Next Friday marks the opening of the 2015 Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto, presented by the Toronto Star and Wheels.ca. With more than 1,000 new cars and trucks on display at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, this is the largest consumer show in Canada.
I often refer to the AutoShow as Christmas in February, and every year I make a point of attending the show several times, not only to view the latest models and concepts but to gauge public reaction to what's on display.
For the 2015 AutoShow, organizers have lined up many new features and exhibits that will thrill automobile enthusiasts of all ages. A total of 45 vehicles will make their Canadian premiere this year, including nine concept vehicles being shown in Canada for the first time.
On the 700 Level, a classic car exhibit, curated by Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance, will feature automobiles spanning the turn of the century until 1963 (including an 1867 steam buggy); Microsoft will feature an Xbox Gaming Lounge; a premium restaurant will provide visitors with an opportunity to enjoy a high-end sit-down meal on-site; and new resting spaces have been added.
The Trillium Automobile Dealers Association (TADA) will be showcasing its new Education Initiative with interactive displays and brochures on the 700 Level, where visitors can learn about the diverse career opportunities in the retail automotive industry.
The new AutoConnect pavilion will feature Centennial College, Humber College and The University of Waterloo highlighting hands-on exposure to the technical training, innovative vehicle design and world-class learning that helps prepare Canadian students to take their place in the industry internationally.
In response to the growing interest in electric vehicles, Plug N Drive will offer a chance for show goers to test drive a range of electric cars from the show docks; and Toyota will feature a running demonstration of its cool i-Road concept, an electric, three-wheel vehicle within the AutoConnect pavilion.
Ripley's Believe it or Not will give show-goers a chance to drive the world’s smallest mass produced car (if you can fit in it!), and Ford is building a Children's F-150 Course, where kids can learn to drive mini F150’s themselves.
There will also be new exhibitors this year. The Ontario Science Centre; the popular website, Trend Hunter, and the CBC's hit crime-drama series, Murdoch Mysteries, will each have special displays.
Returning this year is Auto Exotica, represented by a stellar line-up of classic automobiles, including Ferrari, McLaren, Lamborghini, Bentley, Lotus, Bugatti, and Rolls-Royce – and for 2015 the Tesla and Pagani brands will also be on show, as well as a LaFerrari courtesy of Shark Tank investor, Robert Herjavec – no.1 of 499 produced and never before seen at an AutoShow since its launch at Geneva in 2013!
Family Day is on Monday, February 16th, with special guests, activities for the family and exclusive prize giveaways.
Four cars will be given away at the AutoShow: a specially-modified 2015 Ford Mustang GT for the Rock the Road Raffle (donated by TADA); two Hyundai’s and a Subaru. Plus the TADA and the Star will give away $40,000 towards the purchase of a new car at any TADA member dealership.
A free bus shuttle offers continuous service throughout the 10-day event, transporting visitors between the MTCC’s North and South buildings, and Wheelchair Accessible shuttle services are also available. For those with young children, the Volkswagen Children’s Playcare Centre is located on the 600 Level in the South Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Buy tickets at the AutoShow website’s E-ticket service and save 10% up until the day the show opens, and avoid the lineups. Family admission passes, multi-day passes and group rates are available.
Ample public parking is available nearby, and public transit is convenient and accessible from Union Station.
For more information, visit www.autoshow.ca.