5 Companies You Probably Didn't Realize Were Canadian

Nationally, there were 1,272,791 active businesses with employees as of June 2018. Ontario reported the highest number of active businesses with 460K+. According to the Government of Canada, the three sectors with the most business concentration were construction, retail, and professional/technical services. Here’s another cool fact for you, small businesses are big in Canada. In fact, 98.2% of all businesses have fewer than 100 employees. They are the beating heart to Canada’s prosperity. 

There are also high-profile companies with global brands that many don’t even know were born in Canada. So, we took the liberty of putting together a list of Canadian companies that you may not have known were created here:

1.       Herschel, Vancouver


Jamie Cormack and his brother co-founded Herschel Supply Co in 2009. In just five years, the company became an international brand distributed worldwide. The team has expanded to 72 countries in only six years.

Fun fact: so far, about 500 investors have approached the Cormack brothers to partner with Herschel – from VC’s to angels to banks…they all want in on their growth. 

2.       Lululemon, Vancouver


If you’re into athletics, you’ll know Lululemon. It was become widely popular across the globe.

Chip Wilson founded Lululemon in 1998 – with what started out as purely yoga wear for women, is today a global clothing brand for a wide variety of athletic uses.

Fun fact: Lululemon went public in 2007 on both Nasdaq and TSX and raised $327.6 million (Reuters).

3.       DAVIDsTEA, Toronto


You know, the store that has a gazillion different flavours for you to try when you walk in. David Segal and his cousin, Herschel Segal, started the tea shop in the 6ix (or Toronto). The company now has more than 238 reported stores (quarterly report 12/13/18).

Fun fact: can you guess how many teas they offer?...150!

4.       SkipTheDishes, Winnipeg


Josh Simair, the CEO and co-founder, started out by using a ping pong table as a desk to work on and sat on plastic recycling bins – all he and his founding team had was a laptop and a dream. In just five years of launching, the company grew to a team of 800 employees with 10K+ restaurant partners – while boasting 10,969.6% revenue growth (receiving the award by Deloitte for Technology Fast 50).

Fun fact: In 2016, SkipTheDishes was acquired by a UK-based competitor Just Eat for $110 million (BetaKit).

5.       Gildan Activewear, Montreal


After acquiring a knitting mill in Montreal, Gilden was founded by two brothers Glenn and Greg Chamandy in 1984. Today, the company has more than 42,000 employees worldwide.

Fun fact: in the 2013 Super Bowl, Gildan bought a 30-second spot to air an ad that was part of an overall $25 million marketing push.

Ed Bryant