November 3, 2023
Congress: The future is friendly
By Kali Pearson

After a phenomenal first year back in person last January — where Landscape Ontario’s Congress welcomed over 17,600 visitors — we could not be more excited about Congress 2024, taking place Jan. 9-11 in Toronto. We’re back with over 400 exhibitors covering eight acres, plus a wealth of special events happening in and around the show. In short, Congress has everything (and we mean everything) you need to plan for a successful 2024.

With so many ways to get involved, we’re sharing the inside scoop on the best ways to connect, learn, celebrate, and source equipment and suppliers for the year ahead. Plus, we’re sharing tips from Landscape Ontario’s Congress show team on making it through the long days and nights of the best event of the year (in our humble opinion) with a smile on your face. If you haven’t registered yet, now is the time!
people at a trade show


Anyone who has been to Congress will tell you the best part of the three-day event is connecting with peers in the landscape and horticultural profession. In addition to meeting friends and colleagues on the floor and stopping by the exhibitor booths (you can plan your route and navigate by using the interactive floor plan, available at there are lots of great networking opportunities throughout the day. Tickets to Congress are only $15 for Landscape Ontario members, $30 for non-members and free for students and educators. There’s also the legendary Tailgate Party happening Jan. 10 at 8:30 p.m., and admission is included in your Congress pass.

For exhibitors only, Landscape Trades magazine is hosting a VIP lounge where you can host impromptu meetings or just give your feet a rest and get a bite to eat.


The live stage area is sure to be a hotspot this year!
  • Expert speakers
  • Grow and apprenticeship crew
  • A first time ever collaborative student garden
It's a great place to learn, get inspired and maybe even find your next star employee.


Your trade show only pass gets you access to all of the LIVE Stage events, covering a range of topics to support your business. For those wishing for a deeper dive, the Congress Conference is your chance to immerse yourself in the latest trends, techniques and innovations to help your business thrive. A conference pass is $225 for Landscape Ontario members and $275 for non-members — but only till Dec. 15, when prices will go up. Student/educator passes are available for $40. The Conference will feature presentations and panel discussions with industry leaders on optimizing your business, recruitment, marketing, consumer trends and inspiring talks on how those in the landscape and horticultural trades can help mitigate climate change through their work.

The Landscape Ontario Peer to Peer Network is hosting its annual kick-off event for business owners and key managers on Jan. 8. If you’re ready to take a deep dive into your leadership style and want to learn how to best manage your team, then this is the event for you. Early bird pricing for the workshop is available until Dec. 15 at $175 for
LO members and $225 for non-members.

Also taking place on Jan. 8 is the Landscape Designers conference at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto Airport. This full-day event includes a lunch and closing reception and each conference session qualifies for one Landscape Horticulture Certification CEU. With talks on therapeutic garden design, accessible landscaping and career success, it’s the perfect place to shore up your skills and connect with peers. Early bird pricing is $175 for LO members and $225 for non-members, available until Dec. 15.


Check out the full Congress Conference speaker lineup at to plan your day in advance. Conference runs Jan. 9-11, taking place 9:30-noon so guests will have plenty of time to check out the trade show in the afternoons.


Congress isn’t just a place to plan for the future — it’s a place to celebrate the successes of 2023 with your peers. The Landscape Ontario Awards of Excellence Ceremony, taking place on Jan. 9, will reveal winning projects by landscape and horticulture professionals in several categories. It’s a true celebration of the breathtaking design and master craftsmanship that LO members bring to property owners and communities across the province. And it’s a wonderful chance to bring your team together for an inspiring and energizing night. Tickets are available now for $100 each or $900 for a table of 10 (plus HST).

large group of people on a stage with awards Looking for even more ways to celebrate and connect? The annual Tailgate Party, taking place at the Delta Hotel January 10, is a great atmosphere — with games, entertainment and a relaxed social vibe. Your trade show badge will get you in the door and the party starts at 8:30 p.m.


The LO awards of excellence ceremony on an. 9 Is our chance to shine and celebrate one another. Be sure to dress to impress (whatever that means for you!).

Shop and source  

With hundreds of exhibitors from across Canada, Congress is a one-stop shop for everything you need to make 2024 your best season yet. Some of the key exhibitor trends we’re seeing this year include:

Backyard living: From cozy seating to outdoor cooking and dedicated playspaces, Congress has you covered. Check out IDC Home, Premium Living and BUM Furniture for gorgeous furniture; Urbanscape Self-Watering Planters, Green Theory Design and Domino Planters for unique containers; Court Survey Specialists/DIY Courts, Sport Court and Rymar Grass for creating spaces for play; and Station Grill and Wildfire Outdoor Living for outdoor kitchens and cooking. To light it all up and even explore water features, swing by ProSource Supply and Aquascape.

Grower and plant innovation: Innovation is a constant in our industry and with climate change affecting, well, everything, it’s never been a better time to lean into ethical, native and organic products. Check out Northern Wildflowers for farm-grown or ethically collected flowers from the wild, Florae Farms for locally-grown native trees, Croxall Farms and Pure Life Soil for unique growing elixirs made from fish and worm poop.

Electric equipment: Whether you are looking for electric equipment and vehicles from large brands like Stihl, Echo or Kress or newcomers like MAP Agri/Knegt Tractors, Congress has it all. Exhibitors will also be featuring robotics and autonomous equipment, software to help optimize your business and, of course, the usual impressive array of fuel-powered trucks, snow plows and blowers, skid steers, excavators, vacuum lifts, leaf blowers, mowers, chain saws, and more.

You can stay tuned for all updates and purchase tickets to Congress, Conference and satellite events at We hope to see you there!

Top 10 tips for making the most of Congress from the Congress Show Team

  1. Register in advance
    If you register before Dec. 15, your badge will arrive in the mail, and you won’t waste time lining up at the event. You’ll also get early-bird pricing.
  2. Use the interactive online floor plan
    Peruse the floor plan on to map out which booths you most want to visit. This feature is like the Google Maps version for trade shows.
  3. Check the time
    Along with knowing which booths you want to visit, you want to know which events or shows are on your docket. Check out the schedule and set alerts on your phone to keep you on track.
  4. Drop by the Landscape Ontario membership booth (#1435)
    We’re biased, but one of our favourite booths is the LO Membership booth, which represents the vibrant LO community. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn more about the exclusive benefits available to LO members.
  5. Bring lots of business cards
    Networking is key at Congress. You want the new contacts you meet to be able to reach out to you after the event. Bring more business cards than you think you need.
  6. Wear comfortable shoes
    Congress is massive, and you’ll likely be on your feet most of the day travelling from booth to booth. Wear your most comfortable walking shoes — you’ll thank yourself later.
  7. Don’t forget your reusable water bottle
    It’s important to stay hydrated, especially when you’re on your feet all day, and indoor heating can also result in drier air.
  8. Bring a notebook
    Congress is full of information. Bring a notebook to keep track of new ideas, contacts or anything else you learn. Trust us — you won’t remember everything.
  9. Take breaks
    There’s a lot to see, but you don’t want to tire before the day is done. Be sure to sit down and eat a snack every once in a while to keep your energy up.
  10. Don’t forget to follow up
    When the day is done, reach out to the connections you’ve made at Congress. Follow up with new clients, business partners and friends to complete your experience.
Congress registration, the floor plan, schedule and other resources can be found online at

Don’t just take it from us!
Here’s what keeps attendees and exhibitors coming back

Aisha Hussain

“It’s great exposure for us that we’re able to get our name out. We met a lot of great employers, but we also met a lot of great candidates who I think will really benefit from our services. And hopefully we can take the two and put them together and get a lot of people working and a lot of employers some great candidates.”

Aisha Hussain,

Brent Vanderkurk

“We love it. We love seeing the people, our friends, our family, our customers, new people. It’s just a lot of fun. It’s really important for the industry to showcase what we’re all about, too. This is an awesome industry and it’s great to show what kind of great things we’re doing and how we’re benefiting the world around us.”

– Brent Vanderkruk, NVK Nurseries

Dan Dow

“We do have a large client base in Ontario already, so it’s nice to get down here, see some fresh faces and some old faces that we’ve seen before and get some new leads in the area. It’s nice getting to see not just what everybody else has to offer, but also what the competition is doing, and how they’re dealing with their clients.”

– Dan Dow, Steam ‘N’ Weeds

Tom Stirling

“The staff here have been very well organized and super helpful with everything that we've been trying to do. It makes a huge difference on a show how convenient it is and how organized things are. We were able to come in here and set up our booth with minimal issues, all thanks to the staff at Congress.”

– Tom Stirling, Ryobi

Melissa Wright

“I think it’s interesting how you never know who you’re going to find at something like this and how the pieces all connect together. How many of the people who come here will be our customers? I don’t know. But it’s really interesting, even as I visit other booths to see the other aspects of the industry and how we all tie it together.”

– Melissa Wright, United Floral Distributors

Erin Batty

“It’s a good opportunity to get our name out there. We’re a fairly new company in this industry, so we’re trying to make relationships with people and tell people that we’re here. That’s a huge thing in this industry — to know a lot of people.”

– Erin Batty, Uxbridge Stone and Landscape Supply