By Sharilene Rowland
The National Home Show, North America’s largest home and garden show that takes place at the Enercare Centre, once again did not disappoint. Showcasing everything from indoor and outdoor living, renovations, DYI projects, gardening and landscaping ideas for both small and large areas, along with various housing trends, the National Home Show 2016 in Toronto has something to suit everyone’s needs. The National Home Show is co-located with Canada Blooms so I had a chance to visit both shows.
Whether your style is living large or small, there were vendors, ideas and demonstrations for all. The definition for “home” is not the same for everyone; each person is looking for a home that fits their lifestyle. At the National Home Show 2016, there were three featured homes.
The “Future Dream Home,” built by Michael Upshall, was a 4,600 sq. ft. home with all the bells and whistles of modern technology, blended with sustainable living design in ultimate luxury, style and space.
The second featured home was the Best Buy Smart Home, a 900 sq. ft. home designed by Christine Dovey. The home integrates advanced technology with a home’s interior aesthetic. Innovative products throughout the home that made the home smarter, safer and more energy efficient included appliances that would text you when your milk was low to being able to lock and unlock your doors from anywhere.
The third featured home was a Tiny House. The tiny house movement has been growing quickly throughout the U.S. for the last few years, and has made its way to many parts of Canada. Living tiny is definitely a lifestyle that offers freedom from high mortgages, more time and money to live life and travel, utilizes more of the outdoors, while being a model of sustainable living that leaves a very small environmental footprint. The Tiny House Construction Co. provided one of their tiny home models completely finished and furnished for showgoers to view, and the lineup to get a chance to see the inside of this model was neverending, indicating that many Canadians are interested in tiny houses and wish to learn more.
Canada Blooms’ vendors offered design and plant options, such as air plants for small spaces, to elaborate outdoor landscaping options where your outdoor space could be utilized year round. Whether you were looking for a simple outdoor space to a statement garden you wish to showcase, the ideas were numerous.
Two highlights of this year’s Canada Blooms show were the importance of rain gardens and storm water conservation, and the “Bring Back The Bees” campaign.
One third of our foods is made possible by the natural pollination work that bees provide, and this is in grave danger due to the ongoing losses in our bee populations across Canada. This is why Honey Nut Cheerios is calling on Canadians to help support the bee population by planting 35 million wildflowers across our country this year. Canadians are also being shown how to harvest rainwater – a vital resource – by creating their own rain gardens. Rain gardens would also provide a more full, lush garden while improving water quality in nearby bodies of water, and easing the strain on our environment.
I’ve been attending the National Home Show for years and every time I learn something new and walk away with great ideas and amazing new products. Whether you are a renter or an owner, there is something for everyone.