The Chicago Files

A CANADIAN EXPAT'S EXPERIENCES AND OBSERVATIONS LIVING IN THE WINDY CITY!

tim Hortons 2 cups bing[photo courtesy of bing.com]

Behold, I bring you great tidings of coffee joy!  On May 17, 2014, “Tim Hortons” celebrated a milestone 50th anniversary as Canada’s beloved and iconic coffee shop.

For Canadian coffee drinkers, Tim Hortons is not only a necessity, but has become part of the Canadian cultural fabric.  The first Tim Hortons coffee shop opened in 1964 in Hamilton, Ontario, selling only coffee and donuts.  Let’s take a look at the building that housed the start of the quintessential evolution towards Canadian coffee greatness.

Tim Hortons first store Hamilton

[photo courtesy of timhortons.com]

Fast-forward to 2014 and here is what a typical Tim Hortons now looks like:

Tim Hortons typical store 2014

[photo courtesy of bing.com]

For those of you outside the Great White North, “Tim Hortons” was founded by, “Tim Horton” and Jim Charade.  Tim Horton was a hockey player (go figure!) which may have been part of the lure to the first restaurant back in 1964.  Here is a photo of Tim when he played for the Toronto Maple Leafs (which is the team he was with when he opened his first coffee and donut shop):

Tim Horton Maple Leafs google

[photo courtesy of google.com]

Tragically, Tim Horton was killed in a car accident in 1974 in St. Catharines, Ontario.  I have often wondered what he would think about his namesake restaurant becoming not only part of the Canadian landscape, but also the phenomenal national treasure it is.   I completely understand how those of you who have not experienced the Tim Hortons sensation might be scratching your heads (clearly not whilst holding a filled coffee cup).  I suppose I could tell you that a “Timmies” coffee, donut (and by the way, they now have an expansive menu, including soups, sandwiches, muffins, et al.) tastes so darned good that this is why people keep going back for more.  No, it has become much more than just the food and drink in and of itself.  It’s a shared practice; it has become a bonding experience with those you already know, and even those you don’t know.  Simply sitting in a Tim Hortons, or taking your “Timmies” with you and seeing others enjoying it too, somehow permeates a collective understanding.

I must tell you that I was once in the office of a local church minister.  I looked up at his wall of photos; proudly displayed was a photo of Tim Horton.  The minister was Tim’s best friend.  He told me, “I gave the eulogy at my friend Tim’s funeral”.  Bless him.

Perhaps you are thinking that I am being ideological about something perceived simply as, “just coffee”.

Here is a lovely example of what I am writing about.  The Canadian Forces is so insanely crazy about Tim Hortons coffee that there was a Tim Hortons in Kandahar, Afghanistan where Canadian troops could enjoy a cup of home:

Tim Hortons military

[photo courtesy of vintagewings.ca]

This Tim Hortons location was open from 2006-2011; it closed due to the decrease in the number of Canadian soldiers stationed in Kandahar.  However, ‘rumor’ has it there are community groups who continue to send Tim Hortons coffee to those troops who find themselves located thousands of miles (or kilometers) from the nearest Timmies.

My old stomping grounds of Winnipeg, Manitoba is no exception to the Tim Hortons presence.  In fact, on any given weekday morning, there is someone directing traffic for the two lines of drive-thru windows at Tim Hortons! I know first-hand the cars can ‘spill’ (yes, pun intended!) into the primary traffic of Portage Avenue (one of Winnipeg’s busiest roads).  Oh those Canadians and their Timmies!  Here is a photo of a drive-thru at Tim Hortons (in Winnipeg, but not THAT Tim Hortons):

Tim Hortons Drivethru Wininpeg bing

[photo courtesy of bing.com]

Now, getting back to the 50th anniversary celebrations!  The fine folks at timhortons.com have a wonderful chart of, ‘all things Tim Hortons’; I’ve included it here for your perusal:

TIMH_14000_50Years_Fresh_CDN_ENG_FNL_OL

I shall let you ponder the chart for a moment while I sip on my….WAIT! I live in Chicago! There is no Tim Hortons here!  Despite the fact there are 817 locations in the good ‘ol US of A, my CHItown is Hortonless.

The Tim Hortons organization is a stupendous leader in community involvement.  Tim Hortons has a parent program called, “Making A True Difference”, which includes activities such as, “Children’s Foundation”, Environmental Stewardship, Aboriginal Relations, Animal Welfare, Coffee Partnership, Local Programs (such as the, “Timbits Minor Sports Program”).  For more information, please visit:  http://www.timhortons.com/ca/en/difference/index.html

My dear readers, what would a post about Tim Hortons be without a sweet little moose calf story! Believe it or not, a man from Northern Ontario recently found a dear little moose calf (who had just been born) abandoned and standing on the side of a highway.  What did this, marvelous moose protector do? Why, he took it to Tim Hortons to show everyone!  The little calf was taken shortly thereafter to an animal shelter!  Only in Canada indeed!

 

Tim Hortons and moose

[photo courtesy of sunnewsnetwork.ca]

I must mention a little part of Tim Hortons that is near and dear to the hearts (and lips) of many Canadians:  “double double”.  This, my friends is, in “Hortonspeak” (I just made that up) refers to double cream and double sugar in your coffee.  Do not try asking for a double double anywhere else, lest you want the server to sport the moose (er, I mean ‘deer’) in headlights look upon you.  My darling husband always delights in going to Canada and heading to Tim Hortons whereby he proudly states, “I will have a double double, PLEASE” (he usually drinks black coffee but enjoys the Canadianishness of it all).

I shall finish this post by saying thank you, Tim Horton.  Not only were you a wonderful soul and a good hockey player, you are part of the reason why Canadians have a splendid sense of cohesiveness.  Many a late night, early morning, and time in between has been (and no doubt will be) spent pondering and sharing thoughts over a great cup of Timmies.  Thank you to the Tim Hortons organization for continuing to serve not only wonderful products, but for providing Canadians with that which we hold so dearly:  helping each other one community program, recyclable cup, and environmental stewardship endeavor at a time.

I shall now endeavor to sip my non-Tim Hortons coffee and visualize Tim Hortons coffee beans dancing in my head.  Okay that just made me dizzy.  I’ll stick with manifesting a Tim Hortons delicious muffin.  Ah, much better! 🙂

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49 thoughts on “Tim Hortons – My Cup Runneth Over With Thanks!

  1. We don’t have Tim Horton’s here either, though we do have Starbucks. There’s nothing like a good hot coffee to get you going with work in the morning!

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    1. seaangel4444 says:

      That is for sure, Veronica! I find Starbucks coffee very bitter; then again, it’s probably that I compare all coffee to Timmies! 🙂 cher xo

      Like

  2. Poetsmith says:

    Yes, I do enjoy a nice brew!! Interesting article on Tim Horton and the coffee story, Cher. Have you tried cinnamon coffee? Thanks for sharing. 🙂 Kind regards, Iris.

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    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Thank you, dear Iris! I have never tried cinnamon coffee, but it sounds delightful! I shall look for it and give it a try! Love, Cher xo

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      1. Poetsmith says:

        Hi Cher. At home, you can add ground cinnamon and/or cinnamon stick to your coffee. Or, a cinnamon stick in brewing tea. It adds a nice spicy flavour to the drink. Some coffee outlets do sell them too. Enjoy your cuppa!! 🙂 Love, Iris.

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      2. seaangel4444 says:

        Hi Iris, I shall most definitely have to try this! Thank you for the tip! I’ll enjoy my ‘cuppa’ indeed, thank you! I hope you are enjoying your day!! Love, Cher

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  3. seeker says:

    I’ll think to this wonderful timbits I mean tidbits of Timmy’s history. Maybe you may want to start a franchise in CHItown so that you’ll have Horn in your city. Great post, mon Cherie. 😛

    Like

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Hahahaha my dear seeker! You know, hubby and I have talked about that many times! We figured if we had the cashola for it, we’d love to open it up right near the arena where the Chicago Blackhawks play! After all, most of the team is Canadian!! And you know what, dear? I always call Tim Hortons, “The Horn”! Hee! Merci, mon ami! Cher xo

      Like

  4. What a cute little moosie! And hip hip hooray for Timmies today. I shall have a cup for you tomorrow 🙂

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    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Isn’t he a dolly? He still had his umbilical cord attached, bless him! Oh my dear, thank YOU!! Wahoo for Timmies! Cher xo

      Like

  5. Poetsmith mentioned cinnamon coffee. When I was on Tim Hortons’ website, there were a few different flavors of coffee in addition to the regular (they also sell decaf), but I don’t remember any cinnamon coffee. Absolutely loved your story about “Timmies.” As always, you give us all a great verbal visual. I’m still working on my Earl Grey tea, but as soon as I get down, I’m going back on Tim Hortons’ website and order some of that coffee you’re always touting so much! Carol xo

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    1. seaangel4444 says:

      She did indeed, dear Carol! I am going to try it! Oh did they have different flavors? I didn’t know that! Awh, thanks so much! Bless you, Carol! I am going to have to do the same! Writing this post made me crave it even more!! Cher xo

      Like

  6. I also wanted to mention the 1964 photo of the first Tim Hortons. It is amazing to me that it is so modern for the time. The design of that building is lovely; a real standout! 🙂

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    1. seaangel4444 says:

      It certainly was, Carol! I love the cars in the front! 🙂 🙂 🙂 Cher xo

      Like

  7. Interesting post about the story behind the shop. Thank you for this!

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    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Awh, thank you so much! And thank YOU for stopping by! Please come back anytime! Cher xo

      Like

  8. nikibayard says:

    oh coffee, donuts and a newborn moose… what more could I ask for on a quite night home 🙂
    thank you

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    1. seaangel4444 says:

      *LOL* Awh, bless dear! I agree with you completely! We are having one of those evenings, too! Big hugs, Cher xo

      Like

      1. nikibayard says:

        and the hugs are appreciated too 🙂
        Nx

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      2. seaangel4444 says:

        Right back at you!! Big hugs, Cher xo 🙂

        Like

  9. pussycats3 says:

    Hi Cher! Again, I want you to know I enjoyed reading this post. I’m commenting from my other blog, I’ve posted a new one about 2 of my cats. Hope you have a chance to take a look. Carol 🙂

    Like

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Hi dear Carol! I just did and boy what a great post! Thank you and I’ll be back for more! cher xo

      Like

  10. Shame on you Cher. I had three donuts this morning and there you go again hanging the red flag in front of the Bull. Have you no mercy?

    Like

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Oh my, it appears as if I am showing ZERO mercy on the donut front! *grin* xo

      Like

  11. sjoycarlson says:

    Iced Capp’s!!!!! I always get like a ton of those while in Canada. I’m sure they’re just terrible for you but so delicious. It looks like Dunkin Donuts may have something similar, but I won’t even try it because I’m sure it pales in comparison. I definitely got Tim Horton’s last time I was in NYC. Maybe it’ll gradually make it’s way west!

    Like

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      *LOL* I haven’t tried Dunkin’s Iced Capp either; I just can’t! Oh there is a Timmies in NYC? When oh when is it coming here?? 😉 Cher xo

      Like

      1. sjoycarlson says:

        Haha yes, it is real. I can personally vouch for it, as I, of course, had to get an iced capp.

        Like

      2. seaangel4444 says:

        That’s awesome! The iced capps are fantastic! Oh, now I want one! D’oh!!!

        Like

      3. sjoycarlson says:

        Oh nooooooo sorry! Just drive on up to Ontario it’s not that far, right 😛 Iced Capp road trip! Then mail me one to Singapore 🙂 Definitely no iced capps in Singapore, though there are dunkin donuts….

        Like

      4. seaangel4444 says:

        If we head to Ontario to get an Iced Capp, we better go and see my family and then we’ll ALL go to Timmies! Oh and then I’ll mail you one to Singapore! What is Dunkin like in Singapore? When are you coming back anyway? Time to come home! 😉

        Like

      5. sjoycarlson says:

        Haha! Surprise, family!

        So I think it’s the same? Though all I got there was a coffee. I really like Dunkin Donuts coffee with hazelnut flavoring, so I ordered it and they looked at me like I was an alien. They didn’t know what the hazelnut flavoring was. I pointed to all the bottles of flavoring behind them and they still didn’t know what I was talking about so I just took it with sugar and milk, because creamer doesn’t appear to exist here lol. I don’t really eat donuts so I can’t attest to that

        Though there is now a Krispy Kreme here, and those taste the same.

        Like

      6. seaangel4444 says:

        Dunkin is okay, but it just isn’t Tim Hortons!! Ah, I bet they did look at you in alien-style! But you know what? Good thing you didn’t actually get the flavoring, because lord knows how long it’s been there if they don’t even know what it is! *LOL* Yeah, what is up with the creamerless deal? I’d go nuts!! I only eat donuts when I am back in Canada! hehehehe

        Like

      7. sjoycarlson says:

        Haha this is so true. So true about the flavoring!!! Next time I get up to the Motherland, I’ll have to get a Tim Horton’s donut!

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      8. seaangel4444 says:

        Sarah, you HAVE to get a Timmies ANYTHING! 😉

        Like

      9. seaangel4444 says:

        *biggest grin*

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      10. sjoycarlson says:

        And I’ll be here at least another 10 months, with another trip home in there somewhere….

        Like

      11. seaangel4444 says:

        That will be nice to have a trip home before you come back permanently! 🙂

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  12. laura kilty says:

    I LOVE Tim Horton’s! I will be in Canada in a few weeks- this has got me all excited about getting a Timmies! And how gorgeous is that baby moose- SO CUTE!! 🙂

    Like

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Oh how awesome, Laura! Yes please, go to Timmies for sure! Isn’t he beautiful! Bless! Thank you, Laura! cher xo

      Like

  13. Ah… yes. The ‘Double Double’. Even us black coffee drinkers often cave for that traditional standard! Fun post my friend (even if I did cringe at the moose calf section, since the likelihood of it having been ‘abandoned’ are slim, but it all ended well I guess). Big hugs to you! and of course, ‘cheers!’ xo Gina

    Like

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Hi dear Gina! It’s so wonderful to hear from you, my dear friend! I know that the article I read about the moose calf said he still had his umbilical cord attached; he was found by himself just standing on the side of the road. I do hope that he will be able to be released back into the wild!! Double Double; now how about a Timmies and a double of deep dish pizza? Big hugs my dear Gina, Cher xo

      Like

  14. John says:

    Enjoyed reading this! i am from Michigan, there are Tim Horton locations all over southern Michigan but apparently none here in Las Vegas – booo!! Maybe you can convince corporate to place a store in Chicago. 🙂

    Like

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Thank you so much, John! Ah, so you are familiar with the way of the Timmies, I see! None in Las Vegas either…..Hhhmmmm……Well, I must tell you that I did send corporate a link to this post so they can see how much I LOVE them!!!! Thank you for stopping by! Please come back anytime! Cher xo

      Like

  15. Spencer says:

    I live in Chicago as well… Timmies is SO much better than Dunkin, yet we have 3847474930935894929 of those here… Chicago is a hockey town, it only makes sense that they open a Timmies here!!! I emailed them and they said there aren’t any plans currently to open any here… Maybe we can start a change.org petition lol

    Like

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Hi Spencer and welcome to The Chicago Files! Thanks for stopping by! Oh my dear I agree with you 10000000000001 percent about Timmies!! *LOL* I too wish they’d open up a restaurant here in CHItown; hhhmmm, your change.org idea sounds interesting! I tell everyone about Timmies, especially when I’m drinking a Dunkin!!! Cher xo

      Like

  16. Steven Baird says:

    Bless you for this. It was almost enough to make feel like I was back home again. Minus the Timmies, of course. Incidentally, my father did carpentry work for the first Tim Hortons in the city where I grew up, back when they were just getting started. He brought home an autographed photo of Tim (a publicity thing, I’m sure) and a box of donuts. I’ve been a fan ever since. And the coffee? Unequalled. Happy Canada Day to you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Well Steven, that is absolutely a wonderful story. Talk about a piece of iconic Canada! Your father must have been quite pleased to be part of the first Tim Hortons! You have no idea how your words make me smile. It is only a fellow Canuck that understands the Tim Hortons phenomenon (no offense to others of course)! The coffee is divine; gee do I ever miss it!! Thank you, Steven! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

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