Just in time for March break, two harbingers of spring are in the air at big annual shows.
Calling all sportsmen, women and kids for the Toronto Sportsmen’s Show returning to the International Centre (6900 Airport Rd.) in Mississauga from March 14 to 18.
And, everything’s coming up roses and more for Canada Blooms, the flower and garden festival at the Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place, March 9 to18.
If fishing, hunting, boating, camping, travel, outdoor adventure and more are your thing, then this sporty show is for you.
Attracting 300 exhibitors, the show has a “diverse range of products and services all promoting the great outdoors.”
Last year, almost 70,000 people visited the show that began in 1948 under the leadership of outdoorsman, author and conservationist Frank Kortright.
Encouraging visitors to come and “be inspired by everything the great Canadian wilderness has to offer,” is show president Peter Lockhart.
It offers everything from canine entertainers and Canadian wildlife superstars, to axe throwing and chainsaw carving, with exhibits to “amaze and inspire the whole family,” he added.
Those passionate about antique and classic boats can see retro outboard engines that ruled the lakes in the 1920s to ’50s.
Presented by the Trent Severn Antique and Classic Boat Association, some of these motors are from pioneers such as Chris Craft, Elto, Evinrude, Johnson, Mercury, Oliver, Scott and Viking.
Among the headliners are the WoofJocks Canine All Stars, “pup-sized entertainers,” with a choreographed variety show of canine agility and obedience.
Prepare to be amazed by the West Coast Lumberjack Show with performances of axe throwing, block chopping, log rolling, tree climbing and more.
Get a real bird’s eye view of the Canadian Peregrine Foundation’s birds of prey.
On hand are “some of North America’s most magnificent birds” and information about efforts to conserve and protect these endangered species.
Fish on Productions is an interactive area for seasoned and novice fishermen to experience seminars from Fish TV pros, while children can catch a trout.
The outreach group, Speaking of Wildlife, has groundhogs and invites visitors to pose with a porcupine or snap a selfie with a snapping turtle.
Show hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., March 14 to 17; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 18.
Admission is $20; $13, seniors, 60 plus, and for ages 13 to 17. Children to age 16 and parking are free. Details: torontosportshow.ca
Coming up roses
Let’s Go to the Movies is the theme for Canada Blooms, the country’s largest horticultural festival.
Experience the “first breath of spring” from March 9 to 18 at the Enercare Centre.
Show organizers say movie buffs and garden lovers alike can be inspired by an array of floral and landscape designs influenced by some of Hollywood’s greatest blockbusters.
“We cannot wait to see what our award-winning florist artists, garden builders and designers have up their sleeves and how they will incorporate the theme into their creations,” said Terry Caddo, general manager.
One of these is the Star Trek garden by Melanie Rekola Landscape Design to “transport you to an alternate ecosphere filled with out-of-this-world flora and space-age elements,” he added.
Three Plants of the Year will be on view: the Supertunia Bordeaux petunia; Primo Black Pearl heuchera; and Spilled Wine weigela.
The show features gardens, floral designs, Canada’s largest juried flower show and competition, 100 presentations, special features, 750 exhibitors and is located with the National Home Show.
For hours, ticket prices: canadablooms.com
Jim Fox can be reached at [email protected]