Tim Horton’s or Starbuck’s?

Located less than a mile from the gritty, industrial steel plant district of Hamilton, ON, at the corner of Ottawa St. and Dunsmure Rd., is the very 1st Tim Horton’s.  It opened in 1964, sold coffee for a quarter and featured Tim’s own personal creations, the apple fritter and the dutchie.  Not surprisingly, these large “doughy” creations became the most popular donut choices in the 60’s and remain 2 of the most popular today.

Rendering of 1st location
Rendering of 1st location


Of course, the chain’s biggest drawing card remains its legendary Tim Horton’s coffee, for which people drive miles and brave the 10-20 minute queues in the drive-thru’s. Not me! I really, REALLY don’t like Tim Horton’s coffee!

I would be remiss if I didn’t capture just some of the highlights of this very successful hockey player and founder of this Canadian iconic coffee shop.

  • born in Ontario in 1930
  • 22 years in the NHL
  • played in 1,446 regular season games
  • scored 115 goals and 403 assists for a total of 518 points
  • starting in 1949 played 17 full seasons and 3 partial seasons for the Toronto Maple Leafs
  • served a short stint with the New York Rangers before being traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins
  • final years in hockey were with the Buffalo Sabres
  • played on four Stanley Cup teams
  • was an All-Star player six times
  • opened his 1st coffee shop in 1964
  • died tragically in 1974 with 40 Tim Hortons coffee shops operating
  • today, 4,590 locations operating in 7 countries



The original location has recently received a modern up-date but the history of both the location and this chain is on display in the 2nd floor museum and, it’s free!


The display walls of memorabilia, combined with comfortable chairs and tables to sit and enjoy your favourite brew and donut, made this an impressive location. It wasn’t large but it was interesting, well done and made me proud! Did you know the word Double Double was added to the Canadian Oxford Dictionary in 2004?













Actually, this visit to the 1st Tim Horton’s was out of guilt!

Last December I made a point of visiting the 1st Starbuck’s in Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market that opened in 1971.  You see, I really, REALLY like Starbucks cappuchino’s!  It was largely like any other Starbuck’s – with the same menu – except that all orders were “to go”.  No seating in this location – just 1 of more than 15,000 stores in 50 countries!

I had to visit the 1st Tim Horton’s in Hamilton’s historic, gritty, industrial steel plant district. Didn’t I?


One thought on “Tim Horton’s or Starbuck’s?”

  1. I have to agree with you, Jacquie, about Tim Horton’s coffee, and Starbucks! This was a very interesting history lesson, too! Keep them coming!

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