Wholly Canadian is a social enterprise promoting whole-life local living
...a breath of fresh air for those with a heart for local /fair-trade living, & inspiration for those intrigued...


This Month's Top Picks: May 2015

Cleck Foonf Car SeatImage result for clek foonf car seat

Yay for Canadian-made baby equipment! There are so few manufacturers out there for Canadian-made baby equipment (stroller, saucer, etc), which is why Clek is such a great find!

We purchased the Foonf seat for our little one, and  have their booster seat in mind for the next stage.


Foonf is Clek's no-compromise convertible child seat - introducing revolutionary safety technology, innovative convenience features, and recyclable.

Clek says:

"Our thinking is design thinking. Not only products, but also experiences. Parenting comes with compromises. We get that. But we don’t believe you need to compromise when it comes to child passenger safety. Comfort, safety, convenience and style can co-exist without sacrifice. Easy task? Nope. An important one? Absolutely.

We have made a conscious decision to manufacture our products in North America. Yes, it may cost a little more to do business on our side of the pond but we think it's worth it. Not only are we supporting businesses here (most of our suppliers are also North American based), we are also closer to the process to better ensure the high quality you expect from a Clek product."


Favourite Memory: Picking out this car seat (in fact two of them--one for my nephew) at Winnipeg's leading children's speciality story: E-children (Westcoast Kids).  I love supporting local businesses that provided Canadian-made products!

Note: Both Clek & Westcoast Kids made our "Canada's Best Baby Registry". Got a baby coming? Need a baby gift? Shop local with ease using this database.


River City Herbal

Okay, I'm a real softee when it comes to Manitoba-made products . . . effective products of premium quality. This is why I love River City Herbals. I love their lip balm, soap, and Calendula ointment. Calendula is a traditional treatment for almost every kind of skin condition, wounds or irritations. Wonderfully soothing, calendula stimulates blood flow, heals damaged tissue, and makes your skin supple and resistant to irritants.



River City Herbal's mission is to manufacture and market high quality organic botanical remedies that are effective and affordable.

Rand Smith is an herbalist and the founder of River City Herbals in Winnipeg, Canada. In the 1990s, he served as staff herbalist at Finlandia Pharmacy in Vancouver B.C., Canada's oldest and largest natural pharmacy. After returning to his home town of Winnipeg in 1994, Rand was inspired to develop the formula for River City Herbals Calendula Ointment to relieve his own painfully dry skin condition caused by the windy prairie city's harsh, dry winters. Rand's ointment soon garnered rave reviews from other users and has been a bestseller in local retail outlets and holistic clinics ever since.

Since 1996, the River City Herbals product line - which now includes OM Lip Balm - has been picked up by more and more stores right across Western Canada.

Favourite Memory:

During this last pregnancy my favourite essential oils & scents were a huge turn-off. I couldn't believe I didn't like lavender! I needed reprieve with a neutral soap that would nourish my skin. I remember walking into Hollow Reed, of Winnipeg's natural markets, and sniffing soap (trying to avoid heaving); I'm sure I looked like I needed help. A sales assistant approached me, and after explaining my criteria for a soap, she recommended Herbal City's organic calendula soap. It had a benign smell that made it the soap of the season!


Saugeen Country Yogurt

I've been on a real learning curve with dairy products these last few years . . . and while I don't have access to farm milk, I try to buy the closest thing there is to "real" dairy. When purchasing my yogurt, I look no further than Saugeen Country Yogurt. We buy one large tub every week. . .and use it for salads, cereals, smoothies, quick nourishing snacks topped with fruit, etc

My criteria? Organic & un-homogenized, with no added fillers or skim/cheap products. (Side note: Do some research as to why unhomogenzied dairy is so critical to quality nourishment.)


Image result for saugeen country yogurtAbout:

At Saugeen Country Dairy they make yogurt from cow's milk, bacterial culture and nothing else. Commercial dairies nowadays often manufacture yogurt with milk ingredients, i.e. milk protein, skim milk powder, stabilizers and gelatin. Saugeen strongly believes that yogurt made from pure milk straight from the cow is the best. The shorter the list of ingredients the more natural and better tasting the food will be.

They do not homogenize the milk--the process that changes the lipids to prevent the milk from separating. Cream will rise to the top in milk that is not homogenized. Non-homogenized milk products are easier to digest. Because we do not homogenize the milk there is often a thin layer of cream on the top of the yogurt.

Saugeen is a small company that prefers to focus on just a few products, rather than having a whole line of yogurts. They cannot make low fat yogurt, because we would have to add extra skim milk powder.


Favourite Memory:

When searching for a quality yogurt and coming to terms with a tight budget, I asked around in my community, and a friend of mine encouraged me to re-think my purchases. She explained that it depends where you want to spend your dollars, and that purchasing simple nourishing food is a great investment. So it means we had to re-think our grocery budget, and made some difficult choices that are proving to be a good investment for our family. We purchase our at Organza market in Winnipeg.



Dairy Fairy, which is in Dauphin, I believe, makes yogurt and tvorog cheese from minimal ingredients. Quite different, and absolutely natural. Check their website.

May 8, 2015 2:35 PM
By Lynne

Kamik Rain boots
In Manitoba, the season of rain boots is upon us (rain & gardening).  And everyone needs a good pair of rain boots--practical and fashionable, because let’s face it, they’re not just needed for leisurely walks in the park, but for those rainy & wet days to work.  My trusty pair is a red tartan pair--I’m not sure if Kamik sells this particulakamik wholly canadianr pair anymore. But here’s another pair that caught my eye--the Jennifer.  These high fashion boots are comparable to other designer boots that so many people covet, but the Kamik are not nearly the same price. Not to mention they are made in Canada versus imports.

About: Kamik is a trusty Canadian name--creating footwear that brings our Northern origins to life. Strong. Dependable. And resilient. They’ve been doing this since 1898. Their complete line of outdoor footwear keeps you safe, dry, and comfortable year round – from summer rainstorms to winter blizzards. So no matter the conditions, you can always journey on. Not all their footwear is made in Canada--so check out which ones are.

Favourite Memory:  Spring of 2010 I finished my thesis one early afternoon. My whole body ached, muscles constrained, eyes tight from the lack of sleep after months of hard-core pressure to meet a deadline.  I remember pressing “send,” and then putting on my newly purchased Kamik tartan rain boots. Freedom I thought--my whole body & soul needed a childlike break. So I began splashing in puddles, breaking through ice, and breathing fresh air. . .I walked into a local coffee shop with my newly christened rain boots and concurred--these boots were meant for walking {and splashing}!


Love my cherry-red Kamik boots!

May 8, 2015 2:36 PM
By Lynne

Taiga Rain Jacket

It's that time of year for a rain jacket, wind-breaker, or light layers. And Taiga has got it covered! I've got the Calypso women's jacket.


Developed & produced in Vancouver, Canada, TAIGA® outdoor products are a very special breed. Their innovative, exceptionally thoughtful design, legendary quality and superb performance in expeditions around the world, puts them well ahead of other brands.

Favourite Memory:

Aquiring this jacket is perhaps one of my favourite aquisition memories. A few years back, while pondering upon the concept of Wholly Canadian, and still unaware of how many Canadian-made products were out there, I chanced a website search "rain jacket made in Canada." I wasn't convinced I would find one. But behold! I came across Taiga. Since then my husband and I have made several shopping stops to their B.C.-based store, and an online order.

Made in Canada. A fundamental difference. Check the outdoor gear supplied by firms like MEC, North Face, REI, Columbia, Arc'Teryx, Patagonia, Marmot, and others. You will find that vast quantitites of it appear to be made off-shore in China, Veitnam, Bangladesh, etc., where wages can range as low as 25 cents per hour. Not that there's anything wrong with making things cheaply and then selling them at a high profit - just be sure you are aware of the facts, and remember... Taiga products are made in Canada, right here in Vancover, B.C., Taiga's innovative designs and quality standards are industry-leading., Taiga's manufacturer-direct prices are competitive with offshore imports... (and, unlike MEC, we pay income tax). So check around and make a choice you won't regret


Stay tuned for next month's Top Picks!
Also, take a look at previous month's Top Picks!