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Tim Horton’s Turns 60: What A Ride It’s Had!

Back in 1964, when Tim Horton’s opened the doors of it’s first coffee shop, Tim, himself was an NHL All-Star Defenceman with 4 Stanley Cup Rings. Looking forward to a long, happy, financially successful future as the name and face of the business…

Joyce and Horton - © Tim Horton's archiveTim Horton (right) and the baker at his first outlet examine
some of the first doughnuts to come out of the fryer…

But Tim perished in a car crash in 1974.

Wikipedia suggests, he had everything to live for: “Tim Horton was a Canadian [NHL] defenceman who played 24 seasons in the league. He spent the majority of his career playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs, later playing with the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Buffalo Sabres. In 2017, Horton was named one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players in history. He died at age 44 following a single-vehicle crash in which drugs and alcohol were involved.”

But the coffeeshop chain was already well on its way to fame. Other coffee-and-doughnut chains had a hard time forging a foothold in Canada because. At its peak, Tim’s was overwhelmingly dominant in its market. The chain boasted more than 4,600 outlets in Canada alone in 2023.

Tim’s was sold to Restaurant Brands International (RBI) in 2014. RBI is a Fast Food Brand holding company that also owns, Burger King and Popeye’s, among others.

Now, Tim’s is international, but less a Canadian icon than it once was. But it’s still out Tim’s.

A year-long celebration

“We’re honoured that for nearly six decades, so many Canadians have considered their local Tim’s a home away from home and have chosen to spend a part of their daily lives with us,” said Axel Schwan, President of Tim Horton’s, in a news release. “As we get ready to celebrate the official 60th anniversary of Tim Horton’s opening its first restaurant on May 17th, 1964, we’re planning a number of exciting ways to mark the occasion with our guests throughout the year.”

Spotlighting the best

“We’re celebrating 60 Years of Keeping it Fresh throughout the year at Tim’s with a series of experiences for guests that will have a spirit of modern nostalgia – nods to the past but also celebrating the Tim’s of today and the future,” said Hope Bagozzi, Chief Marketing Officer for Tim Horton’s.

What they’ll be doing…

There will, of course, be an avalanche of product specials and events marking key events in Tim’s history. The festivities have already kicked off with the return of fan fave doughnut varieties January 10. Including: the Dutchie, Blueberry Fritter, Cinnamon Sugar Twist and Walnut Crunch!

New doughnut and Timbit boxes, commemorative cups and other packaging with a Tim’s 60th anniversary logo are being rolled out now, to Tim Horton’s restaurants across Canada.

Happy birthday, Tim’s!

~ Maggie J.


*No, that image at the top of the page NOT a real endorsement of Tim’s by the late Queen Elizabeth II. It’s definitely photoshopped! (Cheers!)