Our history

Our history

In the 1970s the only way to obtain outdoor clothing adapted to our climate was to make it yourself. It was during this era Kanuk was founded in 1970 in Montreal, Quebec by Louis Grenier, an avid winter outdoorsman. Surrounded by a team equally as passionate about winter and winter activities as he was, Mr. Grenier and Kanuk created the company’s first design: the Kangaroo anorak, with zippers under the arms for ventilation. Kanuk's first parka arrived soon after, insulated with synthetic materials to repel humidity. Everyone held firm to the conviction that Quebec's Infamous winters, with their extreme temperatures, biting winds, frequent storms, and dampness brought on by proximity to the river, required well-made, flawlessly-tailored outerwear that delivered warmth, worked as it should and exhibited a timeless style. Interestingly our earliest customers, people who loved the great outdoors, also began wearing their Kanuks in urban settings, which in itself spoke volumes about these warm and comfortable parkas. Through word of mouth, Kanuk gradually became the outdoor clothing reference it is today. 

Now, more than 40 years later, Kanuk continues to display its unrivalled expertise. And strive to constatly improve and stay at the forefront of the industry.

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  • The Kanuk brand

    A wide variety of styles, sizes and colours

    Kanuk coats come in a wide variety of styles and colours, and are available in eight sizes. They are made to last for years, are timeless yet always stylish and never compromising on style. Creating outerwear that flatters all shapes and sizes, with uncompromising comfort is also critical to Kanuk’s designers' mission. Our coats remain weather resistant, as Kanuk employs only the best quality and recognized best practices in manufacturing.

  • Legendary warmth

    Comfort and durability

    The St. Lawrence River has a major impact on our low altitude climate, which results in long, damp winters that can be extremely cold and blustery. Kanuk coats are designed here with our particularly denanding climate in mind. Kanuks are warm, hard-working, timeless and durable made to the highest standards. Over the years, Kanuk has developed sewing techniques that enhance a garment's insulation properties. No seams penetrate the garment from one side to the other, which prevents cold air from seeping in. The technique, which is the basis for all Kanuk production standards, has been refined over time and remains key to the warmth that’s become synonymous with the Kanuk brand.

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  • Synthetic insulation and fabrics

    The use of synthetic materials and insulation that repel humidity is the basis for the comfort and legendary warmth of Kanuk garments. Despite the efficiency of classic insulators when dry, these materials lose their insulation properties when wet and are very slow to dry. The arrival of new synthetic insulators was a major step forward, and Kanuk made the most of it. They repel humidity and keep the body warm, whatever the activity. They represent the best protection in extreme winter weather conditions.

  • The snowy owl

    The official bird of Quebec...and Kanuk.

    The snowy owl on the Kanuk logo symbolizes Quebecers’ innate ability to adapt to winter. Immediately recognizable by its striking white plumage and piercing yellow eyes, the snowy owl lives in the Far North. Known to the Inuit as the ookpik, its natural environment is the Arctic tundra, although in winter it can be seen as far south as the St. Lawrence plain. The Kanuk logo was designed when the company was founded in the 1970s, more than ten years before the snowy owl was named the official bird of Quebec in 1987.

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