Canada Blooms in Toronto

Justine_London(5b-6a On.,Can.)January 21, 2009

Good day all,

I've just found a possee of gardening gals to take the trek to Toronto to see Canada Blooms on March 18th. Opening day. Marketplace will be at its finest Whooo Hooooooo!

Check it out!

Here is a link that might be useful: Canada Blooms

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thank you for this notice. I will reserve my decision to attend the show closer to the time as I can see from their marketplace listing that many exhibitors haven't signed up yet. In recent years, I've seen the gradual deterioration of their marketplace - who wants to buy another mop when one goes there to look for seeds or plants. Last year I noted larger aisles and empty spaces. One seller of herbs - wasn't even selling - just showing what they can sell. One was promoting their mail order catalog. - It was very very disappointing.

Most disheartening, I spotted the guy selling rags. I'm there to buy plants. Gone from this present list is my favorite, Floribunda. I didn't see Acorus Restoration. Richters isn't listed either.

I have this link to an article by Art Drydale for anyone interested. It makes me think that perhaps its time for a change of organization, time and venue.

So let's see how things go once more this year.


    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 4:40PM
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glaswegian(5b, Ont)

I think with the economy being what it is right now, I don't think many vendors would bother showing up again. You are right Ianna about last year being

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 7:55AM
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I agree also with the Canada Blooms last year. I was very disappointed that there was very few, if any, vendors. It was worth the money or the time going there. I live near Peterborough and the garden show they have on each year is a lot better than the Home and Garden Show in Toronto and Canada Blooms. There are more vendors there set up to buy garden needs.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 12:39AM
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On one hand, this time around Canada Blooms organizers have changed PR company and so their website now shows the names of vendors or exhibitors who will be coming to the event. Unfortunately though, the website search doesn't allow us to segragate those who are vendors or what products they will be offering and so while the website has improved, it hasn't improved enough. In comparison, I go to other shows such as the one of a kind shows and their website is much more customer friendly. I could look up the list of artisans under say.. ceramics, or clothes or jewelry. The current Canada Blooms website allows us to see the names of participants and allow a search based on names. Unfortunately, no lists of who are selling plants or seeds. I guess it's part of the growing pains of such programs. We the potential customers are growing more sophisticated in terms of technology and it seems the website is still behind times. Makes me wonder exactly why they designed things this way.

All said,, I'm still hoping for more actual improvements. Lets hope that improvements on the website also reflects improvement on exhibits.. One more thing I didn't enjoy of last year's exhibit... too many memorial gardens... For me, it feels rather morbid. We have to deal with dreary winters and yet be faced by things that remind of us of depressing times. It's just the way I feel of course. Others may feel different.

I'm definitely going to the Home and Garden Show this year. Thanks for the input sboricic. And I'm still holding off any decision about Canada Blooms.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 9:53AM
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Well, I'd mentioned I was holding off any decision until closer to teh date. I think that the show has heard the various complaints about their marketplace and there seems to be some improvement. I'm willing to give it one last try this year. If anyone else is going early in the week, I hope you put in your thoughts about this year's program.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 4:52PM
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green_thumb_guy(Z5 Ont)

I use to be a regular attendee. I found that it wasn't as exciting for me. I don't like celebrity flower arranging etc.

What's new in plants?
what's new in plant diseases? HVX? Canna viruses? etc.

Landscape designing

I also like the Marketplace but, there were no bargains to be had. Nothing I couldn't pick up in the store - except when Loblaws was there.

I also stopped going to the one at the International Centre because I found it wasn't as nice either.

I'd like to go to a Flower show but Chelsea is too far away.

and no gardening shows on TV either.

ho hum......

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 6:59PM
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Justine_London(5b-6a On.,Can.)


March Break plans are preventing me (well, my ride actually) from going to Canada Blooms....
I will be looking forward to fellow Gardenwebbers' recollections of what the show offers this year.

I watch a wonderful garden show RECREATING EDEN. Check your local listings to see if you can get it.

oh well, I am getting my garden fix by wintersowing and visualizing a bevy of magnificent of flowers. :o)
Seeds, glorious seeds!

Great gardening to all, Justine

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 3:29AM
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green_thumb_guy(Z5 Ont)

I watch that show too. Guess I was generaling too much. There use to be so many on TV.

I'm in the process of cleaning up my canna tubers and will start potting them up next week. Ialso keep a plant room going over the winter so I can watch stuff grow.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 8:16AM
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glaswegian(5b, Ont)

Canada blooms...waste of time these days. You are better off going to other smaller local fairs

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 8:55AM
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jroot(5A Ont. Canada (near Guelph))

I have gone for the past few years ... and I intend to go again this year. I admit that last year was a disappointment, but I always come home with an idea or two, that makes it worth while.

I do not wish to be seen as panning the entire show merely because of a disappointing show one year, so I will give them the benefit of the doubt and go. I already have purchased my tickets. One can get less expensive tickets from Sobeys, and the classical station 96.3 had a good offer on advanced tickets where I bought mine for less than Sobey's. I don't know if the offer is still open though.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 5:07PM
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Having gone through their list of market vendors for this year, I believe there's been some improvement and I'm willing to make it another go.. I always think I'm saving on say,, shipping and handling costs by buying from mulitiple vendors at the price of one entrance fee. Anything else is extra.

I do however have comments on past displays.... Boring. too boring... hohum.. Ultra chic but boring.. Just how many versions of the same thing can we endure.. Trellis, Arbors, stone walls, ponds, patios. I recall a time when I went to check out the very first few shows and I was dazzled with the number of delphiniums and other spectacular blooms. It grabbed my attention, made me appreciative of how these blooms were prepared, wanting to buy such blooms, etc.. & the marketplace had a huge variety of vendors. In contrast last year, only the entrance display was interesting. The rest was forgetful. How many memorial gardens did one have to display? It felt morbid to me at least.. How about, since we are now environmentally conscious, the idea of recycling products. We are a DIY crowd and displays must relate to that. Get us engaged. Get our hands dirty once again. How about engaging the younger generation into the idea of urban farming? I do wonder if the resurgence in urban vegetable gardening has been explored by Canada Blooms and so we'll see with this year's show. Anyhow, these are just my thoughts on improvement.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 10:52AM
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jroot(5A Ont. Canada (near Guelph))

My wife and I just got back from Canada Blooms. To me, it was a bit better than last year. Not nearly as crowded. There didn't seem to be as many vendors or displays. However, though I thought it was a bit better, I really didn't see any truly exhilarating ideas or dramatic presentations, ... except at the entrance which was amazing. I had to go back, just to take it all in again.

I left with no purchases or novel ideas with which to work. ... might have been my frame of mind though. Financial planner just brought in the @#$% news. :(

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 6:08PM
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green_thumb_guy(Z5 Ont)

Thanks for the feedback. Guess I'll stick to my decision to stay home.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 10:05PM
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glaswegian(5b, Ont)

Same here!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 12:28PM
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I just got back from Canada Blooms. The show was awful and expensive too. It cost me $20.00 to park my vehicle and $18.00 for an entrance ticket. There was one display which I couldn't figure out at all - just a bunch of pots stacked up and some cloth bundled together.

I visited the vendors and did buy some bulbs from Sheridan nursery at 25%. Few vendors - even fewer that were plant related. There were tourism booths, a company giving away free women's razors, somebody selling clothing. A total disaster in my books.

I've seen most of the Canada Blooms shows since it's inception. I did miss out on last year's show. I cannot imagine how this was am improvement over the 2008 show. No interesting displays and certainly little interesting plant material. A big waste of time and money.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 10:53PM
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I went Friday for the first time. I was rather ineterested in the flower competitions and judging, but aside from that, I thought it was really commercial. I was able to talk to a few people at the booths (the lady from SeedSavers and the prof. at Ontario Agriculture College) I didn't end up buying a lot. Since a few vendors were at the same place, I guess I saved a few bucks on shipping, but seriously doubt I gained those $16 for entrance and a few for the bus. Like Maryv said, I can't this as an improvement from the 2008 show. I would give the show one more chance next year, but I loose patience really quickly with these shows and if it's all commercial again, I doubt I'm going to go again. The speakers and talks weren't bad. the advice was sort of the average stuff you would find over the internet. The flower arranging was pretty interesting.

If it makes a difference to anyone reading this post, I'm a student and it was March break. I could've spent it with friends but went to the show in case i sound bias...

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 9:04AM
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wayner2000(5b Ontario)

I made my annual trip to Toronto as well and for the most part was also disappointed. I made one purchase which was a perennial cyclamen. As for the other plants and bulbs I'm sure I can find them less expensive elsewhere. I have always put too many expectations on this show, mainly because it follows a long winter and I am in hopes of seeing more greenery. I'm sure the economy had something to do with it this year. Did anyone get to the Hamiliton Flower show?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 9:06AM
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Justine_London(5b-6a On.,Can.)

Thanks for all the feedback on Canada Blooms....

I don't feel as sorry for myself for not being able to attend. I am going to shop for bulbs at Rona, then off to the garden center for more winter/spring sowing seeds tomorrow... to spend some of the $$$ I saved by not going the show this year! :o)

great gardening to all!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 9:35PM
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Well I went to both the Canada Blooms and to the International HOme & Garden show. First of all, the success at gardening marketplace doesn't compare even close to Canada Blooms but if it's seeds and some basic bulbs you are searching for, it offered such products. The show carried seeds (via Humber), some hostas, some succulents, african violet cuttings, some dahlia, gladiola and lily bulbs.. some tropical indoor plants. There was a good display of plants but I wasn't there to look into that. There were a number of local plant societies offering membership. At the price of $14 for an entrance fee to see this section specifically, I found it to be disappointing. However this was a house & garden show and so lots of different home improvement trades to look into.

Now for the Canadablooms. I can say there was an improvement although not as big drastic as I would have wanted. Fiesta Garden was there, Humber Nurseries, Sheridans, Sobeys a number of lily and hosta bulb sellers, Florabunda and Urban Harvest(which offers organic vegetable & herb seeds), another selling live herbs, another selling tropical plants and another selling violets. There seemed to be more tourism booths than there were plant or seed sellers. There were far more garden inspired booths (from marble fruit table ornaments to clothing to painting). A booth that sold many decorative garden accessories for those inclined to create their backyard paradise. Another booth that sold rustic country wares like trellis and cold frames (I really enjoyed her booth)... A booth selling jams, another selling lotions, etc.. well you get the idea.

The education booths normally set in the upper floors and the area just outside the main hall were located to the marketplace area as if to fill up vacant spaces....

At least the rag merchant wasn't there although there was a booth selling cleaning products.

I like the exhibits although everything except one was predictable. One display caught my eye which was the wild outdoorsy pond, half still covered in 'ice' and the other half in spring... It was rustic and beautiful. I didn't have the patience to go through lines for the other exhibits. I had wished displays were far more open so the eyes can peer right through and enjoy the scenery.

What I think the event missed out on, was the lack of the vegetable gardening trend display. No one capitalized on this trend which is a shame.... Even Michelle Obama has started a backyard vegetable garden in the White House.

The entrance fee is $18.00 and being that I know Toronto, I know parking is always expensive. So I went down via the GO train and took the skywalk to the event. I still think that the convention site is too expensive to hold these events. The organizers should start looking for other areas to hold an outdoor event and for a larger Marketplace and in a warmer month. I just think it's time.

So my rate of satisfaction from going to this year's event is modestly higher than last year. I still look forward to more improvement next year around. And I hope Canada Blooms is going to avoid the fate of many gardening shows in the States which ended.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 11:59AM
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Justine_London(5b-6a On.,Can.)


Thanks for sharing your observations.

I felt like I was walking around the venues myself while reading your description of your visits to Canada Blooms and to the International Home & Garden show.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 12:06PM
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jroot(5A Ont. Canada (near Guelph))

Right on, Ianna. Well said.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 4:29PM
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glaswegian(5b, Ont)

Trie Ianna...I'll like to see more plants and veggie vendors, rather than vendors trying to use the opportunity to flog their wears that have nothing to do with gardening.

That is like going to a car show and seeing plants for sale *shocked*


    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 6:22PM
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So disappointed. Most of the landscapers where great but (a lot alike)

I think a lot of us are interested in 1. Different scrubs for smaller yards

2.container pots & ideas

3. Outdoor accessories rugs,lamps,etc.

Maybe new cultivars, colors, shade control.

I thought it was the same over and over again, large yards and large price tags.

    Bookmark   on Tuesday at 9:52PM
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