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Toronto
Value Added Tax
The Harmonized Sales Tax is Canada's version of VAT, and it is 13 percent.
U.S. exhibitors may be responsible for duty or tax at the border, but not if the exhibit properties are returning to the states after the show.
There may also be environmental and disposal taxes on exhibit properties disposed of in Canada.


Voltage
Toronto runs on the same power voltage as the United States.

Garbage
Due to labor costs, build-and-burn exhibits are not common in Toronto.
The show organizer often picks up and disposes of garbage throughout install, during the show, and following dismantle. However, the I&D crew may be required to remove its own garbage at some trade shows in Toronto.
Cleaning services can generally be ordered through the trade show contractor.

Cellphones
Toronto uses the GSM phone system operated by U.S. carriers AT&T Inc. and T-Mobile USA Inc.
Visitors can purchase a North American roaming plan from their service provider before departure, or buy a disposable phone upon arrival.


Music
Royalties are collected at some shows for in-booth music, but this varies.
When collected, the payment goes to the Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers of Canada.

Emergencies
Dial 911 for all emergency services.

Greetings
Business introductions and customs in Toronto are identical to those in the United States.
Hospitality
Some large exhibits will offer an elaborate spread of food and beverages in a dedicated hospitality area, though many small booths provide only minimal hospitality or none at all.
Hot and cold beverages, cookies, finger foods, and candies are typically served when hospitality is provided.
Exhibitors must usually purchase all food and beverage items from a venue's designated catering company.
Alcohol is sometimes served at trade shows, but it is not common and must always be cleared through the show organizer.
Language
The predominant language spoken in Toronto is English, though Canada is a bilingual country with English and French as its official languages.
A French translator is unnecessary unless your target customers are from Quebec, where French is the official language.
Staff Attire
Business casual to business formal dress is common in Toronto, depending on how conservative the industry is.
Dark colors such as gray, navy, and black are common for business attire.
A good rule of thumb is to dress the way you would for a show in the United States.
Venues and Resources
Direct Energy Center at Exhibition Place is the largest trade show venue in Canada, with more than 1 million feet of exhibit/meeting space.
Metro Toronto Exhibition Centre has more than 600,000 square feet of exhibit/meeting space and is located in the center of Toronto.
The International Centre, which has 500,000 square feet of exhibit/meeting space, is five minutes from Pearson International Airport, and has 40 hotels in its vicinity.
Installation and Dismantle
Exhibitors are required to use union labor in Toronto, though they may arrange services through the show contractor, a local I&D company, or an exhibit house.
Unions exist for most show-related work, and must be used for material handling, cleaning, carpet laying, carpenters, painters, electricians, and technical services.
Labor rates vary, with independent contractors starting around $50 per hour, and official contractors charging up to double that amount.
Often, even pop-up or modular displays require union labor for setup and teardown.
Drayage is commonly charged at trade shows in Toronto.
You must submit booth designs to show management and, occasionally, the city permit office, for approval.
The Ontario Ministry of Labour, the City of Toronto, unions, and show management all oversee the safety of booth structures. Regulations vary regarding exhibits, so it is best to check the show manual for specific rules.
General Facts and Tips
Reserve a room early and at the show-sponsored hotel if possible. Rooms are usually less expensive at host hotels, and they typically include complimentary shuttle service to and from the trade show venue.
Toronto is one of the most culturally diverse cities in North America, and is world-renowned for its theater district and high-quality restaurants.
The best way to get to the venue from the airport is by taxi, but Toronto has a metro system that is convenient and affordable for getting around the city.
Traffic in Toronto can be difficult to navigate for drivers unfamiliar with the city, making taxis or shuttles a better option for getting around.
Safety
Submit booth plans to the show organizer prior to the show. If your exhibit exceeds 8 feet in height or is multistory, a structural engineer will need to certify the design.
A structural engineer oversees the safety of booth structures. Fire safety is enforced by the venue. Electrical safety is enforced by the hall's general contractor, who can cut the power to any exhibit that is deemed unsafe. So be sure to abide by all regulations.
Check the show kit for rules concerning Plexiglas, which is restricted in many venues due to its flammability.
General Facts and Tips
Airfreight to Canada usually arrives overnight, while ground shipping may take a few days.
Items sent to Canada must go through customs, where delays of several days can occur. Consult your shipping broker regarding regulations for dangerous goods and what can be imported into Canada. duty-free according to the North American Free Trade Agreement.
SOURCES
Rajeev Anand, director, TSI Displays Pvt., New Delhi; Brian Belanger, vice president, Exhibit Connections Ltd., Toronto; Erika Boelling, partner, GK+A International Exhibit Management Inc., Toronto; Mary Buffa, senior account executive, Skyline Exhibits, Mississauga, ON, Canada; Anselmo Carvalho, principal, Feira & Cia Group, São Paulo; Andrew Childers, vice president of strategy and communications, Green Park Global LLC, St. George, UT; Arindam Dasgupta, deputy general manager, Insta Group, Mumbai, India; Monika Detemple, director of sales and marketing/international projects, ExpoHouse International Stand Promocionais Ltda., Sao Paulo; Christopher Dorn, president, Idea International Inc., Tokyo; Ben Einer, president, international, EWI Worldwide, Hamburg, Germany; Gloria Guevara, executive director, International Federation of Exhibition and Event Services, Brussels; Tyler Johnson, international department director, Art Space Expo Services Co. Ltd., Shanghai; Oben Karatepe, CEO, Tasarimhane Yapi Dekorasyon Ltd., Istanbul; Shirley Li, general manager Shanghai office, EWI Worldwide, Shanghai; Kris Malmberg, sales and marketing vice president, Pico North America, Chicago; Gino Pellegrini, president, InterGlobal Exhibitions, Denver; Stephen Riches, vice president of global sales, Astound Group, Oakville, ON, Canada; Kadir Kaan Ekerciler, freelance B2B communication specialist, Istanbul; Kelli Steckbauer, director of global business, MG Design Associates Corp., Chicago; Jeannine Swan, president, Global Exhibit Management, Fort Worth, TX; Liese Tamburrino, CEO, Green Park Global LLC, Las Vegas; Roberto Telleria, international sales and marketing manager, Skyline Exhibits, Orlando, FL; Jenny Town, general manager assistant, Skyline Exhibits, Shanghai; Xiaoyang Wang, general manager, Skyline Exhibits, Shanghai
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