest technology,” says Polyanna Fok, member of the Toronto Construction Association who has proven to be veterans in the show and attending since 1988. The association basks in its recent victory of the Tiptoe Awards, and was welcoming to any and all inquiries that came to their booth.
CRL US Aluminum – the leading supplier to the architectural, construction and automotive industries — showcased their latest innovative TAPER-LOC® product, which is being used in Toronto’s Eaton Centre, and the company is keen on constantly innovating. Paul Kennedy has been attending the show for almost a decade and says its “always a good experience and [our] target market is architects.”
“People get less connected as buildings get bigger,” says Chris Scott of Bazinga – a unique enterprise building a utility platform with a social layer who released their product and displays it on their very first visit to Construct Canada.
Sustainability initiatives have always stood at the back burner trying to edge its way into the industry, and this years show proved that energy efficiency has become a prominent issue many of the industry leaders are trying to implement.
OTS, a non-profit organization established in 2009, has a strong focus on sustainable products, and informed the public about their landscaping materials made entirely of recycled tires, whose prolonged longevity and cost effectiveness will benefit construction companies.
The likes of LEED projects have been circulating in Canada, and many expositions were happy to speak of the LEED initiatives they have carried out Joe Heinisch of EBS Geostructural who is a veteran in environmentally friendly practices shares his experience; “We’ve been at the show for 14 years and it’s great and interactive. People meeting face to face is becoming more valued.”
“It’s been a good show for us. There are a lot of customers who want to save energy, [especially since] in Ontario our energy isn’t that high so it’s a big cost for the customer. There is some resistance in terms of cost, but that’s coming around,” explains Marc Pallerno of CREE, a company promoting LED lighting.
A big chunk of the 1,050 stalls were service providers who showcased how they have impacted industry leaders for the better, such as manufacturers of materials, consultants to electrical, mechanical and architectural designs as well as retailers.
As well as the big players in the field who have extensive experience and have been in attendance for years, there were keen students from local colleges who hovered the fair cautiously observing. Seneca and George Brown College has promoted continuing educational programs for the construction industry and the fair was the perfect outlook to provide the next generation prospectors with the skills needed to adapt. Construct Canada provides an avenue for employers to discuss the industry and offer advice to potential employees looking to make connections within the industry.
Whether promoting your company or product, networking and meeting your next client or simply gathering under one roof to share the season’s greetings with your existing clients, Construct Canada was refreshing, fun and educational. It’s always a thrill to see various staff members and management alike sharing some of their greatest stories with those looking to learn more. Present during the show were international companies who were researching the market in Canada for future prospectors and looking to get involved in Canada’s vast development opportunities.
New this year was the announcing of the launch of Construct International by Informa Canada, an international construction trade show and conference program, which will be held in conjunction with the other shows and provide a platform to explore business opportunities in 2014. The silver anniversary of Construct Canada ended in great success, leaving spectators and annual attendees wondering what next years show will have to offer.