March 15, 2012
By Phil Charal
LO President

phil charal I find it hard to believe that the Canada Blooms flower and garden festival will be embarking on its 16th annual event this year. It seems only a short time ago that the initial discussions began at one of our Landscape Contractors’ Commodity Group meetings. Now, 16 years later, having weathered numerous venues and a challenging financial climate, Canada Blooms has continued to develop into a premier, world class garden event.

This year Canada Blooms will grow from a five-day to a ten-day festival in conjunction with The National Home Show. This will make it the largest home and garden event in North America.

Canada Blooms and The National Home Show will run from Mar. 16 to the 25, at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto. The purchase of a single ticket will allow you into both Canada Blooms and the Home Show. Canada Blooms will expand into the larger, Hall A, Heritage Court and Hall F, while the home show will occupy the remaining exhibit space. This year’s theme, City Culture, will be reflected in the six acres of spectacular gardens and in the special cultural evenings.

Remember, that as LO members we have tickets available to us for $12, instead of the regular $20 price. The show relies on the generosity of industry volunteers to ensure its success. To volunteer in any capacity, please contact the Canada Blooms office at 416-447-8655, at  

Having spent several years on the Canada Blooms board, serving as its co-chair for three years, I can attest to how rewarding the giving of your time to this show can be. Every year, since the very beginning, my firm has designed and built a garden at Canada Blooms, either for a sponsor or our own company. It is always a pleasure to see how much the attendees enjoy and appreciate what all of the Landscape Ontario members create at this amazing event. The promotion of our industry is a wonderful result, and we all benefit in some way from the enormous effort that is put into making Canada Blooms a very special happening.

The daffodil has been chosen as the official flower for Canada Blooms 2012. More than a flower, the daffodil is a symbol of strength, courage and life. It signifies fighting back and beating cancer, and in honour of the Canadian Cancer Society, Canada Blooms will donate $2 from every ticket purchased. It should be noted that over the years Canada Blooms has donated over half a million dollars to horticultural projects throughout the province.

In closing, I encourage all of you to attend Industry Night at Canada Blooms on Mar. 22 at 6 p.m. It will be a great opportunity to visit the show, mix with your fellow members and be part of the award presentations to honour the companies that have built gardens at Canada Blooms.

There will also be a delegation from St. James Park to provide a special thank you to LO members for their commitment to the beautification of the park. Canada Blooms needs the support of the Landscape Ontario members to continue as the world class event that it is today. Canada Blooms is an incredible promotion of horticulture and the landscape industry. I truly hope that you will all attend this year’s very special event. Don’t miss this great opportunity!
Phil Charal may be reached at