CSC Toronto trade show succeeds in 36th year

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GTA Construction Report staff writer

Hundreds of people exhibited and attended the 36th annual Construction Specifications Canada (CSC) Toronto chapter’s No Frills Tradeshow in Toronto on March 5, the longest-running construction GTA trade show.

Trade show committee chair Bob Mercer says the event attracted about 160 exhibitors. This number is lower than the sold-out 200 plus exhibitors in the 1990s and through much of the last decade, but Mercer says the show has been holding its own in recent years, despite increasing competition.

Luncheon guest speaker Ene Underwood, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Toronto, shared emotional stories of how the international housing charity has been able to help the working poor escape poverty.

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The show included live demonstrations and lectures on topics such as architectural acoustics, the law and bird-friendly design.

Mark Clemmensen, the CSC Toronto chapter chair and a building science representative for Henry Company Canada Inc. and Juste Fanou, specification writer at Parkin Architects Ltd., outlined to a group of students the advantages and opportunities of a specifications writing career.

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They observed that qualified specifications writers are always in demand, resulting in great job security and higher-than-average compensation.

“You shouldn’t of course choose a career primarily for the money,” Clemmensen said – and you should really want to do the work, but specifications writers can be among the highest earners in the industry.

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CSC Toronto trade show committee members in addition to Clemmensen and Mercer include: Roger Ali, A/D Fire Protection Systems; Eric Corej, Fluke Networks; Steve Gusterson, Alumicor Ltd.  Steve Ioannides, ASI Atrocious Inc.

The CSC Toronto show is the chapter’s largest fund-raiser.  As well, the show allows the Toronto chapter to make substantial contributions to support the national CSC organization. There is only one part-time paid employee, administrator Donna Fournier.

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Mercer says the show traces its history to 1979, when specifiers were able to reserve space for the show in Union Station.  “Paying off the barber, who had a shop in the west hall, a day’s pay became a minor detail.”

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The show allowed the then-broke Toronto chapter to overcome its financial woes, and “help fund the chapter’s activities for the benefit of the chapter, the industry, and the CSC as a whole.”

Next year’s show will be Thursday, March 5.  For more information, see www.csctradeshow.com.

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