Home  >  About
Canadian Only

About Us: From the Beginning

Flashback to the Canadian Only office in 2010, based in Vernon, BC

Flashback to the Canadian Only office in 2010, based in Vernon, British Columbia

Our Story

Canadian Only was originally established as “Canadian Only Web Links” directory in 2000 by founder, Leslie Wilson. Wanting to support Canadian businesses, Leslie became frustrated when, no matter which search engine and keywords she used, she consistently received International results.

She decided to create a directory with “Canadian Only” listings, spending countless hours researching businesses and their ownerships by personally investigating each and every one.

While businesses frequently change what they do, and they get bought and sold, Canadian Only does its best to maintain accuracy. We’re a small team, so if you spot errors or changes, please notify us.

We continue to grow and expand this site by bringing you listings ranging across all interests. Please like and follow us on Facebook, follow our Canadian Only Magazine Blog and advertise your business with us!

Places in Canada where we've lived and stayed

Places we’ve lived, stayed and explored

What’s your interest in Canada Only?

FREE Listings

Canadian businesses,
artists and artisans
receive one FREE listing.*

(Additional category listings for a small one-time fee.)

Listings ED MB Interlake 229px
Flags & Facebook

Canadian-made or Canadian-owned
gets a flag!

If you have both a website and a Facebook page, get links to both within your one-line listing.

Listings Flag & FB 229px
Image Links

A picture says a thousand words and receives far more click-throughs to your website
or Facebook URL.


Teen burger, root beer and onion rings from A&W
‘Did You Know’ Ads

Have a curious story to share and an image to go along with it? Be a part of our Did You Know features.



Did You Know AB 226px
Blog Posts

We write comprehensive stories about products and services that we love and support.









Back to: Home | AB | BC | MB | NB | NL | NT | NS | NU | ON | PE | QC | SK | YT | Canada-wide

What We’re About

Canadian Only provides information and links to all things Canadian.

We’re not an online store and no purchases can be made on this site. We simply provide a directory so that visitors can choose from “Canadian only” resources (instead of filtering through a multitude of international resources that search engines return). This is how we’re encouraging Canadians to “buy local” and support our economy.

Canadian Only content is sourced by real humans. This means that each link is initially checked for Canadian ownership; there are no bots involved! We personally check each site to minimize links going to sites that don’t align with our purpose (unlike most sites that use an automatic submission process). It takes longer, and it’s worth it.

Search by your location or interest. You’ll get only links relevant to your search, quick and simple. Our search engine (near the top of the home page) returns results only from this website. See disclaimer and how to use this website.

The Canadian Only Team

2020.10.08 Leslie and Buddy Canuck © Canadian Only

Leslie Wilson

Founder and CEO

Leslie sources businesses, artists and artisans for Canadian Only. She handles the business end of the company, including ad sales.

Leslie has lived in 9 cities in 5 provinces and 1 territory (AB, BC, MB, ON, SK, YT).

2021.02.07 Annie and Buddy © Canadian Only

Annie Zed

Website and Communications

Annie designs our website and ads. She writes our copy and reviews for our blog. She looks for stories with a zing to report to our audience.

Annie has lived in 4 cities in 4 provinces (AB, BC, ON, SK).

2020.10.08 Buddy Canuck © Canadian Only

Buddy Canuck

Laughter Coordinator

Buddy helps us with social media presence and odd jobs. Other than that, we’re not quite sure what he does, other than try to bring fun and laughter to us all!

Buddy lives in BC. Other than that, we’re not quite sure where he’s been!

CEO Leslie Wilson, hard at work in 2010.
Leslie (likes to be incognito) and Pam doing research at the Canadian Only office in 2010.
Annie and Pam juggling tasks in our busy little office back in 2010
October 8, 2020: Buddy Canuck shows off the home page of the newly designed Canadian Only website


Or ‘her-story’ as told by founder, Leslie Wilson

In the beginning…

Canadian Only is all about Canada. Right from the start (year 2000) its purpose was to provide information about Canada. The idea began as a project. I wrote the html for the website and put it online. When I think of what it looked like compared to now, I just shake my head, because it really was dreadfully ugly. It was a huge learning experience while I searched for listings (links) located in Canada and owned by Canadians, with some exceptions, of course. Having a full-time job, the first 10 years was slow and somewhat steady.

2009 to 2010: A new incarnation

During 2009 and 2010, Canadian Only had a lot of changes, and this was with the help of Pam, Annie and Buddy.

A friend, Pam Moorlag, brought some renewed enthusiasm to the Canadian Only project, and together we began adding thousands of listings to the website. There were an awful lot of fun times, some down times and a few serious times as well.

Annie Zed, a talented graphic designer and long-time friend, re-created an entirely new look for Canadian Only. The site became way prettier and easier to use. It most definitely set us apart from the rest of the Canadian directories found online. This was also when Annie designed the Canadian Only logo that you see at the top left of every page. Isn’t it great?

Buddy Canuck was brought into the whole Canadian Only experience, initially as a ‘temp’. He just kind of lingered on after that. We can’t really specifically say what his position is, but we sure have lots of fun with him!

2011 to 2020: Gradual growth

During these years, Canadian Only was being maintained by yours truly. The listings on the website continued to be all human-edited, found either by site submissions or research. The Did You Know boxes were slowly being filled with information, trivia and unusual facts; this was being done just as fast as my little fingers could go. Well, even Rome wasn’t built in a day, eh?! I added content with more emphasis on tourism in Canada. I also improved the Canada-wide pages. Changes to the areas within the provinces also changed slightly. Incidentally, these areas were never meant to be compared with regions in tourist guides. There were some changes to the design, but the general overall look created by Annie Zed was kept, and that definitely set it apart from any other directory out there.

As time permitted, this is what I was doing – plugging away at adding links and other Canadian content to the site. Because, as I've said for years and years: “Build it and they will come.”

2020: Complete refresh

The year 2020 was one of those years when we all saw a lot of change. In October 2020, Annie suggested we give the website a facelift. With that said, Canadian Only started a total reconstruction of the website – and a massive change I might add! So once again, Annie came to the rescue and worked on the most beautiful site. This is the year for Canadians to come together; to learn about, explore, shop local and love our country and it became our intention to be a leader of this new way of being!!

2021: Relaunch!

With two of us managing this humongous site (re-launch in February 2021), Leslie and Annie jointly collaborate on this website to make it the largest source of truly Canadian content: business directory listings, things to do, trivia, stories, facts, travel info, entertainment, facts and Did You Know boxes to inform our visitors. We’re committed to keep it all nicely categorized and organized while still managing to keep an attractive-looking site!

Did you know?

  • Cinch Bags
  • Christmas 2020
  • Canadian Only Logo
    Canadian Only logo

    The “Canadian Only” logo is a registered trademark of Canadian Only. The “CO eh” logo is also a trademark of Canadian Only and is mainly used on social media.

Canada Only Trivia

Flags of Canada and all provinces
Coat of arms
Canadian maple leaf
Bird is Gray Jay (unofficial)
Animals are Beaver, Canadian Horse
Tree is maple

(Give us one!)

Resources for your Canadian lifestyle

Canadian Only Magazine Blog

Other resources
Canadian Only Facebook page
Canadian Only on Twitter
Canadian Only on LinkedIn


Advertise with us!

Canadian Only Facts

Date of inception


Website overhauls

2010 and 2020

Website size

Ranging between 300 and 500 pages

Head office

Vernon, BC



Staff known as


Main industries at Canadian Only

Research, review, write about Canadian businesses, artists and artisans

Canadian Only national holidays

All the usual ones, and then some

Professional sports at Canada Only

Sitting, web-surfing and laughing



Usually jovial and indoors for most of 2020.

Time zones

Night owl.

Go to home page
Go to top of page

Canada-wide | AB | BC | MB | NB | NL | NT | NS | NU | ON | PE | QC | SK | YT

Owned and operated by Canadian Only Inc. Copyright 2000-2023
Designed by Quirky Idea. Last updated March 13, 2023.