Great American Companies You Didn’t Know Were Canadian
“Oh look, they have TD banks in Canada too,” said my sister who was visiting us recently.
I replied, “Well yea, the bank is Canadian. TD stands for Toronto Dominion.”
My sister, “No, I don’t think so. That doesn’t SOUND right.”
Me: “OK, let’s Google it.”
Presto. Confirmed by Google.
Then I heard the words every kid sister longs to hear: “Hmmm, I guess you were right.”
Canadian companies you absolutely, positively would swear were American
I suspect TD doesn’t want Americans to know that they are a Canadian company.
My suspicion was confirmed last week when a couple of commentators on Canada’s Business News Network were joking about how fast TD is growing in the US. Their contention was that the company would not be so profitable in the country if Americans knew the company was Canadian.
That made me think. What are some other brands that Americans probably don’t know are Canadian?
To make it easy, I’ve divided this list into 3 parts:
brands you probably, definitely know are Canadian,
brands you probably, probably know are Canadian and
brands you definitely, probably didn’t know are Canadian.
Brands you probably, definitely know are Canadian
Lululemon – Even if you don’t do yoga, surely you remember when Lululemon became the BUTT of Internet jokes with its see-through yoga pants.
Cirque du Soleil – For over 40 years, Cirque du Soleil has been entertaining audiences with its imaginative shows in both touring and permanent locations. A far cry from its humble beginnings as a small band of street performers in Quebec honoring Jacques Cartier’s discovery of Canada.
Brands you probably, probably know are Canadian
If you knew that TD was Canadian, then you probably know that RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) and BMO (Bank of Montreal) are also Canadian. These banks are aggressively expanding into the US. If there’s not a branch near you, just hang on. There probably will be soon.
Then there’s HBC, the OLDEST company in North America. With roots dating back to 1670, Hudson’s Bay started out as a fur trading company and is now the parent company of American retail icons Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue. Which means Saks, with its beautiful flagship store on Fifth Avenue, is wholly Canadian.
Brands you definitely, probably didn’t know are Canadian
IMAX – Touted as the world’s most immersive theater experience, IMAX operates over 1000 theaters in over 66 countries. Bonus FYI – it’s spelled THEATRE in Canada.
McCain Foods – According to McCain’s, 1 in every 3 French fries in the world is a McCain fry. Check your freezer, I bet they’re in there.
Cetaphil – The gentle skin cleanser is so popular that one bottle is sold every minute of every day.
Okay, technically Cetaphil is not a Canadian company. It’s part of Galderma, which is part of Nestle Skin Health, which is part of Nestle.
Kind of ironic that the world’s largest food company (with all its yummy chocolate) has a skin care company as a subsidiary. I thought chocolate caused break-outs.
Which means Nestle has the perfect business model: create the problem AND the solution.
At any rate, 100% of Cetaphil is MADE in Canada. At a plant in Montreal.
As skincare expert David Yi wrote on his blog Very Good Light, “Cetaphil is completely Canadian in the best way: it’s sensitive, non-offensive, totally safe and smells great.”
The Brand that Wants You to Know it’s Canadian
For sure, there are some brands that Canadian companies want you to know are Canadian.
Take Canada Goose.
Who better than a Canadian to know that during the harshest of winters you need a stylish, well-made,
cost-effective ridiculously expensive coat?
Canada Goose, founded in Toronto in the 1950s, is a favorite with celebrities and just about anybody who wants to keep warm during the winter. And I mean REALLY warm.
I’ve had my Goose for 5 years and every time I put it on it’s like zipping into a cozy sleeping bag. It’s the only thing I look forward to as the cold, brutal Canadian winter approaches. Putting on the Goose.
Canada Goose is especially popular in Asia, where luxury North American brands can sell like hot cakes.
The stock is up 214% since going public last year.
Funny story about me wearing my Goose
I was in line at a Target in Canada (during the brief few months Target stores made an appearance here) and the lady behind me asked if I was involved in the protection of the Canada Geese.
Half joking, but having no idea what she was talking about, I said, “Absolutely not. I wish we could hunt those things and eradicate the entire population.”
She looked very confused and pointed to the patch on my coat.
If you’re not familiar with the Canada Goose brand, I guess you could infer that someone wearing this patch was indeed interested in the preservation of that cursed beast. The distinctive red patch on every coat reads Canada Goose Artic Program.
In my defense, the Canada Geese are truly nasty birds. They fly up on roofs and start honking at the crack of dawn. They have millions of little geese every spring. And they poop on anything and everything. Including sidewalks and any standing water (pools, ponds and lakes).
Apparently, I’m not alone in my feelings. I Googled Canada Geese and one of the top responses was CAN I LEGALLY KILL CANADA GEESE?
The answer: yes.
According to the Wildlife Act, the Canada Goose has been moved from Schedule 1 to Schedule 5, which means the species is no longer “protected” by fish and game councils. Anyone can kill geese at any time of year without a need for a game license.