December 15, 2015
Congress is coming, Jan. 11 to 14, at the Toronto Congress Centre. It’s another year, in which the task is to re-invent and improve upon a thriving event that has been around for 43 years.

Over the last few years, new events have been added and features updated. Congress has been very fortunate to grow an amazing profit-centre for the association. The organizing committee regularly receives feedback from delegates on how much they learned and enjoyed themselves.

The co-location of Congress with the Canadian Fence Industry Association’s Fencecraft and Landscape Ontario’s multiple partnerships in the Green Infrastructure Pavilion, a show-within-a-show, offers a glimpse into allied industry’s products and creates multiple business opportunities from new and untapped markets.

For 43 years, thousands of green industry professionals have explored over eight acres of leading suppliers’ products and services. The timely and comprehensive four-day, top-rated conference program features acclaimed industry and business experts. Full session details may be viewed at, but make sure you have a cup of java nearby, as there is some great browsing on hand.

In partnership with Landscape Ontario’s Hardscape Committee, Congress presents Hardscape LIVE!  It’s a new attraction to the show floor. Pat McCrindle will school the audience on hardscape installation techniques with a live build over the three days, with daily instruction at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. McCrindle has installed more than 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 highest rated speaker at the Hardscape North America’s live demo for many years. He’s a dynamic presenter and knows what he is talking about.

Catch the live build in Hall F on Tuesday, from 10 – 11 a.m. Learn the tools of the hardscape trade and what you need to succeed as we transition from landscaper to hardscaper. From 2 – 3 p.m., it’s Excavation and Base Prep. Learn how to properly evaluate your working conditions, and how to prepare your materials, equipment and labour for the job. On Wednesday, from 10 – 11 a.m., it’s Basic Paver Installation.  From selecting a paver to cleaning up the job site, you will learn the step-by- step process of the proper installation of paving stones. From 2 – 3 p.m., it’s Fireplaces, Fire Pits and Barbecues. Whether it’s wood burning or gas, McCrindle will delve into the best practices for building hardscape fireplaces and fire pits, and also discuss the proper construction, costing and maintenance of outdoor barbecues; a growing trend in hardscaping. On Thursday, from 10 – 11 a.m., it’s Raised Patio Construction. This session outlines how to evaluate your existing topography and ground conditions for raised patio construction, and selecting the proper materials for the job. There will also be an outline on the considerations that must be addressed when constructing a raised patio. From 2 – 3 p.m., it’s Lighting Your Hardscape. Enhance your hardscape environment with the proper installation and allocation of hardscape lighting.

Also new to the show floor in Hall A is Speakers Corner, featuring The Underground World: Preventing Utility Damages. This up-close and personal approach to learning will see safety take the front seat right on the show floor. The Dig Safe alliance, in partnership with ORCGA, will highlight dos and don’ts and prepare contractors for the coming season.

If you are looking for more, the four-day conference program begins on Warm-up Monday, with a series of industry specific events: IPM Symposium, Landscape Designer Conference and Peer-to-Peer Network, with the Irrigation Conference on Thursday.

The full conference schedule, running Jan. 12 to 14, will help you discover new concepts, ideas and valuable insight from leading industry experts. The program is full of great options for employees and business owners wanting to stay a step ahead. The 2016 line-up boasts daily opening keynotes from Kate Davis on Balancing Life With Humour; Eric Darden sharing some of Disney’s Epcot Center’s methodology to success; and Andy Masters encouraging you to, yes, Kiss Your Customer (you should definitely attend to find out more).

Lunch programming continues to be a highlight with LMN running the Landscape Open with insights and inspiration to grow your business. This will be presented by Mark Bradley and Mike Lysecki on Day 1. Ron Rosenberg will teach delegates to double their memory for business success on Day 2, and celebrity entertainer Mike Mandel drills down with Brain Software; a communication lesson not to be missed.

Taking time to attend the trade show and conference is hard work, so don’t forget to unwind at the popular social events, Awards of Excellence ceremony Tuesday night, and the LMN After Party following the awards. And, of course, don’t miss the famous Tailgate Party on Wednesday night.

Congress offers eight acres of more than 600 multi-national vendors, under one roof; the ideal purchasing environment for design-build, fence, landscape and pool contractors, as well grounds managers, landscape designers, irrigation and lighting contractors, all looking to see the latest technologies, equipment, tools and products on the market. If you influence purchasing decisions for your business, then you won’t want to miss this event.

Congress is strategically placed at beginning of the new year, so green industry personnel — from contractors and designers to suppliers and affiliates alike — can all kick off 2016 together. It literally is a one-stop shop that is rich in professional development, vendors, innovative products, education and networking opportunities.

Register today at We look forward to seeing you there!