Show History

A Short History of the CSC Toronto Chapter No Frills Trade Show

In the mid 70’s, the Toronto Chapter decided on creating a simple Trade Show as being an attempt to help fund the Chapter’s activities for the benefit of the Chapter, the industry and CSC as a whole.

In1978, a committee was struck which consisted of Moe (Maurice) McGill (Chair), Peter Zahradnik, Joe Dunleavy, Bill Kernohan, Len McLeod, Jim Tobros, Fred Clarke and David Pinkney. Starting from scratch with no ‘how-to’ manual, these courageous souls ventured forth to produce a Trade Show in 1979.

The major tasks ahead of the committee were to book a hall, advertise, rent tables and chairs, advertise, pay deposits, advertise, sign guarantees, advertise, etc. It was said, the night before the show Moe turned grey! The success of the show meant, not losing money. The first show was held in “West Hall” of Union Station. The show was a success thus cementing its place as an annual event for the Toronto Chapter. One of the first obstacles the Trade show had to overcome was “Paying off the barber, a day’s pay”, who had a shop in the West Hall.

After a few years at Union Station, the Trade Show had out grown the space and now required a larger space to hold the Show. A new site at St Lawrence Market North was chosen. The committee had developed a good formula that as working well and so the Chapter urged the committee to expand the show again. As a result, the committee took a quantum leap (more butterflies and grey hair) and chose The Harbour Castle Convention Centre. Some of the upgrades that came with the new venue were carpet and chandeliers! A vast improvement from bare concrete floors and dim lighting.

The Habour Castle Convention Centre allowed the show to expand in increments by taking larger portions of the main ballroom. This was the ideal situation at the time. Eventually it became more difficult to book the convention space a year in advance as the hotel’s main function is to sell hotel rooms. A one day “No Frills Trade Show” in their conference facility doesn’t sell hotel rooms. This was becoming more difficult for the committee to plan ahead for the next year’s show. Thus off the committee went in search of new space which was not attached to selling hotel rooms.

That lead the committee to choose The Metro Toronto Convention Centre which is where the “No Frills Trade Show” is presently held. The Metro Toronto Convention Centre had all the amenities the Show required to be successful.

The “No Frills Trade Show” is very unique in its deliverance of information, demonstration and networking. This is done in 1 afternoon with a “No Frills” theme with the emphasis on knowledge and networking instead of large expensive displays. The exhibits are limited to a table provided for isle exhibitor to a small pop-up booth around the perimeter of the floor area. Spaces are booked on a “first come, first serve basis”.

Prior to the actual show an annual lunch takes place with a key note speaker. Tickets for this portion of the show are sold individually or by full table of 8.

As a visitor you will see a compact, organized exhibition of over 200 vendors of construction products and services – aimed at providing technical information without the fluff and frills.