Toronto snowmobile, ATV show a boon for enthusiasts
International event draws crowds interested in variety of powersports
Story by Snowmobile.com Staff, Oct 19, 2007
Get the Flash Player to see this player.As soon as you walked through the main entrance, the 20th annual Toronto International Snowmobile, ATV & Powersport Show began to assault your senses.
The music was loud, the smell of food hung in the air and seemingly everything related to snowmobiles and other powersports was within your sights.
The event claims to be the biggest snowmobile and ATV show in the world and with hundreds of booths and millions of dollars worth of merchandise on display you can see why.
Looking for a new snowmobile? Just turn around and you’ll probably bump into one.
Planning a snowmobile trip with some friends? Pick up maps and talk to locals from dozens of tourism groups and sledding clubs.
Want to make your old sled look new again? Visit the OSM Custom Sled Village and talk to some of the exhibitors.
Just want to be entertained while keeping your money in your wallet? Check out the fearless riders at the freestyle event or look back at snowmobiling history with the large collection of vintage sleds.
Just about all the 2008 model snowmobiles could be found at the show, as vendors were showing off all their sleds. But it wasn’t just the big companies on display. Smaller businesses were selling snowmobile-alternatives that certainly won’t take over the industry, but could be an interesting addition to your garage.
Newmarket Motorsports of Newmarket, Ont., had its Chinese-made Snow Fox on display. The 80cc, 4-stroke sled is a mini-snowmobile with a top speed of about 20 km/h (12.4 mph). It’s really meant for kids, but can accommodate anyone up to 200 pounds.
“That was really hot at the show. Pretty much everyone cruising by the booth was stopping to check it out,” says Newmarket Motorsports owner Andrew Hepburn.
This was the first time the company had been to a big show, but since it got such good reaction and sold so many machines, Hepburn is considering returning in 2008.
Tourism was a big part of the show and attendees had plenty of possible destinations to learn more about. Locales throughout Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime provinces were on display, perfect for planning a winter trip.
Though poor weather has been an issue for the industry in recent years, people are still interested in snowmobile tourism and events like the Toronto International Snowmobile, ATV & Powesport Show allow potential customers to see what’s available.
“We get great response,” says Michael Morrow of Tracks to Trails Snowmobile Excursions.
Morrow told Snowmobile.com that events like these are very important to his Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. based company because he reaches a lot of new customers.
“Being at the shows is essential,” says Morrow.
‘Custom’ John Bors from The Custom Sled Shop in Sharon, Ont. agrees.
His shop had 4,500 square feet of space at the show and he says he got fantastic reaction from the crowd. He gets a lot of business from the Toronto show and says about 300 people called his shop the following week after admiring his tricked-out custom sleds.
The Custom Sled Shop also provided the snowmobiles for the freestyle event, which drew huge crowds of people. The professional riders put on an aerial display on the wood chip track that featured a pair of ramps.
“We stole the show,” says Bors.
The Antique and Classic Snowmobile Club of Canada, which has been at the Toronto show every year, showcased its collection of snowmobiles from years gone by. The group had sleds from all of today’s big manufacturers, but also from companies that no longer produce sleds such as Rupp, John Deere and Mercury.
Club president Ed Long says people often recognize a sled from their past and get drawn in.
“It really doesn’t matter what condition it’s in,” Long told Snowmobile.com. “We could put something fresh out of the barn on the floor or something that’s just had a thousand hours of restoration and it makes little to no difference at all. People are all smiles when they see them.”