As the holiday season reaches its peak, countless millions of people take to malls and shopping centres to stock up on gifts.
Of course, brand loyalty is the force that drives most shopping patterns. People in Canada, in particular, are protective of the companies and products that define the national identity.
TL;DR These 8 iconic Canadian brands are now actually either based in the U.S., owned by an American company, or tied predominantly to the American financial system.
Allegiance to Canada-based brands, people seem to believe, bolsters them against covetous American corporations.
That's why many Canadians will be shocked to discover that some of the biggest names in the country have exchanged their Canadian roots for American capital.
Below are listed seven of the most popular "Canadian" brands that are either now based in the United States, owned by an American company, or tied predominantly to the U.S. financial system.
To be clear, all of these brands still occupy a special place in the hearts of Canadians, employ domestic workers, and maintain ties to their homeland. So their American connections are especially surprising.
The announcement in 2014 that American fast-food chain Burger King would merge with Tim Hortons provoked huge outcry. The restaurant giants combined to form company Restaurant Brands International, which is based in part in Ontario but maintains strong ties to the United States.
But it was long before that moment that Tim Hortons actually ceased to be uniquely Canadian. Between 1992 and 1995, it was under the ownership of Wendy's.
Hudson's Bay Company
The famous department store, whose very name evokes Canadian geography and identity, is owned by American firm NRDC, based in New York.
This soft drink brand is Canadian only in name since its acquisition by Dr. Pepper Snapple, an American conglomerate based in Texas.
Molson is the Canadian branch of the Molson Coors Brewing Company, which is based in part in Denver, Colorado but also has a headquarters in Montreal. Though it maintains strong connections to Canada, it is no longer a primarily Canadian company.
The iconic Canadian retailer is currently owned by Searchlight Capital Partners, a firm based in New York.
Boston-based firm Bain Capital acquired Canada Goose in 2013. Though, the company has committed to keeping its products "Canada-made," according to the Financial Post.
Imperial Oil and Esso Gas Stations
Imperial Oil, the second-largest oil company in Canada, is owned by Exxon Mobil, according to the Huffington Post. Esso gas stations are also, by extension, owned by Exxon.
The company which gave its name to the famous Eaton Centre in Toronto and its less-famous cousin in Montreal was acquired by American retailer Sears in 1999. The name persists on both shopping malls despite the fall of Sears.