Tales from the Road: ClearSpan Goes to Canada Day 4

Lobby of the Hotel Tuesday, August 19

The final day of exhibition was reinvigorated with attendees who were trying to squeeze in as much information from exhibitors as they could before trading ceased until next year’s Congress in Phoenix.

More business cards exchanged hands and I found that on this day, many more folks associated with the Canadian and Ontario Public Works Associations (CPWA and OPWA) frequented ClearSpan 1705 than did our compatriots from the states. Municipality professionals from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Ontario made their way over to hear our pitch in an effort for us to earn their consideration.

But a kind, storm water and sewer director from a neighboring city of our manufacturing plant in Dyersville, Iowa came by to say hello. He said he passes by our campus all the time and is familiar with our products. After a brief discussion, we got down to business. He’s looking for a new salt storage facility and asked to be called. No problem, John – we will be in touch very soon!

Of the three days of exhibition, I saw a few flurries of passerby’s on day 3, with several minutes elapsing before the next opportunity. I’d have to argue though, that it wasn’t really until the 11th hour when what seemed to be a promising lead – other than the lead from John in Iowa – came forward.

ClearSpan Booth at ASWAIt was five minutes until the house lights literally went dim on the exhibits of the 2014 APWA Congress. A city engineer from Ontario said they are in need of potentially two fabric structures – one for sand and salt; the other for manure storage – this year! As I watched some exhibitors start to run for the exits a half hour prior, there was no need for ClearSpan 1705 to wither. Low and behold, the famous saying of good things (potentially) come to those who wait, came full circle!

So after three days, my job was done. Now, the focus shifts to our stellar municipal sales team to work diligently on the leads I was able to lasso. My flight back to Connecticut wasn’t until the early evening, so I had some time to see a little more of Toronto.

One thing that has not gotten old for me, even after four visits to Toronto, is the Hockey Hall of Fame, which was merely a 90 second walk from my hotel. I didn’t have time to explore the entire museum including Coupé de Stanley (The Stanley Cup), but I perused the store and picked up a few small gifts – and no, not just for myself!

Hockey Hall of Fame - Toronto, Canada

On my way to Pearson International Airport, I also trekked off the beaten path to visit a hockey repair shop I found on the Internet. If you play in an adult hockey league like I do, tape is your best friend. And there’s no better tape than tape made in Canada – 10 rolls, si voux plait!

But no sooner did I walk into this hockey store when all of a sudden a traffic division police officer was posing behind my rental car with a tow truck closing in. I dashed from the store faster than Mats Sundin can skate and asked the officer if I could move my car. “Sure!” said the policeman. “It’s the middle of rush hour and you can’t park here. That’s all.” Had he been the Royal Mounted Police, it may have been a different story.

“OK, OK, thank you very much…merci, beaucoup!”  I exclaimed!  No signs, no parking meters. I thought I was in the clear. But I had a flight to catch and who knows where the impound lot in suburban Toronto is anyways. Needless to say, I dodged one!

After a brief delay at the airport, my 90-minute flight back to Bradley took off and it was back to the office for me the next day.

Thank you APWA, CPWA, OPWA and the city of Toronto!

Toronto, Canada at night

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