The Canadian International Auto Show is happening this week, and promises to be all kinds of fun for the whole family.
Opening Day began with a keynote by the Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, on her views on Ontario’s leading automotive industry. She touched upon improving accessibility to universities with free tuition for those who qualify, as well as enticing students to gain solid education within the realm of STEM (STEAM/STREAM) to strengthen Canada’s standing in advancing technologies within the automotive industry.
During her keynote, Wynne also compared one of the main pro concepts of automated vehicles to Ontario’s tech industry. Neither automated vehicles, nor Ontario’s contribution to the tech industry have “blind spots”.
These vehicles are self-aware at all angles, and can thus ensure that they won’t wind up in an at-fault accident, as long as the vehicle is in optimal condition.
[The concept of] “‘No blind spots’, actually captures Ontario’s approach in the world of accelerations, and the world of disruptions, and the world of transformations.” ~ Kathleen Wynne
Intriguing Concept and Alternative Vehicles at the Canadian International Auto Show
Concept cars are one of my favourite bits of Auto Shows. I love the creativity behind these futuristic vehicles and always find myself wishing they could be road-ready.
I think it’s been three years in a row now, where Toyota has introduced my favourite concept car at the show.
Meet the i-TRIL – an environmentally friendly super-compact electric vehicle for the urban lifestyle, that is also designed to provide tremendous driving fun.
Genesis Motors – A New-ish Automaker to the Canadian Market
Genesis Motors is a luxury division of Hyundai Motor Group. There are only a few models available to the Canadian market: the G70, G80 and G90.
Their 2018 GV80 Concept car was my other favourite concept vehicle at the show.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a good pic of the car itself, but here’s one of the Brand and Design team.
Genesis Branding and Design Team: Luc Donckerwolke (far left), Manfred Fitzgerald (far right).
I might have been the only person at the media event that liked this concept car though… *shrugs*
Mercedes-Benz Project ONE Sportscar
Infiniti Prototype 9 EV Concept
So there are a couple things that happen on Media Day that the public just isn’t privy to. For instance, we were introduced to Volvo’s Ambassador William Nylander, but in Toronto, he would be better known as one of our NHL stars for the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team.
While all the pictures were being taken, he was given keys for the XC 40 on stage, making him the first owner of this vehicle in Canada.
Maple Leafs Forward, and Volvo Ambassador William Nylander getting into his new XC 40 at the CIAS.
It was nice to see that maybe 15% of the media was represented by women. Maybe.
Don’t Miss Out on These Super Fun Bits
There is an incredible collection of gorgeous hood ornaments I would suggest seeing in the “Art and the Automobile” exhibit on the 700th level of the South Building, and also…
Totally go check out the sexy cars found at Ford, but also…
Check out the LEGO built race car driver. The dude is tall, with thousands of tiny LEGO pieces used to make him awesome.
My nephew Kit geeking out by being so dwarfed by the LEGO Ford GT Driver.
Also, don’t miss out on making your own unique LEGO Ford GT race car driver, to keep, and setting up a scene for the perfect photo shot of your driver.
For collectors, the LEGO suits look like one you would get from the LEGO Speed Champions – 2016 Ford GT & 1966 Ford GT40 – 75881 kit.
Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary
Hot Wheels is celebrating the big Five-O this year, wow!
To help celebrate, visit Hot Wheels in the south building (700 level) to witness 320 ft of iconic orange Hot Wheels track, and life-size Hot Wheels cars including their Darth Vader model (there are five life-sized Hot Wheels around the Canadian International Auto Show, can you find them all?)
Also, go ahead and draw your own design on a Hot Wheels car, and then share it for a chance to win!
Kit creating an epic design on his Hot Wheels car that he’ll get to take home.
During CIAS there are also a ton of tracks that kids can go play with, if you need a break to sit down. Just note, kids cannot enter the play area, unless a parent is present.
If you need childcare while at CIAS though, Volkswagen has you covered with their PlayCare Centre on the 600 level of the south building.
Check your schedule, ’cause there’s a Hot Wheels collector’s meet up on Tuesday Feburary 20th, at 7 PM… and I just might be there!
Collectors are invited to showcase their Hot Wheels treasures and are encouraged to swap with or simply meet other fans of the 1:64 scale die-cast cars. Participants will receive a 50th Anniversary poster for joining in on the fun.
ASUS, Microsoft & BMW Drive to WIN eSport Contest
This week, ASUS is presenting Forza Motorsports 7 on the Republic of Gamers (ROG) G20, the world’s most powerful compact gaming desktop, as it unfolds on the full-HD ROG MG248Q gaming monitor.
In partnership with BMW and Microsoft, ASUS is hosting an eSport motorsport gaming competition, with more than $10,000 in cash prizes and a “Free-to-Play” competition where Canadian International Auto Show attendees can face off against each other.
Kit playing Forza Motorsports 7 on ASUS ROG G20 at CIAS
Tips for CIAS 2018 with Kids in Tow
I brought 7 yo Kit with me on Opening Day, since it was a day off for him at school, and I knew he would have a blast at the show.
This is Kit, exhausted after 6 hours of being at the Canadian International Auto Show by this point. Yep, he’s still smiling!
Like any other day with a child tagging along, there are preparations needed to be made to keep everyone happy.
- We played a game.
There are some really fun installations directed towards kids and adults alike, but it can be a serious walk between those events.
Depending the time of day during your visit, you might be looking at line-ups as well.
So, there were still moments when the dreaded words “I’m bored” were threatening to be uttered at any given moment that he wasn’t fully occupied in fun.
We walked around fancy vehicles with a Challenge in mind: Who can find the smallest car, the largest car (or vehicle), and a purple car. We never did find a purple car, but we were 3/4s into our day at the Auto Show by the time we started playing.
You might *think* you’ve found the smallest car, until you find an even tinier one, so the game can go on all day if need be.
- Bring juice and snacks.
The Canadian International Auto Show takes up both North and South building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. That is a lot of ground to cover, especially if it’s packed.
We needed a couple of quick pit stops throughout the day for Kit to take a breather with lemonade and cookies.
- Got a stroller? Know where the elevators are.
The MTCC is a multi-floor wonder, filled with escalators. If you’re bringing a stroller with you though, don’t expect to be using one.
There are a few elevators throughout the building, but they’re well hidden, so maybe check out a map before heading over.
Have you, or will you be attending the Canadian International Auto Show this year?
Disclaimer: I gained entrance to CIAS on Media Day and Opening Day to cover the show on Geek with Style.ca. All opinions are my own.