November 15, 2015
Inquiries are pouring in to the LO office with everyone wanting to know more about Congress 2016.  

The green industry seems anxious to wrap up 2015 and kick-off 2016 with the industry event of the year — Canada’s premier green industry trade show and conference, Congress.  Staff at Landscape Ontario’s home office are anxious, too. The show team has been busy getting ready for the most wonderful time of the year. The 2016 edition will run Jan. 12 to 14, with Warm-up Monday events on Jan. 11.

The Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Symposium will hold its 51st annual event. It’s a full day of technical sessions in partnership with Lawn Life, the presenting sponsor. Attendees will qualify for IPM Council of Canada CECs. The IPM Leadership Award will also be announced.

The Landscape Designer Conference has positioned itself as a must-attend event for designers. This full day of sessions includes lunch and will be held at the International Plaza Hotel, International Ballroom (across the street from the Toronto Congress Centre). The theme for 2016 will be Designing for Demographics and includes everything from Adam Bienenstock’s opening keynote on natural playgrounds, to edibles to designing around disabilities and for mental health and wellness. See the full schedule at

Also in the hotel is Landscape Ontario’s Peer-to-Peer Workshop. This interactive event was designed with the over-burdened business owner in mind. By working with facilitators Jacki Hart CLM and Tim Kearney CLM, delegates will learn tools, creativity and receive support to find helpful solutions and fresh approaches to common problems business owners face.

All this before the trade show even opens.

Throughout the show

Congress ’16 delegates are in for a treat with Hardscape Live. This new attraction on the show floor is courtesy of Landscape Ontario’s Hardscape Committee. Pat McCrindle will school the audience on hardscape installation techniques with a live build over the three days of the show, from 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. McCrindle has installed eight million sq. ft. of pavers over a 30-year career. He has the highest possible accreditation as an instructor for the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute, and has been the main speaker at Hardscape North America. He’s a dynamic presenter and knows what he is talking about.

Each day the Congress Conference opens in the big ballroom with a keynote and coffee, followed by informative and entertaining professional development sessions at the Toronto Congress Centre, South Building. Life Lessons at Lunch will also be held in the ballroom, and will provide delegates with another opportunity to network and learn in entertaining and interactive sessions. Owners-only workshops each afternoon will focus on key business issues. Due to the popularity of the workshops, there is typically limited seating.

Conference Day One, Tuesday, opens with a keynote from Kate Davis and her tips for Balancing Life with Humour. A speaker, writer, comedian and actress, Davis has the unique ability to find humour in any situation and to offer creative solutions to defuse the frustrations in the home and workplace. Her insight and outspoken character provide a powerful combination to help companies empower their staff with effective tools for managing stress and sustaining motivation.

Also running from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. is the Legacy Room. An open invitation goes to our members to drop in for refreshments and meet with industry pioneers and innovators, compliments of the Ontario Horticultural Trades Foundation. Building on Day One excitement, walk across the street to the International Plaza Hotel and upstairs to the big ballroom for the ticketed event, Awards of Excellence ceremony. Winners of the 2016 construction, maintenance and design programs will receive their awards this evening. Attendees are treated to a disco-themed event, as well as refreshments and entertainment, courtesy of presenting partner G&L Group and Supporting partner Connon Nurseries, CBV Holdings. Get ready for a night to remember.

Day Two, Wednesday, begins with a members-only Annual General Meeting at the Plaza Hotel. Join fellow members and have your voice heard.

Across the street at the Congress Centre, Conference highlights include a keynote from Disney’s manager of the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Eric Darden. The entertaining and awesome Ron Rosenberg will help delegates with their memory and motivation. Andrew Wall, highly sought-after business coach, is welcomed back to Congress Conferences. A newly-energized ticketed event will be the Strengthening Women in Horticulture presentation by Elizabeth Mills, president and CEO of Workplace Safety and Prevention Services. This not-for-profit organization
has a mandate to meet the health and safety needs of 154,000 businesses, representing 3.8 million employees across Ontario. She has over 20 years of executive leadership.

Find your appetite and dancing shoes for the Tailgate Party, hosted by LO’s Show Committee. There is no entry fee thanks to the partnership of Permacon Group and LO’s Hardscape Committee. Enjoy dinner, music and great prizes with your peers. Meet up with colleagues and friends and make some new ones, too.

Closing day, Thursday, at Congress brings energy, innovation and offers strategies for a successful year (not to mention a Mike Riehm-inspired putting contest down a show floor aisle.) Join noteworthy author Andy Masters for insight and practical strategies into your customer service values and methods and the infamous Mike Mandel for his presentation that will deliver entertainment and inspiration at the closing Life Lessons at Lunch. All this is taking place while the Irrigation Conference is running, including lunch courtesy of Rain Bird and Toro, and refreshments, thanks to Hunter.
The trade show floor in 2016 boasts another new feature, Speaker’s Corner. This up-close and personal approach to learning will see safety take the front seat. The Dig Safe alliance will highlight dos and don’ts and prepare contractors for the upcoming season. Green industry software platforms will also be highlighted and offer delegates a plethora of options for the upcoming season.

Schedule details, registration and pricing information are all at