I got my Canada Goose over 5 years ago right before the big peak in popularity. My aunt used to work for them so I got it at cost. Before I had the jacket, I would never have thought I would be willing to pay 700 for a coat. But now that I've had it for 5 years? I definitely would.

Wearing a Canada Goose Jacket to walk around the streets of Ottawa for ten minutes is like using a Unimog as a daily commuter.

They're both amazing pieces of equipment that WILL get the job done, but aren't wholly necessary. First thing to know about Canada Goose is that they use their own thermal rating system from 1-5; 1 being shit and 5 being worth the money. Anything between is a bit silly as well.

The original idea/concept for Canada Goose parkas (remember they ARE parkas and not 'jackets' after all), was to be a bomb-proof arctic parka for extremely cold and dry climates, usually worn by scientists and explorers and the like. Think, "Really cold, not very active-wear." Within that they make a few styles that still respect that philosophy but since becoming a popular fashion statement they make some shit that literally just wastes a coyote and a goose's lives to make the Chilliwack (among others). Ultimately, you can get what you pay for and it will be amazingly warm.

If you're against the trend, or fur, or down, or any of that, you can definitely find other options.

Some have been mentioned but I'll put an honorable mention out to Quartz Nature, they are Canadian-owned and operated (Montreal based, Canada Goose is no longer truly Canadian btw). They also use fur, but a variety of options and looks, and you can even opt to not use fur (How 'bout that!), and they even make much cheaper, still very warm, synthetic insulated parkas.

Also Quartz Nature, though not technically 'waterproof', uses waterproof materials, so if there is wet snow or conditions suddenly change, unlike with a Canada Goose, you're not screwed and it shouldn't wet through.

All that being said, as some people have mentioned, you can definitely find a layering system that works for you. Get a down sweater and hard shell or outer shell and you've already got a warm and more versatile solution, you can switch down for fleece, or layer up merino base layers, or what have you. There is no one single solution because Ottawa winters are all over the place, which makes a versatile solution more appealing.

I hate the snobbery, reputation, moral issues, expense, etc. etc. the list goes on, that comes with Canada Goose.

Would I recommend Canada Goose? Hell yes, it's amazing. But it's large and impractical for majority of the people that drive or bus to work. I used it to shovel my driveway and that was about it.

If you are patient you typically can find what you want and knock quite a bit off the regular price. Their flagship jackets (everything from their alpha sv to cerium sv) can be had for $250-$400 during the summer depending on where you look.

Eddie Bauer used to contract out to Canada goose for their down jackets (can't remember when they stopped) and just rebrand them their own.

So for all those fashionistas out there that said your parents clothing was ugly. They were wearing those trendy jackets before you were born.