Tim Horton's

On this Day:

On May 17, 1964, the first Tim Horton’s coffee and donut shop was opened in Hamilton, Ontario by NHL player Tim Horton.

Miles Gilbert “Tim” Horton (January 12, 1930 – February 21, 1974) was a Canadian professional ice hockey defence man who played 24 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL). He played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Buffalo Sabres. In 2017, Horton was named one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players in history. He died following a single-vehicle crash in 1974 caused by driving while intoxicated at the age of 44.

A successful businessman, Horton was the co-founder of the Tim Hortons coffee restaurant.

Tim Hortons Inc., commonly nicknamed Tim’s or Timmies, is a Canadian multi-national fast food restaurant chain. Based in Toronto, Tim Hortons serves coffee, doughnuts, and other fast food items. It is Canada’s largest quick-service restaurant chain, with 4,949 restaurants in 15 countries as of March 2, 2022.

The company was founded in 1964 in Hamilton, Ontario, by Tim Horton and Jim Charade, after an initial venture in hamburger restaurants. In 1967, Horton partnered with investor Ron Joyce, who assumed control over operations after Horton died in 1974. Joyce expanded the chain into a multi-billion dollar franchise. Charade left the organization in 1966 and briefly returned in 1970 and 1993 through 1996.

On August 26, 2014, Burger King agreed to purchase Tim Hortons for US$11.4 billion. The two chains became subsidiaries of the Canadian-American holding company Restaurant Brands International, which is majority-owned by Brazilian investment firm 3G Capital, on December 15, 2014.

Canadian Cultural Fixture

Tim Hortons is popularly known as “Timmies”. The ubiquity of Tim Hortons, through the wide expansion of its outlets, makes it a prominent feature of Canadian life. Canadians eat more doughnuts per capita and have more doughnut outlets per capita than any other nation. Tim Hortons’ prevalence in the coffee and doughnut market has led to its branding as a Canadian cultural icon. The media routinely refer to its iconic status, despite this being a relatively recent development. There were only a few outlets before the chain’s expansion in the late 1990’s and 2000’s. A series of Tim’s television commercials promotes this idea by showing vignettes of Canadians abroad and their homesickness for Tim Hortons. Canadian author Pierre Berton once wrote: “In so many ways the story of Tim Hortons is the essential Canadian story. It is a story of success and tragedy, of big dreams and small towns, of old-fashioned values and tough-fisted business, of hard work and of hockey.”

Some commentators have bemoaned the rise of Tim Hortons as a national symbol. Rudyard Griffiths, director of The Dominion Institute, wrote in the Toronto Star in July 2006 that the ascension of the chain to the status of a cultural icon was a “worrying sign” for Canadian nationalism, adding, “Surely Canada can come up with a better moniker than the Timbit Nation.”

The recognition of Tim Hortons as a Canadian icon has permeated into American culture as the result of product placement efforts in conjunction with a marketing agency. In the American situation comedy, “How I Met Your Mother,” while standing in a Tim Hortons “just around the corner from the Hockey Hall of Fame”, Robin called the location the “most Canadian place in the universe”. The chain has since embraced that comment as an unofficial slogan and has used it in promotional advertisements to emphasize their fixture in modern Canadian culture. The chain has also been featured in the TV series “Homeland” as a result of the aforementioned product placement campaign. Another TV show that has Tim Hortons products making an appearance is “The Last Ship”, having a product placement deal.

First, a Story:

What is a spy who works for both Starbucks & Tim Hortons called?

A double-double agent…

Second, a Song:

John Kirkland Reid (born August 21, 1974) is a Scottish-Canadian country music artist. Reid moved to Canada in July 1988 when he was 13. His father, a diesel mechanic, wanted to give Reid and his brother opportunities he did not think they would have in Scotland. He graduated from Turner Fenton Secondary School in Brampton, Ontario, in 1992. Reid went on to attend Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, Quebec, where he met his wife (and was a kicker on the varsity football team).

Reid moved to Nashville, Tennessee to make country music; he and his family reside in Nashville. He was nominated for the 2008 Juno Award for Country Recording of the Year for Kicking Stones. Reid was named Male Artist of the Year at both the 2008 and 2009 CCMA Awards. He also performed at the Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill on July 1, 2010, which the Queen and Prince Philip attended (per Wikipedia).

YouTube.com states:

“Johnny Reid – A Little Taste of Home:

A great song to match a great coffee.  Any proceeds from YOUTUBE to me will go to Tim Hortons Children’s Foundation (THCF). I am not connected with THCF in any way , I’m doing this on my own because I think it’s a great cause. This video was created by myself, Albert de Laat, not by Tim Hortons (although I wouldn’t turn down a complimentary coffee).”

Here is Albert de Laat’s video set to Johnny Reid’s song “A Little Taste of Home”.  We hope you enjoy this!



Thought for the Day:

“With a doughnut in each hand, anything is possible.” – Jameela Jamil

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Have a great day!

Dave & Colleen

© 2022 David J. Bilinsky and Colleen E. Bilinsky

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