Ron Joyce was born in 1930 in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia. In 1951, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Navy where he specialized in the Communications field. His tour of duty took him around the world, serving off the coast of Korea and Japan in 1954-55.
In 1956, Mr. Joyce moved to Hamilton, Ontario and took up a full-time career with the Hamilton Police force. In 1965, his entrepreneurial spirit had come to the fore and he took over the fledgling Tim Horton Donut Shop on Ottawa Street in Hamilton. By 1967, after he had opened up two more restaurants, he and Tim Horton became full partners in the business.
Upon Tim Horton's death in an automobile accident in February of 1974, Mr. Joyce purchased Tim's shares from Tim's wife and took over as sole owner of the chain, which then consisted of 40 restaurants.
Shortly after Tim Horton's death, Mr. Joyce was instrumental in setting up the Tim Horton Children's Foundation, created in line with Tim Horton's love of children and desire to help those less fortunate. The Foundation, which is a non-profit, charitable organization, operates camps for economically disadvantaged children from communities in which Tim Hortons stores operate.
In 1989, Mr. Joyce was honoured for his success in the foodservice industry by being made a Fellow of the Hostelry Institute. He was selected as the recipient of the Ontario Hostelry Institute Gold Award as Chain Restaurant Operator of 1992. Mr. Joyce also served as the 1992 Honorary Chairman of the Ireland Fund, an organization which assists in setting up educational and community programs to promote and foster peace and harmony within all parts of Ireland.
Mr. Joyce's dedication and commitment to the Tim Horton Children's Foundation earned him the Gary Wright Humanitarian Award in 1991, presented periodically in recognition of the outstanding contributions to the betterment of community life throughout Canada. In recognition primarily for his work with the Foundation, he received an appointment to the Order of Canada, with the official presentation taking place on October 21, 1992 in Ottawa.
In May 1993, Mr. Joyce proudly accepted an Honorary Doctorate of Commerce from St. Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In 1994, he received the McGill University Management Achievement Award. He also holds honourary degrees from Mount Allison University and McMaster University. In November 1996, Mr. Joyce became only the second person to ever receive the Canadian Franchise Association's Lifetime Achievement Award.
In April 1999, he was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame, alongside other well-known Canadian business moguls and in October of the same year, he was named Entrepreneur of the Year® for Ontario and Canada.
In June 2005, Mr. Joyce generously donated $10 million towards the construction of a new sports stadium at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. In November 2005, Mr. Joyce was honoured as the 2005 Humanitarian Award Recipient by the Canadian Red Cross, Nova Scotia Region for his work with the Tim Horton Children's Foundation and for his continued support of education and health organizations across the world. Today, Mr. Joyce serves as Chairman Emeritus of the Tim Horton Children's Foundation and sits on the Board of Directors of Sobey's and Shaw Communications.
The father of six sons and one daughter, Mr. Joyce resides in Calgary, Alberta, and enjoys flying, golfing, sailing and fishing.