Condo show sneak peek
Last night I had the pleasure of hitting up a sneak preview of this weekend's Toronto Condo Show at the Metro Convention Centre.
By going early, I got to miss the crowds and actually spend some time speaking with exhibitors. The downside was that not everything was set up yet - one booth was still receiving its first coat of red paint when I left - but I still got a taste of the show (as well as a Pravda vodka sample).
This year's event is focused on all things green - it's zero-waste, bullfrog powered and features green-themed speakers and exhibits.
A personal highlight was the chance to poke around the Canuhome, pictured right.
The Canuhome, so named because it looks like an upside down canoe from the outside, is a 850-square-foot residence exhibit built to meet environmental standards and outfitted with eco-conscious products. Canuhome has been on tour for a while, but this was my first chance to see it up close.
From adorable ant-printed pillows from MADE (I know, it doesn't sound cute, but trust me on this one) to the lime green quartz countertops from distributor CIOT (it's available in 25 other colours), the model home also helps show that green can be fun and trendy as well as environmentally responsible.
As I wandered along, listening to a great presentation by keynote speaker Andrew Bowerbank on the role homes and houses play in representing our concerns as a race and the role we, and our buildings, have to play in combatting climate change, I couldn't help but find myself drooling over the condo-sized furniture at casalife - which had a fab black lacquer-finished desk that expands to full table size - and the space-saving, trendy designs at Roomy's exhibit.
I also eyed some movable, and wall mounted, condo-sized electric fireplaces, which, with the temperature dropping like crazy this week, seem like a particularly alluring investment. My last home had a remote-controlled one, and the extra warmth (without any cleanup!) was very welcome all winter long.
I snagged some great 'greening' tips from the Ontario Centre for Green Building Design and Development - like turning down water heaters and using ceiling fans to help ease heating and cooling - as well as super simple step-by-step tips on buying new and resale condos from Heenan Blaikie's reps.
I also had a nice time chatting with folks from home staging company designedtosell.ca, who said working as a stager - while obviously enjoyable - was also a little bit like moving every day.
One thing I did miss out on by coming early was the near-legendary condo site bus tours, which ferry you around to the latest developments. While many developers were at the show - with mini condo towers and gorgeous renderings on display - nothing beats actually checking out the location.
The condo show runs all weekend. Tickets are $12 for adults.