Some of the things that were different in Canada surprised me — like the chain stores. In my desperate swimsuits-for-kids search I went into every plausible retail establishment. H&M; was the same as in the US. Old Navy was the same. Gap was kind of the same (they were running an ad campaign I haven’t seen here in New York). Sears was not the same.

Sears in Toronto has a cosmetics department so expansive it kept reminding me of Bloomingdales on 59th. Sears in Toronto carries LaCoste and Calvin Klein but not Land’s End. Sears in Canada has it’s own website. Fascinating.

The store that was most fascinating to me was Canadian Tire. The logotype is excellent. The displays were excellent. But I couldn’t get a handle on who the customers were or what exactly they carried. Maybe a kind of Target? Their line by Debbie Travis (who?) also excellent. Note: they don’t carry children’s swimsuits.