How Tim Hortons Became Synonymous With Canada

A doughnut joint opened by an ex-cop wound up serving the nation's favorite cup of coffee

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About a decade ago, Tim Hortons put up a page on its website that let customers share stories about what the restaurant meant to them personally. Just in case that concept sounds a little strange—people expressing their affection for a doughnut chain—well, then, you don’t know Tim Hortons, and you’re certainly not Canadian. For 55 years and counting, Tim Hortons has joined maple syrup, Molson, ketchup chips and hockey on the list of things quintessentially Canadian.

“Tim Hortons is a brand that historically has been seen by many Canadians as the fabric of Canada,” said Toronto-based retail analyst Bruce Winder.



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This story first appeared in the May 27, 2019, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.