Win-Door Celebrates 15th Anniversary by Honoring Pioneers

By John G. Swanson
November 20, 2009
Meetings & Events

Toronto, Ont–Win-Door North America celebrated its 15th anniversary this week by honoring 45 Industry Pioneers  who "helped to build our great Canadian window and door industry," according to show officials. More than 20 honorees were on hand to be recognized at the annual event, which ran from November 17-19 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

New door products on display included Window City's new vinyl framing system for vinyl, fiberglass and wood swinging doors.

The list of pioneers includes founders of some of Canada's largest manufacturers, such as All Weather Windows & Doors, Bonneville Windows & Doors, Novatech Group, Paramount Windows, Peter Kohler Windows & Entrances, Pollard Windows and Starline Windows. Leaders at some of Canada's most prominent suppliers, including vinyl extruders PH Tech and Thermoplast and fiberglass pultruders Inline and Omniglass, were also honored.  

As for the show itself, the number of exhibitors remained about the same as recent years. Like the Canadian window and door market, which has held up better than that of the U.S., attendance also appeared to hold fairly steady from last year.  The weaker economy did have an impact, however, as Win-Door was somewhat smaller this year, with several exhibitors cutting back on the size of their displays. 

AquaSurTech featured its NuGrain finish, designed to provide a natural wood look and feel to vinyl profiles.

Win-Door maintained its position as a leading showcase for Canadian suppliers, with several highlighting new product offerings.  Among the notable introductions was a new fiberglass door line from Tru Tech Doors. The new Harbourcraft line overcomes many limitations associated with fiberglass doors, reported Carlo Ianni, sales manager.  Features include wide stiles made with laminated veneer lumber to resist warping and bowing, and skins made with a mold produced using real wood doors to offer a more natural wood look. The company, which offers both slabs and complete systems, is supplying the doors pre-finished to its systems customers.

The steel door manufacturer, which opened a U.S. operation, is not only launching the new line, but is poised to expand further, Ianni reports.  At the end of this year, it is combining its Ontario operations into one large plant, bringing everything from steel door stamping operations into final pre-hanging all under one roof.

Window City also featured a new vinyl framing system for swing doors and entry systems.  The system, which provides multipoint locking capabilities, enables customers to choose from vinyl, fiberglass and even custom wood doors, as well as ,said the firm's Peter Yuhas.  

Other new products of note was the NuGrain finish for vinyl profiles being featured by AquaSurTech OEM.  The paint-based applicatin allows the creation of a range of woodgrain looks, according to the company's Michael Braeuel, president.  What makes it unique, he added, is that it also provides "the feel of wood and no repetitions of the pattern for a real, natural look."

The event also featured the debut of Geometric Shapes Unlimited, which represents a new strategic alliance between Princess Windows, a vinyl bending operation, and Millcraft Systems, a supplier of wood components for specialty windows.  An arch-top window featuring custom grids was attracting particular attention in the booth of the new alliance, according to Geometric Shapes' Diana Baker. "People are saying, 'You can really do that?'" when they see the unit, which combines a vinyl exterior and real wood interior, she reported.

Fewer equipment suppliers brough machines to this year's Win-Door, but ProLine showed a new CNC unit for fabricating vinyl profiles.

In addition to Canadian suppliers, Win-Door regularly attracts U.S. based exhibitors as well.  Three U.S. companies made their first appearance at this year's show, including Franklin Adhesives & Polymers. The company was featuring a new line of adhesives specifically targeted at wood window and door manufacturers, reported the company's Jaye Shroeder.  The line includes a new high-performance adhesive for fingerjointing that easily surpasses industry standards, he noted.  Also making a Win-Door debut were G-M Wood Products, a manufacturer of wood and composite door jambs, and EDTM Inc., the supplier of glass performance measurement devices for both in-plant and sales use. 

Education and Meeting Program
In addition to the show, Win-Door played host to several educational and CWDMA meeting sessions. Jeff Baker, CWDMA's technical consultant, updated attendees on code developments, and noted that work is concluding on Canada national building code for 2010.  That new document references the AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440 document, also known as the North American Fenestration Standard, rather than previous CSA A440 standard, he noted.  "It's quite different.  The old A, B & C ratings will be gone," he said, as the new document takes an approach used in the U.S. with performance grades.  The 2010 building code does not go in effect until it is adopted by various provinces, which is likely to start sometime in 2011, Baker predicted.  Before that time, CWDMA plans to host a number of webinars to help prepare manufacturers for the changes.

The code update also featured Steve Hopwood of Canada's Energy Star Windows program, who updated attendees on the new criteria set to go in effect in June 2010. As well as ratcheting up the performance levels across the country's four climate zones, the new criteria offer two compliance paths–one based on the Canadian ER system and another on U-factor, he explained.  As in the U.S., Canada's Energy Star program will also require IG certification and include one set of performance criteria for doors.    

Richard Kelly of TD Bank provided the annual economic forecast as part of the CWDMA general meeting at the show.  "We're in the midst of a pretty rapid rebound," he suggested, thanks in part to the stimulus spending of governments around the world. Economic growth will continue next year, but there may be some "pull-back" as the influx of that money slows. 

He offered a similar projection for Canadian window and door markets.  New housing, which didn't see the same drop as seen in the U.S., has already recovered significantly.  "The growth has been much better than expected," he said, but he noted that prices are already rising again, and that is likely to bring some moderation to the market.  

On the remodeling and replacement side of the business, government tax credits have done their job in keeping this market fairly healthy in Canada, Kelly said.  Unfortunately, he notes, such incentives "pull purchases forward," and there's likely to be some "giveback" in the market when they expire next year.

Among new developments at CWDMA, the organization is beginning work in conjunction with the Canadian Standards Association and the Canadian Energy Star program to create an installer training and certification program.  The work is designed to meet the future needs of the Energy Star program there, which is considering adding installation criteria to program requirements.  

Next year, Win-Door returns to Toronto, where is scheduled to run from November 16-18.  In the meantime, CWDMA will host its annual general meeting next year from June 3-5 at the Pillar & Post in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.  More information on both events is availabe at  www.cwdma.ca.

Twenty-two of the 42 Pioneer honorees were at Win-Door.