Tim Hortons location in Hamilton turns 60

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Published May 17, 2024 at 4:48 pm

Tim Hortons 60th Anniversary
Photo by Erik Mclean

It’s been 60 years of Tim Hortons coffee in southern Ontario, as today (May 17) is officially the 60th anniversary of the opening of the very first Tim Hortons location in Hamilton in 1964. 

Tims has been weaving small-scale celebrations throughout its operational endeavours this year, including incentives like the launch of retro-style donuts in January, the ice cappuccino anniversary in April, and Camp Day events planned for the summer, all leading up to the franchise’s six-decade anniversary of operations. 

“Today, we’re celebrating all the special connections we’ve made with Canadians since our founder, Tim Horton, opened his first restaurant 60 years ago. Tim had a vision to create a place where anyone could go at any time and feel at home, and that continues to be a core part of our mission today,” said the president of Tim Hortons, Axel Schwan, in an official statement. 

According to company representatives, Tims is also planning more surprises, including a social media campaign that will involve generations of real customers talking about their experiences with the franchise over the last few decades

Other locations throughout Canada are also celebrating milestone anniversaries, with Mississauga’s oldest Tim Hortons inching ever closer to 50 years.

The brand has exploded in popularity since it was founded by NHL defenceman Tim Horton, who died in a car accident in 1974 while travelling back to Buffalo from Toronto after a hockey game between the Sabres and Maple Leafs. He was 44.

Later, Tims franchisee Ron Joyce became the sole owner of the chain when he bought out the stake in the business held by Lori Horton, Tim Horton’s wife, for $1 million and a Cadillac Eldorado. Lori Horton later lost a court challenge disputing the sale.

In 1976, the bite-size “Timbit” was born.

Tim Hortons entered the American market in 1984 and introduced its Roll Up the Rim contest in 1986.

In July 2004, the Canadian Oxford Dictionary added “double-double” — a coffee with two creams and two sugars  — to its lexicon.

Other major milestones that have occurred parallel to the franchise’s 60th anniversary include the launch of Tim Hortons pizza and the plastic-free lid, which launched in specific locations across Canada last month, with further expansion anticipated in the future. According to an official statement from Tim Hortons representatives, more new products are planned for 2024, many of which will focus on community engagement innovation in Canada and beyond. 

– With files from The Canadian Press

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