Friday, 20 December 2013

The Christmas Season Comes to a Close at Classic Displays

With the final Christmas installs complete and Santa coming in less than a week, we get to take a step back and reflect on another successful season at Classic Displays.

It has been a busy few months for us, starting with the introduction of our new LED snowflakes. From there the orders started pouring in; we had existing customers calling to renew contracts and add new décor to their existing displays and also received a number of calls from new customers looking to add a touch of Christmas to their properties and city streets.

Before we knew it, 239 units had been ordered in the month of September alone. That included the first order for one of our new snowflake designs, coming from the Ancaster Heritage Days Advisory Board, and a large order of a variety of our displays from Lac La Biche in Alberta.

While production ramped up in October, and our warehouse crew began packing and shipping existing displays that we store for our customers in the off season, our installation crew began installing tree lighting across the GTA. Once Halloween had come and gone, it began to look less like Christmas in our warehouse and more like Christmas to everyone else, as displays began popping up practically overnight.

On any given night in November, our crews could be anywhere in Toronto, and the next they would be in Cambridge, or Bowmanville or Kingston, working hard to bring the Christmas spirit to the masses. Luckily for them, the weather was on their side and the snow held off until after our installations were finished.

When all was said and done 520 new units had been produced and 180 installs had been completed.  As the team at Classic Displays looks forward to a relaxing Christmas holiday spent with family and friends, we want to take a moment to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and all the best in 2014!

Friday, 13 December 2013

The Griffin Unveiled at the PM Expo

Last week we had the pleasure of exhibiting at the PM Expo for the 15th time and although we always enjoy the show, this year it was even more special for us. That’s because we unveiled the prototype of our newest waste and recycling receptacle the Griffin.

Designed with high traffic pedestrian areas in mind, the Griffin has a narrow footprint and is equipped with solar powered LED panels making this unit an advertiser’s dream. Built to hold a total of 80 gallons of waste, the Griffin can collect up to 4 different types of waste and recycling without having to worry about cross contamination. More basic models will also be available.

Over the two and a half days at the show, the Griffin caught a lot of people’s eye and we greatly appreciate the number of people that stopped by to learn more about the unit and share their thoughts.

Stay tuned for more news as we prepare for the official launch of the Griffin this coming spring!

Friday, 11 October 2013

Winter is Coming

Christmas displays is what we built our business on and although we have grown and introduced other divisions over the years, Christmas still remains a large part of our company and something we take great pride in.

We already offer a wide variety of stock displays, but we always look forward to designing and creating new displays to add to our roster, and this year was no different.

For the 2013 season we wanted to design displays that were less Christmas specific. As vibrant and festive as Christmas displays are there is a downside to the short time period that they can be used. That’s why we wanted to offer our customers something that can be used for the entire winter season, something that gives them more bang for their buck.

With that in mind we focused on something that winter is rarely without, snow. Working with our design team, a number of different styles of snowflakes were drawn up and six were chosen to be manufactured. Ranging in price, with some looking more traditional, while others are more modern, we are very pleased with how they turned out and extremely excited to unveil them to all of our customers!

Manufactured with a steel frame that is fully immersed in zinc and electrostatically plated for maximum rust protection and lit with ½” energy efficient LED rope light, the Snow Blossom, Snow Crystal, Snow Diamond, Snow Swirl, Snow Flurry or Snow Spear would beautifully enhance any city street or property. With the option to have the displays pole mounted or wall mounted and the ability to customize them through the use of different rope light colours, we are confident our snowflakes will become a fan favourite!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Bulb vs. Rope Lit Displays

With Christmas less than 112 days away and orders for décor starting to come in, we at Classic Displays want to ensure that our customers know and understand the difference between LED rope lit and bulb lit displays before they make their purchase.  

At Classic Displays rope lit displays are our specialty. From pole mount to wall mount to large ground mount displays, we have done it all. We carry a wide variety of stock displays to choose from and we have also manufactured a number of custom displays for a variety of customers over the years. 

Rope lit displays are very popular with customers because the rope light gives the display consistent illumination. With the diodes spaced an inch apart and the rope light lining the entire frame of the design, you’re final product is an attractive, evenly spaced, brightly lit display. With a bulb lit display you will not get that same consistency as the bubs are spread further apart.

Another aspect to look at in the great debate of rope light vs. bulbs is the flexibility of the products. The way rope light is made, paired with its consistent lighting, allows us to light more complex, detailed designs with ease. Dressing a more complicated design that has a number of small details (such as a design including a face) is more difficult to do with bulbs. Due to the bulkiness of the bulb, and the larger space between each bulb, they have to be strategically placed along the frame and smaller details can get lost in what looks like a blob of light.

What perhaps is the biggest misconception in the difference between rope lit and bulb lit displays is the price. People assume that due to the amount of rope light used in a display it is the more costly of the two to produce, when in fact that is not the case. As previously mentioned, strings of bulbs have to be strategically placed on the frame making it a more time consuming task and increasing the manufacturing costs. Bulb lit displays are easier to maintain than rope lit displays as you can replace individual bulbs with ease, but overall the cost between the two different displays is comparable. 

Ultimately, what it comes down to is what design you chose and what you are looking for aesthetically. More traditional designs such as snowflakes look great as bulb lit displays, but as you get into more complex, detailed designs, rope light is your best option.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Classic Displays Goes to the Ex

The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) has been a long standing tradition for many within the GTA, including a number of us at Classic Displays, and this year we are happy to say we have become a part of that tradition.

The CNE was looking to get away from the standard wooden picnic tables, wanting something more sustainable and longer lasting, so they came to see us and what we had to offer. After some deliberation, the CNE decided to order a number of picnic tables and benches as part of a pilot project. In total they ordered 40 picnic tables, 6 handicap accessible tables and 36 benches to replace some of their existing furniture.

All of the benches and picnic tables that were ordered are made from 100% recycled plastic lumber and have a 25 year limited warranty against rotting, warping, splitting and cracking. Virtually maintenance free, these benches and tables can easily handle the amount of traffic the CNE sees year after year.

 All of the benches and tables were assembled in house over the course of a week and set to be delivered at the beginning of the following week. It took 5 trips to the exhibition grounds to deliver all of pieces and from there the CNE crew took over, placing the tables and benches throughout the grounds.

The opportunity to work with the CNE has been very exciting for us and something we hope to continue doing in the future. The CNE opens August 16th and runs until September 2nd. With so much to see and do we hope you check it out and make it a part of your summer tradition!

For more information on what's taking place at the Ex this year visit

Friday, 19 July 2013

The Countdown to Christmas is on at Classic Displays

Christmas is less than 6 months away. That fact can be hard to swallow in the middle of summer, but when you’re in the business of Christmas displays the countdown is always running in the back of your mind.

As mentioned in a previous blog, Christmas never ends for us. While everyone else is packing away their Christmas décor, we are doing the same, but for multiple commercial and residential properties as well as city streets. When Christmas becomes a distant memory for everyone else as they soak up the sun, we are refurbishing the many Christmas displays we store in-house and when the refurbishing is complete and we hit the 6 months until Christmas mark, we begin planning for the upcoming season.

It’s around this time that we begin to discuss new Christmas display designs and fabricate samples. While this is being done our sales team begins calling our existing customers to discuss retro fitting their existing displays so we can complete that work before our Christmas team begins manufacturing new displays.

As Santa’s favourite time of year gets closer, our sales team further switches focus to Christmas, meeting with a number of BIAs and property managers and finalizing orders.

In October our Christmas production goes into overdrive as they begin to assemble décor (including LED rope light displays, Christmas trees and wreaths) for new orders. The installations begin in early October with tree lighting installs usually taking place before Halloween and décor installations taking place after and continuing through to mid December.

As you may or may not know, Christmas displays is where we got our start and although our company has grown to include other divisions, our Christmas division remain a huge part of Classic Displays and something we all take great pride in. That’s why we want to help bring a touch of Christmas to as many streets and commercial and retail properties as we can. Last year we installed 135 Christmas Displays throughout Ontario, so you can imagine how important building and maintaining a schedule is throughout such a busy season. That’s why we encourage all BIAs and property managers to start thinking about Christmas now.

For us no project is too big or small. With a variety of displays to choose from or the option to create customized displays available, any of our sales associates would be more than happy to meet with you to discuss the upcoming Christmas season and how we can work together to create your very own winter wonderland.

It’s also worth mentioning that the earlier you finalize your plans for your Christmas needs and place your order, the less stress you will have in what’s already considered a very stressful season.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Furthering our Commitment to Sustainability

The use of ipe lumber has been a hot topic of discussion for a number of years, with the constant question of “is it a sustainable product or isn’t it”? There are arguments for both cases but in our opinion the arguments that ipe lumber is not sustainable outweigh the arguments that say it is. That’s why we at Classic Displays have decided to no longer manufacture any of our benches in ipe.

For as long as we have sold site furniture we have offered our benches in ipe because of it’s durability for outdoor use. It resists decay, and is an extremely hard, dense wood that can last at least 25 years without being stained. It’s so sturdy it’s used in a number of boardwalks across North America as it can handle foot traffic and the elements like no other.

Sounds great right? Here’s the problem. Ipe comes from an extremely slow growing tree, we’re talking 0.5 – 0.7 cm of growth in diameter at breast height per year (a white ash tree grows 1.1 cm in diameter at breast height per year) and usually comes from rain forests in Brazil and Peru. The trees require specific lighting conditions and appear at low densities making them harder to find than you might think.

As ipe continues to grow in popularity you can imagine it’s only getting harder to find, which in turn makes it the product of illegal logging. To help protect the rain forest and the species that live and grow in it, there are a variety of logging and harvesting regulations in place. The amount of paper work required for a logging company to be licensed is making it hard for the illegal loggers to keep up, but with the amount of players in the logging industry, enough of them are still managing to get around the regulations which makes it hard to know if the ipe lumber you’re receiving is actually certified sustainable.

At Classic Displays we take pride in the variety of sustainable products we manufacture and offering the option of ipe no longer fits into our commitment of sustainability. All of our benches are available in 100% recycled plastic lumber and with our green agenda, these benches are now the majority of what we sell. Not only is it a sustainable product but it’s a reliable one. With a standard 25 year limited warranty against rotting, warping, splitting and cracking, recycled plastic lumber can easily withstand the elements that Mother Nature throws its way just as well as ipe can if not better, because it’s also easy to clean and virtually maintenance free.

As the demand for sustainability in our market grows and becomes a bigger part of our product line, we hope all of our current and future customers will continue to make informed decisions when choosing enhancement products to meet their needs.

To read more about the problems facing ipe check out A Trail of Stumps from Landscaping Architecture Magazine.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Shooting Star Refurbishment

We may just be getting into the nice weather, so why even mention the ice and snow of November and December.  For us, this is always at the top of our mind because Christmas is a year round business.  

At Classic Displays not only do we manufacture and install Christmas Displays but we also remove, refurbish and store the displays until the following season. So you can bet we are pretty busy restoring the displays during the off season.

Although a number of our clients opt to have their displays stored, there are also some that have their displays removed, modified and reinstalled so they can be used year round. An example of this would be the Shooting Stars that can be found in the Danforth Mosaic BIA.

Danforth Mosiac initially purchased pole mount Shooting Star displays that would be used for Christmas a couple of years ago. However, once the season was over they decided to keep them up as they weren’t as Christmas specific as some of the other displays we manufacture.

The Shooting Stars remained on the poles for a second Christmas and after over a year of enhancing the streets the BIA the customer decided the displays needed a bit of a face lift. With a number of rope light displays already in the BIA it was decided that glitter displays needed to be refurbished to match the rest. 

Our installation crew went out on a Monday morning to remove the Shooting Stars from the poles and as soon as they were in our warehouse the real work began. Our production crew began by stripping the glitter garland off the steel frame. Although the frame was still in great condition it had been outside for a number of months, so a fresh coat of paint was applied. Once dry, the production team then fastened rope light to the frame using cable ties. 

For 17 Shooting Stars, the refurbishing process took about two and a half days start to finish and the stars were lighting the streets of the Danforth Mosaic Thursday evening of that same week.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Spend Less with Classic Displays

Classic Displays would like to invite our customers to spend less money. We know that might sound strange but let us explain.

It’s hard to make an argument that a beautiful wood bench, stained and lacquered with a glossy finish is not a thing of beauty when it’s first put into place. But what about that bench after it’s faced its first year of all four seasons? How about the second, possibly the third or even forth? No matter the stain, no matter the finish, that once beautiful piece of park furniture is going to require upkeep to ensure it continues to look as new as possible and that upkeep in going to cost you time and it’s going to cost you money.

Classic Displays has been in the bench building business for over 20 years and we’ve learned a few things since then. Primarily, how to construct the best bench you will ever buy. We take great pride in manufacturing products that are built to last and withstand the variety of weather Mother Nature throws at it in every season. Our plastic lumber has the colour penetrated throughout the slat (not just on the surface) to prevent any scratches or attempts at carving into the slat from being noticeable. The plastic lumber also comes with a 25 year limited warranty against rotting, warping, splitting and cracking.

A good looking bench is not purely based on its slats, the ends and frames that hold the benches together are just as important. We use non corroding, cast aluminum ends and stainless steel hardware and whenever necessary, zinc treated steel to prevent corrosion.

Hopefully you are starting to see what we mean when we say we want our customers to spend less money with us. When you buy a product with Classic Displays you are buying quality, something that won’t have to be replaced year after year. Durability and quality will always save you money in the end.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Showing our Support for Bike Month

The start of Bike Month is just around the corner (it starts on Monday, May 27) and we at Classic Displays believe in what Bike Month is trying to accomplish, which is why we have decided to offer 10% off our bike racks from now until June 27 to show our support.

For those of you that are unfamiliar, Bike Month is a month long event that takes place annually to raise awareness of the benefits of cycling and to try and get people to leave their cars at home and use their bikes on a more regular basis. It’s apparent the initiative has been well received as what started as Bike to Work Day (a one day event) has blossomed into a month long event that takes place in a number of communities across the province with a variety of events taking place throughout the month.

Unfortunately, a number of us live a bit too far away from the office to be able to bike to work but we still wanted to show our support for this great cause, that’s why it was a no brainer for us to offer our bike racks at a 10% discount.

Carrying a variety of styles that hold anywhere from 2-16 bikes, our racks are made from zinc treated, powder coated steel or galvanized steel to outlast the elements. With the option for customization on certain models and various mounting options available our racks can enhance any community street, BIA or commercial/retail property.

So make it easy for your residents, customers and tenants to take part in Bike Month by having bike racks that offer the security your patrons are looking for.

For more information on the events taking place during Bike Month in your community, visit

To view our selection of bike racks we carry visit

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Brightening Up the Streets(ville) with Classic Displays

The arrival of spring, or in this year’s case summer like weather, means our production and installation has ramped up for another busy season. Although site furniture is a year round business it certainly has its peek times which is something we at Classic Displays have grown accustomed to managing.

We work with a variety of customers including large cities and property managers who often order a large quantity of products for multiple locations, which means simply manufacturing and shipping the product isn’t always the easiest or best option. It’s for this reason we offer our customers our installation services.

Here at Classic Displays we understand that sometimes the last thing a customer wants to worry about is finding someone to install the benches or waste bins they have just purchased, which is why we have a crew dedicated to the installation of our products, and trust us, they are a very busy crew. In a single week they can be in Tillsonburg one day and Streetsville the next. In fact they were there, last week.

In Streetsville’s case they were looking to replace a number of wooden benches in their BIA, and having worked with them many times in the past they came to us. Using the existing design of their benches we made slight modifications to our Classic Heritage model to meet their request. Once produced, in house of course, an installation date was set and our crew went out, removed the existing benches and installed the new ones.

The benches were bolted to the ground using stainless steel hardware (we always recommend our products be affixed to the ground) to avoid rusting and maintain an esthetically pleasing look while ensuring the bench is secure. Once the installation of the benches was complete our crew delivered the old benches to the cities yard as requested.

As our installers can attest Mother Nature doesn’t always comply with our installation schedule (stay tuned for posts during Christmas installation season) but that’s what layers are for! In busy times like this we can’t let some bad weather get in the way of meeting our customers deadlines.

With customer satisfaction being our number one priority, we want our products to not only enhance a city street or commercial property but act as a reminder to our customers of how easy it was to work with us so they will want to continue to work with us in the future.