After three years in Niagara Falls, Ontario, the Canadian show is returning to its former host city, Toronto, this year. The venue change may mark a new approach for organizers of the Canadian Pool & Spa Conference & Expo.

“We had a tremendous three years in Niagara Falls,” said Robert Wood, executive director of the Pool & Hot Tub Council of Canada. “Like any event, we don’t want it to grow stale. Niagara Falls and Toronto are successful [venues] historically, and to alternate between them gives some variety.”

This year’s event is slated for Dec. 1-4 at the Toronto Congress Centre. The organization expects a higher turnout because it’s in the biggest city in Canada, with many pool and spa professionals in the region. As a major airline hub, it’s convenient for people flying in from the United States and elsewhere — just a 10-minute drive from the airport. “I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more than 2,000 registrants,” Wood said, compared with around 1,800 in 2013. The number of exhibitors in the 80,000-square-foot exhibit hall should continue to hover in the 140 to 150 range.

The educational track has been expanded this year. Not only is there a two-day CPO course, but also six short courses — twice as many as last year — on topics ranging from hot tub service and maintenance to advanced water chemistry. The regular seminar schedule is expected to have standouts on subjects such as troubleshooting metal stains, measuring for pool liners, water slides, human resources, and project management: client communications. The popular “Hot Topics – Hot Breakfast” is set for Thursday, with four lively round-table discussions on tap.

Awards for design and construction, and industry achievement, will be bestowed at the Awards Banquet on Wednesday night.

Wood calls the annual expo and conference “a tremendous opportunity to catch up on new technologies in the industry. It’s not the same as looking things up online. So often [industry professionals] are busy working and don’t have a chance to talk to their peers. This gives them that chance … and they can bring their staffs for training.”

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