Tim Hortons was founded in 1964 in Hamilton, Ontario by Canadian Hall of Fame NHL hockey player (1949 - 1974) under the name Tim Horton Donuts. The name later changed to Tim Horton's then Tim Hortons. In 1967 a partnership was formed with investor Ron Joyce. Joyce quickly took over operations expanding the chain into a multi-million dollar franchise. Tim Horton died in 1974 at which time Joyce bought out the Horton family share of the chain. In 1990 the name was changed to TDL Group Ltd. in an effort to diversify. In 1992 Tim Hortons merged with Wendy's in Prince Edward Island with Daniel P. Murphy and in on August 8, 1995 TDL was acquired by Wendy's International Inc. with Joyce as the major shareholder although TDL continued to have headquarters in Oakville, Ontario. In March of 2006 the company went public and Wendy's announced it would spin off the rest of the Tim Horton shares by the end of that year citing competition between the two chains and Tim Hortons increasing self sufficiency. On September 29, 2006 the spin off was complete with Tim Hortons it own separate company. In June 2009, TDL left its American parent (Coldstone Creamery, Kahala Group) returning to its Canadian roots to be reorganized under the Canadian Business Corporations Act for tax purposes incorporated as Tim Hortons Inc. with shareholder approval expected by September of 2009. There are currently over 2,800 Tim Hortons across Canada and 400 in the United States. On July 13, 2009 a handful of Tim Hortons opened in New York City, New York. Tim Hortons trades on the NYSE and TSX (THI).
Timmies is well known for the uniquely Canadian terms double double and roll-up the rim to win. A double double refers to a coffee with 2 creams, 2 sugars. Just pull up to their drive through and ask for an extra large double double and they know what you mean. This Canadian term has become so popular there are very few coffee or doughnut shops that don't know what it means! The roll-up the rim term refers to a promotion that Tim Hortons started. Once you drink your coffee, you roll up the rim at a certain point to win free prizes ranging from a free coffee to a vehicle. This promotion has been so popular other coffee chains have copied it.
I doubt there is a Canadian living that hasn't been to a Tim Hortons at least once in their lifetime! Tim Hortons is located in just about every small town and city across with multiple locations in larger centres. Tim Hortons or affectionately called Timmies is part of the daily routine for many Canadians. Timmy's specializes in coffee and doughnuts but they now offer other beverages, soups and sandwiches as well as cakes and pies. In most cases Tim Hortons is open 24 hours a day. It's the meeting place as in meet me at Timmies. It's the senior citizen gathering place every morning. It's the starting point for directions to get somewhere as in 'when you see Timmies, turn right then turn left on the next street'. Every Canadian sports coach, hockey mom, bus driver and hockey fan knows where the closest Tim Hortons is! Tim Hortons has become the social epicentre of many Canadian communities!