Canadian Stores Americans Love
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25 Canadian Stores That Americans Love

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Canadian Stores Americans Love
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Canadian Club

Canada shares a border with the United States, not to mention a tendency to send Justin Bieber and Drake up the charts, root for the Toronto Raptors in the NBA playoffs, and watch "Schitt's Creek" or "Kim's Convenience" on Netflix. There are also more than a handful of Canadian stores and eateries that have managed to trickle into the states and win fans among their neighbors to the south. These are some of the Canadian merchants that have crossed over.

Tim Horton's
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Tim Horton's

Founded in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1964 by hockey legend Tim Horton and his business partners, Tim Horton's has been a fixture of National Hockey League boards and Canadian commutes for 55 years. Tim Horton's has also been a fixture around Buffalo, New York, since the 1980s, and it's spread to 13 other U.S. states since mergers with Wendy's and Burger King. Much of its U.S. presence is clustered in Canada- or Great Lakes-adjacent states — corners of the country that reject the Starbucks/Dunkin' binary.

IMAX
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IMAX

Founded more than a half-century ago in Montreal, IMAX had the idea to run 70-millimeter film through a projector horizontally to create an area nine times larger than the vertically fed 35-millimeter film. Now based in Mississauga, Ontario, IMAX has long since converted its technology to a digital format and has shrugged off the advance of tablet and smartphone screens to create an immersive experience in more than 1,300 theaters around the world.

Lululemon
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Lululemon

When Lululemon was founded in Vancouver's Kitsilano neighborhood in 1998, the world had not yet embraced yoga pants as all-purpose apparel. This company began changing that by turning its design/yoga studio into a stand-alone store in November 2000. Today, Lululemon has more than 400 stores on four continents and has turned its culture of comfort and mindfulness into a reason to wear activewear as often as possible.

Roots
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Roots

Roots apparel — including shirts and other gear for tennis' U.S. Open and similar events — has a reputation for being nearly indestructible. The brand was founded in Toronto in 1973 and trickled into the U.S. through stores including Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Nordstrom. Early stores here didn't work out, but response to Roots apparel and leather goods around the globe has made the company reconsider the U.S. market. Stores are planned in Massachusetts and up to a dozen other locations nationwide by the end of 2019.

Hudson's Bay
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Hudson's Bay

If there's a green-, red-, yellow-, and indigo-striped woolen blanket in your home that's been passed down for generations, it's likely a Hudson's Bay blanket. Descended from the fu- trading company that once owned roughly 15% of North America, Hudson's Bay evolved into one of Canada's most prestigious retailers. Although its first non-Canadian store opened in the Netherlands, not the United States, Hudson's Bay items can be found on Amazon, at Walmart, and from other U.S. retailers.

MAC Cosmetics
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MAC Cosmetics

It's owned by Estée Lauder Cos. and based in New York now, but MAC was founded in Toronto and brought a boldly Canadian sensibility to makeup. It cared about skin tone, it cared about individuality, and, with RuPaul as inaugural celebrity representative, it put a little bit of Broadway, cabaret, and drag shows into everyday makeup. Madonna, Brooke Shields, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," Lady Gaga, and Rihanna made MAC a global presence, but a counter at a Toronto department store made it possible.

Herschel
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Herschel

Vancouver-based Herschel has made a big impression since opening in 2009. Its stylish-but-rugged backpacks and bags have become an international must-have, even if the store count in the Americas has stayed level at two. Fortunately for U.S. shoppers who've fallen in love with their tags and color palate, Herschel's website offers free shipping to the United States.

Canada Goose
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Canada Goose

Right around the time The North Face and Triple F.A.T. Goose were becoming status symbols in '90s New York, Canada Goose was starting to gain a reputation of its own. While the Toronto company earned its outdoor credentials in Antarctica, on Mount Everest, and in the Iditarod, a hip-hop fan base helped pop culture discover Canada Goose and make it a star in "The Day After Tomorrow" and "National Treasure." Drake has his own Canada Goose line, and the brand now has stores in New York, Boston, Chicago, and New Jersey.

Aldo
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Aldo

This budget shoe-and-bag shop has been a U.S. mall staple for decades, but it was founded north of the border in 1972 — when it was just four shops in Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa, and Winnipeg. While the Aldo group now has more than 3,000 stores worldwide, it's remained such a low-cost fixture that it's designed products for JCPenney and Kohl's.

Saje
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Saje

Back in 1992, husband and wife Jean-Pierre LeBlanc and Kate Ross LeBlanc began producing plant-derived essential oil blends after a car accident left Jean-Pierre in chronic pain. His chemistry background and her work in her mother's retail business built Saje, a wellness empire based in Vancouver and Surrey that has nearly 20 stores in California, New York, and New Jersey.

Arc'teryx
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Arc'teryx

With apparel and ideas forged in the Coast Mountains not far from its North Vancouver home, Arc'teryx makes gear for the most bruising conditions that rock and mountain climbing can throw at you. Its harnesses and backpacks are industry standards, and its popularity among outdoor enthusiasts around the world has spawned U.S. locations in New York; Boston; Denver; Palo Alto, California; Portland, Oregon; Seattle; and elsewhere.

Joe Fresh
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Joe Fresh

Joe Fresh didn't want to make bargain shoppers come to it, so it opened locations in Loblaw's supermarkets and Shoppers drugstores and brought its wares right to its core customers. It's a bit harder to find in the U.S., especially since closing its five stores in Manhattan, but shoppers can still find the low-priced goods online.

Aritzia
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Aritzia

It was once just a segment of a 70-year-old Vancouver department store. Then it was a mid-'80s boutique. Today it's where you can get your Coachella top, blanket scarf, and "New '90s" tear-away track pants. Aritzia is in nine states and D.C., likely in the bougiest mall.

Freshii
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Freshii

Bowls, burritos, salads, wraps, soups, smoothies, and juices in various combinations — not to mention biodegradable packaging — have made Toronto-based Freshii an international success. Founder Matthew Corrin says he drew his inspiration from the fresh food he'd found at New York's mom-and-pop delis while working for fashion designer Oscar de la Renta. While mom and pop might have a few choice words for Corrin's knock on their "lackluster branding and service," the U.S. has seen dozens of Freshii locations spring up within the past decade. But don't worry, delis: The lone NYC location is in a Walgreens.

Second Cup
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Second Cup

Started in 1975 as a kiosk in a Toronto mall, Second Cup became to Tim Horton's what Starbucks is to Dunkin' in the states: a somewhat tonier, espresso-based coffee chain, sans doughnuts. About seven years ago, Second Cup trickled into the United States with locations in Florida. It's turning some stores into cannabis shops back home, where recreational marijuana is legal.

Showcase
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Showcase

Stocked with offbeat health, beauty, and home products, Showcase filled an esoteric niche in Canada's retail landscape when it debuted in Edmonton in 1994. This year, however, Showcase is making a big push into the U.S. Northeast, opening up to 100 stores by 2020. Does the U.S. retail industry have enough life left to support a shop based around as-seen-on-TV gadgets? Showcase must think so: It's planning to open as many as 1,000 stores here.

RYU
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RYU

Respect Your Universe has been around for four years with a well-timed approach to urban athletic apparel: Now that activewear is basically streetwear, this shop that sells all-weather bike bags, all-purpose track pants and hoodies, and jackets and other layers has become globally indispensable. Founded in Vancouver, RYU now has a few U.S. stores in California and New York.

Garage and Dynamite
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Garage and Dynamite

Back in 1975, this chain was known solely as The Garage and was eager to spring from Montreal into malls throughout North America. It launched a second brand, Dynamite, in 1984, and has managed to weather the 21st-century retail storm. With 400 stores in eight countries (including 29 mostly coastal U.S. states), Garage and Dynamite have found their way into the wardrobes of generations of young U.S. shoppers.

Deciem
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Deciem

Whether it's makeup, hair care, skin care, body conditioning, or supplements, Deciem and its 10 house brands have it covered. Founded in Toronto in 2013, Deciem made a name for itself selling affordable skincare products to celebrities such as Kim Kardashian West. Deciem has since spread to six other countries and has nine U.S. locations in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco.

Indigo Books and Music
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Indigo

Indigo may have been a book and music store when it opened in 1996, but its shift to a "cultural department store" couldn't have been better timed. Indigo is Canada's largest media and toy retailer, but the expansion of lifestyle and home accessories brands including Kobo ereaders, S'well bottles, Kate Spade bags, and other offerings has kept the chain vital. Indigo recently opened its first U.S. location, in New Jersey.

Rudsak
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Rudsak

From its earliest days in Montreal in 1994, Rudsak has turned founder Evik Asatoorian's love of timeless, classic leather goods into a paragon of global style. Today, its wares are so sought-after in the U.S. that it opened a flagship store in Manhattan's new Hudson Yards development.

Recipe
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Recipe

Recipe is a Canadian restaurant conglomerate with holdings including Harvey's, Swiss Chalet, Kelsey's, Milestones, Montana's, East Side Mario's, and New York Fries. While most of those names might elicit a shrug from U.S. diners, who may recognize only one from a Barenaked Ladies song, some of the group's other chains have made it stateside. The Keg restaurant and brewpub has locations in Arizona, Colorado, Texas, and Washington, while the Elephant & Castle English-style pub chain has popped up in Seattle, Boston, and D.C.

Ardene
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Ardene

As old U.S. mall brands die out and remaining brands try desperately to connect with young shoppers whose parents frequented the same stores a generation ago, Ardene seems to have it figured out. Founded in Montreal in 1982, Ardene survives by torching the past and hitching its future to current trends and modern brands. Its first U.S. store opened in Albany, New York, in 2015, and Ardene has since expanded to Staten Island and Boston.

Mejuri
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Mejuri

Toronto's Mejuri launched in 2015 in an attempt to get fine jewelry to women at nominal cost. Unsurprisingly, sub-$300 jewelry that doesn't look it proved incredibly popular online, leading Mejuri to open a permanent physical home in New York as well as a pop-up location in Chicago.

Hgreg.Com
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HGreg.com

No, it isn't just an online shop. HGreg.com is a family of Canadian used-car dealerships. When it saw an opportunity to compete with U.S. brands such as CarMax, it followed the Canadian snowbirds to Florida and opened four dealerships in Doral, Broward, Pompano Beach, and Orlando — with the Pompano Beach location specializing in luxury vehicles. A Miami location is on the way, as the Canadian company tries to take some of the shadiness out of U.S. used-car sales.