Thursday, April 4, 2013

Thoughts: 2013 Toronto Sports Card Spring Expo

I've seen a few mentions of the upcoming spring expo in Toronto lately and it's got me thinking that I might finally make the trip up there this time. I've been wanting to get to one of these since I got back into collecting, but it just never worked out with my schedule. This year I think I will try to set aside at least one entire day to head up there. 

I think I could make a day trip out of it as the drive would only be around four hours each way for me. I figure I could leave first thing in the morning, spend the entire day at the expo, and make it back home before midnight.

I do have a few questions for anyone that's been to this thing in the past:

     1) How was it? 
     2) What did you like or dislike about it?
     3) Is the expo a good place to find singles for my various PC's?
     4) Is a single day enough time to check out everything?

More importantly, are you planning on going next month? If so, who knows, maybe we will run into one another. That's of course if I decide to finally get off my butt and go there.


  1. If you're coming from Michigan, the show is near the Toronto airport which is on the West side of town. You don't even have to get into the city, which could help.

    It's an excellent show. I get to the spring and fall one every year. I only spend a couple of hours, but I'm targeting a half-dozen vintage vendors and I ignore almost everyone else. I do make a circuit round the place just to be sure. There are people who buy the weekend pass, but I have no idea what they do for all that time. A day is plenty.

    The show is very hockey-centric. There is some baseball, but not a lot. There is also a good amount of vintage. Probably a third of the vendors just do the old stuff. There's also a good selection of the new releases. Lots of autos, patches, you name it.

    Food selection is limited and there aren't a lot of restaurants right there. That doesn't impact me at all, but might be a problem for you. Tim Horton's makes a pretty good chili and there's one nearby. :)

    I can never be bothered to line up for the autographs or get any of the special Expo cards. YMMV on that.

  2. I plan on going this spring. It will be my second trip to the Expo.

    I enjoyed it a great deal. There are a lot of tables, a lot of promotions, some freebies and just an overall good vibe. I put a lot of faces to names and definitely found some major pc items.

    Knowing a bit about what your pc's are, I would say you would have a decent chance of picking stuff up. The key is "How much would you be spending?". I went last time with more than I have ever taken to a show (and I plan on doing the same this time).

    Personally, I don't think a single day is enough. If you wanted to take advantage of the any autograph sessions or special promotions, you would have to sacrifice a bit of time elsewhere. Hitting up tables and doing some thorough searching would be tough to fit all in.

    I'm only going this year on the Fri & Sat and am already concerned about not being able to hit everything. I highly recommend making it a weekend thing. Just my opinion.

    If you do go, let me know. Would love to see you there.


  3. 1) Especially for the hockey collector, it's excellent. Probably 80% or more of the focus is hockey and their 32 page catalogue barely mentions Baseball.
    It bills itself as
    North America's Largest Hockey Collector Show.
    2) Being a baseball collector, it is a little lacking for my focus on the Blue Jays and what is available is over priced. I really can't comment on the hockey. Prices are probably better because of the overwhelming number of hockey vendors.
    My hilight last year was hearing a booming voice the next aisle over. On turning the corner, I saw Eddie Shack holding court over a friend's booth. He had come down to see a buddy and help out selling for awhile. His overwhelming presence and personality just lit up everything around him!
    3)See 1)
    4)For baseball, yes. Hockey I guess would depend on how much time you can spend touring exhibits and going through boxes and boxes of cards. There are plenty.
    I suggest taking pen & pad to keep track of things your interested in but not quite ready to purchase until you've seen a bit more. Helps in refinding them.

    Check out and maybe its not too late to get a catalogue from them. The website is also a wealth of information on dealers, floor plan etc. Problem is, I could only find last year's info but it's pretty well standard from year to year.
    Not sure if I'm going but might seeing it's only a little over an hour from home.
    Hope this has been helpful and encouraging.
    By the way, Youtube has some clips on the show also.


  4. Thanks for the comments guys! Now I really want to make this happen.

  5. Paul, it is well worth the drive. I've been to the last two shows in November, and you'll find just about anything you're looking for there. I was able to add a great deal of cards to my Sakic collection last year, and it's also surprising how much baseball you will find there as well.

    Enjoy the show!

  6. I live in the Arctic circle and I take my holidays in May just to go to the show. Okay that and I get an extra week if I go before June and the girlfriend can barely tolerate the Ontario heat in May, let alone later in the summer.
    I always go for one day but would like to go for two since I am always regretting not buying more before I even get back on the highway.
    The one thing I dislike is that it almost impossible to find early 90s junk. One year I went with my 1990-91 and 91-92 OPC needs list and I couldn't find a single card.
    I'm sure you'll find lots of Hasek and Howard, not too sure about Stefan. Unless you willing to do a lot of box digging, which takes time.
    There was a great dealer in the first row last year who had stacks of 5000ct box filled with base and was basically doing them for a dime a card.
    Last spring Hacksaw Jim Duggan was there. I had to pull myself away from his table since he was telling stories about the old days.
    The food at the expo is very overpriced. Either plan a trip to Tim Hortons or keep a bagged lunch in the car.