Tradeshow Report: Cottage Life Show in Toronto

Posted by Brian Hawrysh
March 31st, 2010

photoA Ray of Sunshine in Canada’s Construction and Wood Products Markets

BC Wood participation in this past weekend’s Cottage Life Show in Toronto was certainly an eye opener on how targeting a strong niche can make a huge difference in a company’s ability to weather difficult market conditions.

Despite general lackluster conditions in wood products markets overall, the higher end recreational home market in Ontario’s cottage country appears to be stronger than ever. Attendance at the recent Cottage Life show in Toronto was up over last year and the reports from the representatives of BC Wood member companies would indicate a strong demand for log and timber frame homes and higher quality exterior finishing materials, doors, flooring and cabinets.

At any show that is open to the public, no… make that any show, you get your share of tire-kickers, but at this show, I was impressed by the number of people coming to the booth who knew what they wanted and were serious about buying. A number of individuals came to the BC Wood booth looking for information about log and timber frame packages from BC. Many had done their research and knew that they wanted BC species or the “big wood” construction from BC. They had property and planned to build in the near future; some had actual architectural drawings they wanted a builder to look at.

Most of the questions regarding finished products ended in a discussion around whether BC companies could be competitive, being so far from Ontario and whether they had local distribution or a dealer in the area. A show open to the public is not for everyone, or even most of BC Wood’s members, but it certainly provided insight on how some market niches have remained strong in this economy and that it is important for companies to keep their options open on how they go to market. For more information on the Cottage Life show, please do not hesitate to contact me at

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