Why Tim Hortons is a Canadian staple, in photos

ByDavid M. Conte

May 14, 2022

As a Western New Yorker, I grew up going to Tim Hortons, and it’s a staple on long car rides and early mornings.


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I stopped at the original location, first opened in 1964, on a recent trip to Toronto.

Tim Horton's original location


Mary Meisenzahl / Insider


The restaurant had clearly been updated since it opened almost 60 years ago, but there was a photo of its original appearance on the outside wall.

Tim Horton's original location


Mary Meisenzahl / Insider


Outside the entrance was a large statue of the chain’s co-founder and namesake, Tim Horton.

Tim Horton's original location


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Horton, named one of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time by the NHL, continued his career while starting the channel.

Tim Horton's original location


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Source: NHL

He died in a car crash in 1974 aged 44, just a decade after founding his eponymous channel.

Tim Horton's original location


Mary Meisenzahl / Insider


Bearing the name of a hockey legend could be part of why Tim Hortons is loved by Canadians.

Tim Horton's original location


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Tim Horton’s is best known as a breakfast destination, but its menu has grown to include lunch and all-day coffee and pastries.

Tim Horton's original location


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I had several iced coffees from the chain during my trip, and a medium came out at a reasonable price of $1.99 in US dollars.

Tim Horton's original location


Mary Meisenzahl / Insider


Everything about Tim Hortons screams “Canadian pride,” right down to the maple leaf on the mug.

Tim Horton's original location


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There are actually more Tim Hortons restaurants than McDonald’s restaurants in Canada, from 3,928 to about 1,400, respectively.

Tim Horton's original location


Mary Meisenzahl / Insider


Source: RBI, McDonald’s

The store I visited had a section of Tim Hortons products, like mugs and sweatshirts. The setup reminded me of Starbucks, which often has a similar product line.

Tim Horton's original location


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The layout was similar to other Tim Hortons restaurants I’ve been to, with display cases for baked goods next to the register.

Tim Horton's original location


Mary Meisenzahl / Insider


There is also a selection of sandwiches, and I chose an Impossible Sausage sandwich with egg and cheese.

Tim Horton's original location


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I’m not a vegetarian, but thought it was delicious and would happily order it again.

Tim Horton's original location


Mary Meisenzahl / Insider


On the side of the counter there were lockers to collect mobile orders. I’ve never seen this system before, but it seems like a potentially clever way to handle order pickup.

Tim Horton's original location


Mary Meisenzahl / Insider


Unlike most Tim Hortons restaurants, this location had a second level.

Tim Horton's original location


Mary Meisenzahl / Insider


I will definitely remain a customer, albeit rarely.

Tim Horton's original location


Mary Meisenzahl / Insider


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