2017 Ontario Classic Car Shows: 13 Must-see Events This Summer

Summers traditionally provide auto enthusiasts plenty of opportunities to indulge in their passion and appreciation for classic cars and trucks.

This year is no different, with a full slate of 2017 Ontario classic car shows taking place over the next several months. Some of them will be held in the Greater Toronto Area. Others will require a bit more of a drive to reach, which provides a great excuse to make a weekend trip with the family.

Most of these classic car shows raise funds for charities and the local community, so you’ll be helping them out with your support while you’re getting the chance to appreciate a wide range of auto classics.

2017 Ontario classic car shows

Must-see 2017 Ontario classic car shows

Here are 13 2017 Ontario classic car shows that will be worth attending for auto enthusiasts this summer:

1. RetroFest 2017 (Chatham, May 26th and 27th): View the classic cars on display in downtown Chatham, which is located approximately three hours from Toronto. This event also features live music and activities for the kids.

2. Fleetwood Country Cruize-in (London, June 3rd and 4th): This year’s edition celebrates 50 years of Camaros, Cougars, and Firebirds. Many other classic cars and hot rods will be displayed, along with live music and guest appearances from the cast of TV’s The Dukes of Hazzard.

3. Gravenhurst Car Show (Gravenhurst, June 17th): Northern Ontario’s largest car show occurs on the scenic shores of Gravenhurst’s Gull Lake, a couple of hours north of Toronto. With over 600 classic, collectible, and rare vehicles expected, the 24th edition of this event is one of the 2017 Ontario car shows not to be missed!

4. Shelburne Street Festival (Shelburne, June 17th): A 90 minute drive north of the city brings you to Shelburne, which has been hosting this festival every Saturday on Father’s Day weekend for years. Events include a classic car show, motorcycle show, live music, an open air market, and family activities.

5. The Yorkville Exotic Car Show (Toronto, June 18th): Toronto’s upscale Bloor-Yorkville area hosts the 7th edition of this show. Some of the world’s greatest sports cars will be on display, ranging from classics right up to the most desirable high performance vehicles of today.

6. Burlington Downtown Car Show (Burlington, July 8th): Muscle cars, classic cars, cruisers, and exotic sports cars will compete for your attention at this show in downtown Burlington. Enjoy live music and local vendors, with proceeds supporting the Burlington Lions Club.

7. Classics And Rods Review Show (Mississauga, July 9th): The Mississauga Classic Car Club puts on their annual show, which takes place this year at the city’s Hershey Centre. The diverse range of vintage vehicles on display every year at this event makes it one the 2017 Ontario classic car shows to circle on your calendar.

8. Havelock Recreation & Performance Motor Show (Havelock, July 14-16): Havelock is located two hours northwest of Toronto and is home to the jam-packed “Havelock RPM”. Along with the many classic cars, trucks, and motorcycles on display, you can camp and enjoy live music and boxing matches.

9. Creemore Valley Classics Car Show (Creemore, July 15th): Over the past decade, this event has grown from having 78 classic cars on display to what promises to be many hundreds more vintage car, truck, and motorcycle on display this year. Creemore is located 40 minutes west of Barrie.

10. Wheels On The Danforth (Toronto, August 19th): Two car shows are featured at the eighth edition of this family-friendly event. During the day, classic cars, hot rods, and motorcycles will be on display and the nighttime will showcase local tuner cars.

11. Autofest Oshawa (Oshawa, August 26th and 27th): Now in its 24th year, Autofest Oshawa gives auto buffs the chance to view modern and vintage muscle cars and a wide array of classic cars at Oshawa’s Lakeview Park.

12. Markham Auto Classic (Markham, September 10th):  Head to Markham’s Main Street for this long-running event that promises the chance to view more than 250 classic cars, street machines, trucks, and motorcycles.

13. Antique Classic & Custom Car Show (Huntsville, September 16th): Wrap up your tour of 2017 Ontario classic car shows by attending this event that features 300 classic cars and trucks, motorcycles, hot rods, tuners, and more.

A car lift is a cost-efficient storage solution for classic cars

If you’ll be attending some of these 2017 Ontario classic car shows then you might just have your own classic car or truck. A great year-round storage method for your vehicle is a 4 post car lift. Installing a car lift in your garage gives you space to park an extra vehicle and is a cost-efficient alternative to off-site classic car storage.

2017 Ontario classic car shows car lift

Your prized classic car or truck can remain close at hand. And if you’re hands-on with your classic’s maintenance, a car lift also gives you the chance to more easily perform maintenance underneath the vehicle.

We also have garage storage cabinets that can be customized to match the colour of your classic vehicle, which creates a dynamic interior look for your garage. If you’re looking to improve the functionality and appearance of your garage space, Garage Living provides free in-home consultations, which you can schedule here.

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Garage Living Interviewed On Home Talk USA Radio And TV Show

Steve Wilkins of Garage Living

Steve Wilkins

Garage Living Vice President of Franchise Development Steve Wilkins recently appeared on the weekly Home Talk USA program. Home Talk USA is a nationally syndicated home improvement-themed radio and TV show that’s hosted by professional contractor Michael King.

Steve’s interview was broadcast on February 25th and covered topics that included the great franchise opportunities available with Garage Living, the services and products we offer, and more.

Listen to an edited version of the interview below or read the transcript.


What Garage Living does

My next guest is Steve Wilkins. He’s with a company called Garage Living and we’re going to discuss complete garage solutions and learn a little about their company. Tell us a little about Garage Living.

Garage Living started about 12 years ago and we concentrate on the underutilized prime space in your home, which is your garage. It’s square footage that isn’t being used to the utmost, so we convert your garage space. We have custom flooring, cabinetry, organizers, and our design consultants take a look at what the client’s needs are and they do a design for that garage space.

We’re experts in designing multi-purpose garage spaces

What if I’m a sports enthusiast – what can you do for me?

If you’re into golf, as an example, we have golf caddies that hang on the slatwall that we would put into the garage. For somebody that’s into biking, we have racks that hang bikes horizontally or perpendicularly. We have solutions for tennis, canoeing, and everything depends on what the client is wanting their garage space for.

Some might want to put three cars in a double garage and in that case we would recommend them putting a residential car lift in. So we really look at the space and what the client needs.

Garage Living’s success in franchising

Tell us what’s new at Garage Living. I know two or three years ago you guys expanded a little bit, so tell us how you’re making out with that.

It’s going very well. Originally, we wanted to set up branch offices, but it was very difficult having people move from Canada down to the States and getting Green Cards, so we decided on a franchise model.

We opened our first franchise location in Jacksonville with Gary DiStefano and at the same time opened two locations in Canada. At this point, we’re also now in Washington, D.C. (which also covers the northern Virginia market), Detroit, Miami, West Palm Beach, and Dallas/Fort Worth.

Garage Living Detroit

Garage Living of Detroit

2017 finds Garage Living expanding even further

What markets do you see Garage Living entering in the future?

A: For 2017, we’re going to be opening in Orlando, Tampa, Atlanta, hopefully New York City, Oklahoma City, Houston, Indianapolis, and Sioux Falls.

How we transform any garage space

I know you have challenges in the garage industry – what is Garage Living’s secret to organizing garage stuff?

When we meet with a client and do a design for them, we start with the floor. What we do is diamond grind the surface, we fill in any cracks if it needs any repairs, and then we apply a pigmented base coat down. Next, we put a decorative flake on top of that and there’s a lot of colour selections for the client.

Then what we do is put a really durable Floortex™ top coat on that gives it a shine and really protects it. We also, in most cases, do the baseboards along the garage wall up as far as it will go so when you wash the floor it doesn’t get into your drywall and create mould, etcetera.

Then we look at cabinetry with our custom cabinet lines. Our five cabinet lines are all North American-made. Then we take a look at the walls and see what you need to put on the wall. Is it garden tools, electrical cords, working tools, tire racks? Finally, we’ll take a look at the ceiling, where we can put racks that can be used for lawn furniture and other seasonal items.

Garage Living Miami

Garage Living of Miami

We can design a fitness room garage the whole family can use

So you’re basically custom designing to the space and what the homeowner is using it for, making sure they can organize, and using that particular area that’s being wasted.

There’s that, Michael, and in the case of our Miami location, we had a client that wanted their double garage space converted into a home gym. On the back wall we put cabinets with a built-in TV and sink, prepared the floor, and hung slatwall so all of their gym equipment could go there.

Their kids do their homework there and they have their treadmill and elliptical trainer and they converted that garage space into a home gym. We made it a more useful area because it was really wasted space with junk that was thrown in there.

garage living fitness garage

Create a multi-purpose space in your home with a fitness room garage.

What Garage Living is looking for in a franchise owner

What qualities are you looking for in a franchise owner?

What we’re looking for is someone who wants to run his or her own business. That’s critical. They need to be a motivated entrepreneur, but they need support and access to the best products and technology. They want to do their business, but they want someone to show them the way. That’s an important part of franchising.

Where to discuss Garage Living franchising with us and the higher success rates of franchises

Where can enthusiastic candidates meet Garage Living?

We’re at a variety of home and auto shows in the coming weeks in Washington, D.C., Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, Detroit (the Novi Home & Garden Show, March 31-April 2), and in April at the Barret-Jackson auto auction in West Palm Beach (April 6-8).  (note that the Washington, D.C., Jacksonville, and Daytona Beach events have passed since this interview was recorded)

One other thing I want to touch on is that when someone wants to consider starting a franchise, I think a really important fact is that according to Entrepreneur magazine, success rates for franchises are greater than 90%, making this the best success rate of any type of new business.

Also, research found that 20% of individual startups were still in business after seven years, but when they bought a franchise, the success rate was 91%, so what would you rather do? I think I’d rather go into a franchise system where the structure is set up for success for the individuals that are buying into the franchise.

Very good point. You have a better chance of succeeding because your successful module has already been laid out. All of the mistakes have already been made…you’re going to make some future mistakes, but you understand what I’m saying. All the growing pains and things like that have already been ironed out.

Exactly. We found that we’ve still got equipment that we purchased 12 years ago that we couldn’t utilize, so we’re going to ensure that the franchisee doesn’t make those errors.

Garage Living Dallas owner

“Garage Living is focused 100% on a top-to-bottom garage renovation for residential home owners by creating the vision and delivering the dream garage.” – David Hinderland, Garage Living of Dallas/Fort Worth owner

Getting a Garage Living franchise started

So if someone wanted to get started, what kind of investment are we talking about?

To get started, we have to realize this is a showroom-based business and not a home-based business. You need to set up a showroom to show the clients your flooring, cabinets, slatwall, organizers, racking, etcetera. It’s approximately $215,000 as your initial investment to get started.

In the U.S., the Small Business Administration (SBA) is very good with starting a business. We’re an approved franchisor with them, so there’s a couple of programs you can tap into for working capital loans that are backed by the federal government.

We also have a leasing program we’re utilizing as well, so if you want to lease your grinder and some of your showroom cabinets, you’re able to do that. Of your $215,000, it really lowers the amount that you have to get out of your pocket. You need to leverage other banks and SBA to get this going.

All of Garage Living’s products are North American-made and high quality

Tell me a little about the quality of your products.

We’re proud to say that all of the products Garage Living uses are North American-made. We have five cabinet lines made in either Canada or the United States that come with a lifetime guarantee. Our slatwall comes in five particular colours and is North American-made as well. Our floor coating is made in the United States, so if someone wants quality North American products then those are the only ones we do sell.

How about New Orleans as a potential future Garage Living market?

Now, you know this a national show, but I’m down in “The Big Easy” and I noticed when you were talking about your expansion in certain areas that “The Big Easy” was not among your destinations. What about New Orleans?

It’s a great market and I actually had someone that had called me about it. I ran the demographics and there’s 2.4 million people in that territory and 925,000 households, so it’s time.

Learn more about Garage Living franchise opportunities

We’ve got to run, my friend, but give us that website and how we can learn more about you guys.

It’s garageliving.com and there’s a franchise section there that lists all of our locations in the United States.

We’ll definitely get you back in the future and if we can give a business opportunity to somebody who might be looking for something, I think this is a great idea. And hey, you’re not even paying me nothing to say that, so it’s really a good thing.

I appreciate your time, Michael.  (end of interview)

Garage storage and organization is currently the fastest-growing category in home improvement. Learn more about joining Garage Living’s successful franchise network by filling out this form.

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Garage Living Calgary Donates SportScreen Garage Door Protector To Local Hockey League

Garage Living Calgary recently donated a SportScreen garage door protector to the Okotoks Minor Hockey Association for one of their Novice age group tournaments. Okotoks is a town located about 18 km south of Calgary.

What is the SportScreen garage door protector?

The SportScreen is a sports training tool that is essentially a tarp made of high-tenacity open mesh polyester fabric that can be mounted above a garage door. This made-in-Canada product also has a convenient remote control roll-up feature.

Kids (or anyone older who’s still clinging to that dream of an NHL career) can practice their hockey shooting skills using real pucks or balls and the SportScreen will protect their garage door from dents. It also cuts down on the racket that’s created from this activity. Lacrosse, baseball, and soccer shooting will additionally work with the product, which was featured on TV’s Dragon Den program.

SportScreen works outside or inside a garage

SportScreens can also be set up inside a garage, which is handy for shooting practice when the weather is particularly unpleasant. One of Garage Living Calgary’s recent garage makeovers included the addition of the SportScreen.

Complement the SportScreen with a slatwall sports equipment and accessory wall

The garage makeover also included the addition of slatwall panels with slatwall accessories. This creates a sports equipment and accessory storage wall that keeps your belongings and garage interior organized.

Add Floortex™ floor coating to complete your garage project

Rounding out the garage makeover is an application of Floortex™ floor coating. There are 15 floor coating colours available and the client chose Obsidian for this project. A Floortex™ floor coating is perfect for a garage where the SportScreen is being used – it’s extremely durable and provides a nice, smooth surface.

A shooting pad that simulates an ice surface can also be purchased separately from SportScreen, which will additionally protect the garage floor from scuffing.

A Floortex™ floor coating, slatwall storage with accessories, and the SportScreen create the perfect mini sports training facility, right in your own garage!

Our Calgary location is the only Garage Living franchise currently utilizing the SportScreen in their garage makeovers. Contact them for more details.

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7 Must-See Classic Car Shows In Southern Ontario This Summer

Every summer weekend in Southern Ontario, there’s a classic car show happening somewhere. Conveniently, several of them are taking place in the GTA or just a short drive from it.

Perhaps you’re a vintage car owner or just like to admire their timeless beauty from an arm’s length. Classic car and truck shows allow you to view a wide spectrum of the vehicles of yesteryear, with each of their owners having a unique story to tell about them.

Many classic car shows also raise funds and encourage donations for local charities and community groups. This summer, experience the nostalgia and fun of one of these must-see classic car shows located in the Southern Ontario area.

Classic car

  1. Classics On The Square Car Show (Mississauga, July 3rd): This third annual event is located at Mississauga Celebration Square. Along with a wide variety of classic cars on display, there’ll be live music, Batman and other superheroes for the kids, and door prizes.
  2. Havelock Recreation & Performance Motor Show (Havelock, July 15-17): This busy three day event is taking place two hours northwest of Toronto. Enjoy the classic cars, trucks, boats, tractors, and motorcycles that will be on display. There will also be camping, a flea market and swap meet, truck and tractor pulls, live music, and boxing matches.
  3. Classics In The Park Car Show (Barrie, July 23rd): Heritage Park on Barrie’s waterfront is the picturesque setting for this classic car, motorcycle, and custom truck event. $5,000 was raised at last year’s show for Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka, which provides cancer care support.
  4. Wheels On The Danforth (Toronto, August 13th): Toronto’s vibrant Danforth area plays host to many summertime events. Included is this show featuring classic cars, custom builds, and hot rods.
  5. Autofest Oshawa (Oshawa, August 19-21): Lakeview Park hosts this 23rd annual weekend event. Classic cars, hot rods, motorcycles, and trucks will share space with modern day high performance vehicles.
  6. Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance (Kemble, September 17-18): Beautiful and rarely seen automobiles at Cobble Beach Golf Resort Community in Kemble, Ontario.
  7. British Car Day (Oakville, September 18): Hosted annually by the Toronto Triumph Club, this is the largest, one-day, all-British car event in North America.

Car lifts are a great storage solution for your classic car

Classic car enthusiasts will be out in large numbers for these summer events. But when summer ends, what’s the best winter storage solution for a classic car or truck?  There’s a smart choice that won’t take up your garage’s lone parking spot.

Silver Porsche on a four post car lift from Garage Living

A car lift allows you to double your garage’s parking space by utilizing its unused vertical space. Your classic car or truck is stored on the elevated platform of the car lift, allowing you to easily park your everyday-use vehicle underneath it. If you like being hands-on with your car’s maintenance, car lifts also let you safely work on the vehicle’s underside. A car lift is also a smarter option financially than storing your classic vehicle annually in an expensive storage facility that has no long-term tangible benefits to you.

Visit our showroom to see a car lift up close. You can also schedule a free consultation with us to learn more about how car lifts are a great storage solution for your classic car.

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Garage Living At The International Franchise Expo

The International Franchise Expo is America’s largest franchise expo and takes place in New York City from June 16th through the 18th. Garage Living is excited to be attending this event, as we look to expand our ever-growing franchise network specializing in high-end garage improvement solutions.

International Franchise Expo

The garage organization and storage business is rapidly growing

Currently, Garage Living has two locations in Florida (Jacksonville and Miami) and three in Canada (Toronto, Ottawa, and Calgary). An Oakville, Ontario location will be opening soon. Garage organization and storage is one of the fastest growing categories in home improvement in North America right now. This means lots of opportunities to serve eager customers who are looking to improve their garage’s looks and functionality.

Schedule an appointment with us for franchise opportunities

If you’re an entrepreneur who’s passionate about home improvement, schedule an appointment to talk to a Garage Living representative during the Expo. You can also visit us at booth 1255. Click here for more information on Garage Living franchise opportunities.