Congress 2013

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Optimism Abounds for the 2013 Landscaping Season


Toronto, Ont. (January 23, 2013) — Strong crowds over three days of the 40th annual Congress International Lawn and Garden Trade Show and Conference indicate good things to come this spring and summer, says Landscape Ontario. There was a buzz of excitement at this year’s milestone show for the province’s green industry trade association, which put the spotlight on more than 600 vendors spread over eight acres at the show, which was held recently at the Toronto Congress Centre.

Close to 13,000  lawn, garden and landscape industry professionals from around the world made their way across a show floor featuring the latest and greatest in heavy machinery, landscaping implements, nursery products and innovative services that help contractors and public green space managers find the tools and resources necessary for the construction, design and maintenance of Ontario’s landscapes.

“I am sensing a lot of optimism out there,” says Beth Edney, chair of the Congress 2013 show committee and owner of Designs by the Yard. “Our industry is looking forward to a good, strong year.”

Judging by the exhibitors at Congress 2013, the good, strong year predicted by Edney will have a solid foundation in a good, strong product: stone and concrete.

Stone features have long been a staple in landscaping, but advances in pre-cast designs and an ongoing movement towards sustainability in design is putting a renewed emphasis on stone and concrete for the summer of 2013. Whether looking at paver stones for walkways and patios, brick or precast concrete retaining walls, stone fences or decorative garden features, stone and concrete products were prominent at Congress.

“Stone is a feature I have always used in my landscape designs, both for its look and its long-lasting appeal,” says Edney. “We are seeing great strides in pre-cast stone products that look just like the real thing. At Congress, the stone and concrete companies have put a lot of effort into their booths and have presented some stunning displays.”

Advances in technology and manufacturing are producing stone products that have a natural look and feel with a range of looks to suit almost any style preference and use. The advances have allowed stone products to be used in more creative ways in landscape design.

“It is important to have a well balanced landscape design that incorporates various aspects,” says Marcus Poirier, the southwestern Ontario regional sales manager for Permacon. “You need a flat space where you can lay out your patio furniture, but you also need to incorporate some green space, some wood elements, maybe a water feature. Adding a variety of different elements will achieve that balance and create a sense of comfort. That is increasingly important as designers and contractors include hardscaping into their designs for outdoor living spaces.”

Stone and concrete features are key pieces of sustainable landscape design, ensuring durability through every season and all kinds of weather. The sustainability factor is an important factor is modern landscape design, with more and more products and businesses offering environmentally-friendly and long-lasting products.

Several companies are getting into using recycled rubber and tires to make synthetic mulch and other types of ground cover. Bosman Home Front, based in Palmerston Ont., uses recycled plastic beverage jugs to build traditional-looking and durable patio furniture.

“It is important when designing and building an outdoor living area that it be built to last,” says Phil Martin, a design consultant at Bosman. “The pieces chosen to be put outdoors are obviously exposed to the elements, so they need to be able to withstand the sun, wind, rain, snow and whatever else Mother Nature can throw at them. That is something we take very seriously. It’s why we say our products are built for life.”

One of the most anticipated features of every Congress is the New Product Showcase, and this year was no exception. From heavy machinery to unique design elements to an electric car, there was particular excitement about this year’s showcase.

“There was a lot of activity at the New Product Showcase this year, which builds a lot of anticipation for the coming year,” says Heather MacRae, Congress 2013 show manager, noting a lot of the buzz this year was for a specialized gas can from Fuel Transfer Technologies. The G-Can features a nozzle like you would find at a gas pump, giving more control to the user. “People wanted this gas can now. It’s amazing what will pique the interest.”

Sheridan Nurseries of Georgetown, Ont., celebrated its 100th year in business, as well as Landscape Ontario’s 40th anniversary, by introducing Congress’ newest feature entitled 40 Shades of Green.

“An increasingly popular trend is to include tropical plants in summer container designs,” commented Brenda Luckhardt, marketing manager for Sheridan. “A red leaf banana, or a brightly striped Cordyline, can add height and drama to a container. A Neon Pothos or a Brazil philodendron cascading out of the container can add contrast and line to a design. An 'Escargot' begonia or Echeveria will add texture to create interest. Tropical plants are well suited for summer containers and grow vigorously over the season when water and fertilizer are regularly provided.”  

Plants from the 40 Shades of Green palette are available through landscape contractors and garden centres in the spring of 2013:

Aglaonema Commutatum ‘Silver Spear’

Chlorophytum Comosum ‘Vittatum’

Euphorbia Tirucalli

Sansevieria Trifasciata


Aglaonema ‘Silver Queen’


Codiaeum ‘Petra’


Ficus Elastica ‘Burgundy’


Sansevieria Trifasciata ‘Black Robusta’


Aglaonema ‘Sterling’


Cycas Revoluta


Ficus Pendulata ‘Lyrata’


Sansevieria Trifasciata ‘Laurentii’


Anthurium Andreanum


Dieffenbachia ‘Camille’


Howea Belmoreana


Schefflera Arboricola


Aloe Variegata


Dieffenbachia Picta ‘Camilla’


Nephrolepis Exultata ‘Bostoniensis’


Schefflera Arboricola ‘Trinette’


Aralia Japonica


Dizygotheca Elegantissima


Peperomia Caperata ‘Variegata’


Spathiphyllum Wallisii


Araucaria Heterophylla


Dracaena ‘Dorado’


Philodendron ‘Burgundy’


Yucca Elephantipes


Ardisia Crenata


Dracaena Marginata ‘Tricolor’


Podocarpus Macrophyllus


Yucca Elephantipes ‘Jewel’


Beaucarnea Recurvata


Dracaena Reflexa ‘Song of India’


Radermachera Sinica


Zamioculcas Zamiifolia


Chamaedorea Erumpens


Epipremnum Aureum


Sansevieria Hahnii


Zebrina Pendula ‘Purpusii’



Rob Van Veghel of Dreamscape Landscaping, Acton, Ont., sums up the event: “I personally have been attending Congress for the past 10-15 years and thought this was the best one I have ever been to. This year I found all the seminars amazing. It actually was hard to see the suppliers, new products and machines but I got around the whole show. The lunch-and-learns were a huge hit with great speakers. I loved networking with other landscapers.”

Follow all of the activities and news from Congress 2013 on Twitter @LOEvents and join in the conversation with the hashtag #LOCongress2013 or “like” Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association on Facebook to keep informed of the latest news and happenings in the green, garden and landscaping industry.  

Detailed information about Congress trade show and conference is available at Congress is scheduled for January 7 – 9, 2014 at the Toronto Congress Centre.  Vendors interested in exhibiting may call Heather MacRae at 1-800-265-5656, ext. 323 or email Suppliers and not-for-profit associations interested in boosting economic growth through innovation, investment, education and skills development are invited to contact Linda Nodello X353 or email: Fencecraft inquiries may be directed to Evie Isenberg, Canadian Fence Industry Association (CFIA), 905-832-2922 or




Best Booths at Landscape Ontario’s Congress 2013

Toronto, Ont. (January 14, 2013) - Congress 2013 exhibitors were recognized for excellence in trade show marketing with the show's Best Booth Awards. Six categories reflected the diversity of Congress exhibitors.

Topping the list, In-Lite Design of Putnam, Ont., received the Paul J. Day Best of Show Award. "The booth's less-is-more design strategy was creative -- and effective -- in making an intangible product real," said the judges. The booth layout also placed its staff centre stage, ready to welcome visitors.

Kubota Canada of Markham, Ont. received honours in the heavy equipment category. "Extra lighting was used to great effect, and bringing in celebrities for an autograph session enhances the brand's show investment."

Other winners included:
Muskoka Rock Company, Bracebridge, Ont., Best 100-400 sq. ft. booth, excluding heavy equipment
Echo Power Equipment (Canada), London, Ont., Best small equipment booth
Unilock, Georgetown, Ont., Best booth over 400 sq. ft., excluding heavy equipment
Playcare and Design, Milton, Ont., Best booth under 100 sq. ft., excluding heavy equipment

The best booth winner for Fencecraft, produced by the Canadian Fence Industry Association, was awarded to, Niagara Falls, Ont.

Upper Canada Stone Co Ltd, Shanty Bay, Ont, aggressively promoted Congress to its customers and received the show’s best promotion award for its efforts.

Detailed information about Congress trade show and conference is available at Congress is scheduled for January 7 – 9, 2014 at the Toronto Congress Centre.  Vendors interested in exhibiting may call Heather MacRae at 1-800-265-5656 X323 or email Suppliers and not-for-profit associations interested in boosting economic growth through innovation, investment, education and skills development are invited to contact Linda Nodello X353 or email: Fencecraft inquiries may be directed to Evie Isenberg, Canadian Fence Industry Association (CFIA), 905-832-2922 or


Celebrating 40 Years of Professional Excellence

Toronto, Ont., (January 8, 2013)  Breathtaking design and master craftsmanship in landscape construction, maintenance and design projects were recognized at Landscape Ontario's Awards of Excellence Ceremony, held January 8, 2013. Over 600 industry professionals attended the gala awards presentation held at Toronto's Doubletree by Hilton Airport Hotel. The Awards ceremony is held in conjunction with Congress International Horticultural Lawn and Garden Trade Show and Conference, one of North America’s largest green industry events.

The evening was hosted by Frank Ferragine of Breakfast Television and CityTV, and included several special presentations celebrating the association’s and show's 40-year anniversary. The exceptional quality and outstanding creativity of entries this year was noted by construction judge Alistair Johnston, Strybos Barron King Landscape Architects. Johnston highlighted winners the following day in a session at the Congress Conference; attendees were speechless.

The evening was capped off when Karl Stensson of Sheridan Nurseries presented the Dunington-Grubb Award – the highest scoring construction project – to Edengrove Landscapes of Mississauga, Ont. Sheridan is celebrating a century in business, and Stensson's heartfelt speech highlighted his family’s connection to industry pioneer Howard Dunington-Grubb.Awards of Excellence for Construction, Maintenance and Design fall into 41 categories, including landscape irrigation and lighting, and are judged by industry experts according to specific criteria; if no project qualifies in an area, no Award is given.  READ MORE FOR LIST OF WINNERS 


Find What Speaks To You in The New Product Showcase

Toronto, Ont. (December 14, 2013) – Innovative products featured in the New Products Showcase at Congress 2013 will help landscape designers and contractors achieve their visions and improve the value of their projects. Landscape Ontario’s  Congress trade show and conference will be held January 8 -10, 2013 in the south building of the Toronto Congress Centre.As one of North America’s largest horticultural, lawn and garden trade shows, Congress 2013 is the ideal platform for launching new and exciting products that will help improve service, set new trends and inspire customer interest throughout the 2013 season.READ MORE 

Build a Better Business at Congress

MILTON, Ont. (November 5, 2012) — For 40 years now, professionals in the lawn, garden and landscaping industry have been using Canada’s leading horticultural lawn and garden trade show to improve their prospects, hone their skills and build a better business.

That tradition continues January 8-10, 2013 when Landscape Ontario’s Congress trade show and conference returns to the Toronto Congress Centre. This is a huge annual event that brings together more than 600 vendors, and close to 13,000 professionals from around the world, to share their expertise and secrets to success in this vibrant and ever-changing industry. READ MORE

Landscape Ontario is now accepting entries and sponsors for the Awards of Excellence Construction, Maintenance and Design Programs

MILTON, Ont. (August 17, 2012) – Landscape Ontario is inviting its members to submit their landscape projects into their Construction, Maintenance and Design Awards of Excellence programs. Entries will be accepted online until the deadline of October 1, 2012 by 4:00 PM ($155.00 per entry).

“Award-winning projects consistently show outstanding design sophistication and horticultural knowledge”, says Denis Flanagan, Landscape Ontario’s public relations director. “Our members continue to reach new levels of craftsmanship and the award winners consistently raise the bar for the rest of the industry”.

Winning an Award of Excellence is a great way to market your company, and set your services apart from the competition. Read More


Congress: Celebrating 40 Years of Beautifying Ontario

Toronto, Ont. (May 25, 2012) – Since 1973, Ontario’s landscaping professionals have turned to Congress to build their business, discover the latest trends and learn about new products coming onto the market.







Now celebrating a 40-year history of landscaping and beautifying Ontario, the members of Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association and its vendor partners are proud to be marking the milestone at the event that has grown into Canada’s largest horticultural, lawn and garden trade show and conference. Read More


News Archive

Green Thumbs Going Greener: The Dominating Trend at Congress 2012 Read more.


Royal Galipeau receives 2012 Environment Award Landscape Ontario honours MP for Ottawa–Orléans - Read more.

What do Landscape Ontario’s Awards of Excellence Awards Mean to Ontarians? Read all about the award winners.

Exhibitors at Congress Awarded With Best Booth and Promotions Awards  Read more.

The Green Industry Gets Greener  Read more.

IPM Symposium 2012: Building a better lawn and garden business  Read more.

Ontario Parks Assn. educational forum: Tips on how to embrace ‘green’ Read more.

Congress showcases all that is new and exciting  Read more.

Congress one of Canada’s Top 10 Trade Show  Read more.

Sharpen Your Professional Edge  Read more.



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