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The Story of Tim Hortons

The Tim Hortons chain was founded in 1964 in Hamilton, Ontario.  The chain's focus on top quality, always fresh product, value, great service and community leadership has allowed it to grow into the largest quick service restaurant chain in Canada specializing in always fresh coffee, baked goods and homestyle lunches.

The first Tim Hortons restaurants offered only two products - coffee and donuts.  The selection of donuts to enjoy was highlighted by two original Tim Hortons creations, the Apple Fritter and the Dutchie.  They became the most popular donut choices in the 60's, and remain two of the most popular today.

But as consumer tastes grew, so did the choices at Tim Hortons.  The biggest change in the chain's product focus took place in 1976 with the introduction of the phenomenally successful Timbit (bite-sized donut hole), today available in over 35 different varieties.  The chain's growth into the 1980's brought about a whole series of new product introductions: muffins (1981), cakes (1981), pies (1982), croissants (1983), cookies (1984), and soups & chili (1985).  Sandwiches, which were originally introduced in 1993, were re-introduced as a new and improved line-up of 6 varieties, called "Tim's Own", in 1998. Also, in the 1990's, bagels (1996), flavored cappuccino (1997), Café Mocha (1999) and Iced Cappuccino (1999) were introduced. In 2003, the Turkey Bacon Club sandwich and Maple Pecan Danish were successful menu additions.  In 2005 Tim Hortons introduced, Yogurt & Berries, Cinnamon Roll and Hot Smoothee to the menu.  Many new great products were added to the menu in 2006 such as the Chicken Salad Wrap and the hot Breakfast Sandwich (eggs, sausage or bacon, processed cheese on a toasted homestyle biscuit).

The chain's biggest drawing card remains its legendary Tim Hortons coffee.  The special blend is also available in cans, as are Tim Hortons hot chocolate and English Toffee and French Vanilla cappuccinos, so guests can also enjoy these great tasting products at home.

In addition to our regular stand alone restaurants, Tim Hortons locations can also be found in shopping malls, highway outlets, universities and hospitals, providing prominent visibility for the chain.  Most standard Tim Hortons locations offer 24-hour drive-thru service, catering to consumers on the go. Combo unit locations, which house both a Tim Hortons and Wendy's, offer guests the convenience of both restaurants under one roof.

In 1995, Tim Hortons merged with Wendy's International, Inc., giving new focus and impetus to the expansion of the Tim Hortons concept in the United States.  Tim Hortons locations can presently be found in Michigan, Maine, Connecticut, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New York, with responsible expansion continuing in these core markets.  The Canadian operation is 95% franchise owned and operated, and plans in the U.S. call for the same key strategy to be implemented as expansion progresses. Currently, there are more than 3,000 restaurants across Canada, and over 600 locations in the United States.

In March 2006, Tim Hortons completed an initial public offering of the company and was fully spun off as a separate company as of September 29, 2006. Tim Hortons trades on the NYSE and TSX (THI).

Monumental Moments

1964 - First Restaurant opens in Hamilton, Ontario

The very first Tim Hortons restaurant opened on Ottawa Street in Hamilton, Ontario in 1964.

1967 - Tim Horton and Ron Joyce become full partners

Few could have imagined that a 1,500 square foot coffee and donut shop opened in Hamilton, Ontario in 1964 would become the launching pad for a giant Canadian chain. Ron Joyce (left in photo), franchisee of Restaurant #1, managed to get three successful stores running by 1967 and became full partners with Tim Horton, a legend in the National Hockey League.

1974 - Tim Horton is killed in a tragic accident

In February 1974, Tim Horton died in a tragic car accident. Ron Joyce established the Tim Horton Children's Foundation that year in honour of Tim's love for children and desire to help those less fortunate. In 1975, Ron Joyce became sole owner of the chain which then consisted of 40 restaurants. He built a formula for success by focusing on "always fresh" product and outstanding service.

1976 - Introduction of Timbits®

As consumer tastes grew, so did the menu choices in the Tim Hortons restaurants. In 1976, the popular Timbit, a bite-sized treat was introduced. Over the next several years, items like muffins, cakes, pies, croissants, soups and chili were added to the menu.

1987 - Restaurant 300 opens in Calgary, Alberta

The 300th restaurant in the Tim Hortons chain opened in Calgary, Alberta in February 1987.

1991 - Restaurant 500 opens in Aylmer, Quebec

The Tim Hortons chain celebrated this significant milestone - their 500th restaurant opening - in January 1991 in Aylmer, Quebec.

1995 - Tim Hortons merges with Wendy's International Inc.

In 1995, Tim Hortons merged with Wendy's International, Inc. Tim Hortons continued to operate as a separate entity. The merger provided a new focus for the expansion of the Tim Hortons concept in the United States. Tim Hortons locations can presently be found in Michigan, New York, Ohio, Kentucky, Maine, West Virginia, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The Canadian operation is 95% franchise owned and operated, and plans in the U.S. call for the same key strategy to be implemented as expansion progresses.

In March 2006, Tim Hortons completed an initial public offering, and was fully spun off as a separate company as of September 29, 2006. Tim Hortons trades on the NYSE and TSX (THI).

Restaurant 1000 opens in Ancaster, Ontario

1996 - Introduction of Bagels

The 1980's and 90's brought the introduction of deli-style sandwiches and the extremely successful launch of the bagel program. The chain's biggest drawing card, however, remains its legendary Tim Hortons coffee. The special blend is also available in cans and pouches so guests can enjoy this great tasting coffee at home.

1997 - Restaurant 1500 opens in Pickerington, Ohio

This Tim Hortons in Pickerington, Ohio, is the chain's 1500th restaurant.

1998 - Introduction of "Tim's Own"™ sandwiches

Tim's Own' sandwiches

The six varieties of "Tim's Own" sandwiches are made fresh-to-order with the best quality ingredients. The Tim Hortons lunch menu also includes a wide variety of soups, including "Tim's Own" chicken noodle, as well as chili and bagels.

1999 - First restaurant honoured!

In October, the very first Tim Hortons restaurant re-opens after renovations, unveiling a special plaque and signage commemorating the historic site. Ottawa Street in Hamilton, Ontario is honourarily renamed "Tim Hortons Way".

2000 - Restaurant 2000 opens in Toronto, Ontario

Tim Hortons celebrates the landmark opening of its 2000th restaurant in December, 2000, at Richmond and Sherbourne streets in downtown Toronto.

2001 - New Career Wear launched

A new line of Career Wear, by international fashion designer Stephan Caras, is introduced to the chain. Over 55,000 team members, management and owners are proud to be wearing the new look, with its warm beige, brown and black tones. Designed to be professional yet comfortable, it is also durable and functional.

2004 - In May, the Tim Hortons chain celebrates its 40th Anniversary

Tim Hortons expands its U.S. business into Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts by acquiring 42 Bess Eaton coffee and donut restaurants.

2006 - Tim Hortons goes public, opens 3000th restaurant

In March 2006, Tim Hortons completed an initial public offering, and was fully spun off as a separate company as of September 29, 2006. Tim Hortons trades on the NYSE and TSX (THI).

Tim Hortons celebrates the landmark opening of its 3000th restaurant in December 2006, in Orchard Park, New York.

2008 - U.S. Restaurant 500 opens

STORE NUMBER 500 IN THE U.S.

Tim Hortons celebrates the opening of the 500th U.S. location with Franchisees Derrick Coleman and Walter Bender.

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