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    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Default Tim Hortons

    Tim Hortons serves up national identity, researcher finds. It's mentioned in the same breath as tuques, hockey sticks, canoes and beavers

    Shannon Proudfoot, Canwest News Service Published: Monday, November 03, 2008

    A swig of elusive Canadian identity can be found at the bottom of a humble brown paper coffee cup.

    So says a Canadian sociologist in newly published research that argues Tim Hortons has shifted from simple purveyor of caffeine and pastries into a cultural icon mentioned in the same breath as tuques, hockey sticks, canoes and beavers.

    "They're not just another branded commodity, they're an institution," says Patricia Cormack, a sociology professor at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S.

    The idea for the study hit Cormack during an early morning coffee stop at her local Tim Hortons one of three in a town of 4,200 people. A display touting the Royal Canadian Mint's Remembrance Day quarter caught her eye and she found it "amazing" that a doughnut shop had the clout to be the exclusive distributor for a piece of currency.

    Research uncovered more examples.

    When Tim Hortons announced in 2006 it was opening an outlet for Canadian troops in Afghanistan, then Chief of Defence Staff Rick Hillier said the move further strengthened the relationship between "two great Canadian institutions."

    Later that year, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sampled the chain's famous brew during a visit to Nova Scotia. Another famous woman's access to Tim Hortons raised national hackles when Karla Homolka confessed in an interview the first thing she wanted upon release from prison for schoolgirl sex killings was one of the chain's iced cappuccinos.

    The eponymous brainchild of an NHL defenceman who spent most of his career with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Tim Hortons started in Hamilton, Ont., in 1964 and now includes more than 2,800 franchises nationwide. It controlled 42 per cent of the fast-food business and 80 per cent of the coffee/doughnut sector in Canada last year, raking in $1.9 billion in revenues.

    Of course, no brand could lay claim to the Canadian imagination without invoking the national game. From the chain's founding by a player to its modern-day sponsoring of Timbits children's hockey and ads featuring Canadian NHL star Sidney Crosby himself a former Timbits player the doughnut emporium has leaned heavily on its hockey cachet, Cormack writes in the paper, published in the November issue of the journal Cultural Sociology.

    Tim Hortons became a "cultural icon" by tapping into deeply held values without being crass about it, says Peggy Cunningham, a marketing professor at Queen's University and a textbook author who frequently cites the brand as a Canadian cultural artifact.

    "Canadians see them as very much part of that cultural landscape and being very genuine about what they do," she says.

    Cormack believes much of the mystique is owed to the "True Stories" ads starring real Canadians that started in the mid-1990s with 80-year-old Lillian trekking up a steep hill each day to get her fix. The ads often feature Canadians travelling through unfamiliar territory sustained by the familiarity of Tim's, she says, and that taps into our self-concept as a nation of hardy explorers surviving harsh winters in a vast land.

    Even the company's perpetually beige-and-brown packaging and "humble, plain-Jane" image fits in with Canadians' notion of themselves as strong, principled people who don't grasp at fads, Cormack says but whether that's true is another matter.

    "It's that funny contradiction we keep announcing that we're quiet and boasting that we're not boastful," she says with a laugh. "But it still kind of works."

    You be the Judge.


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    Love it. Hands down better than any donut and coffee joint in town round here. (There are better donuts in town but not the combination of both) We've had 4 come in in a 2 year span and we've got guys that have to stop every time that they drive by. I've been involved in Timbits coaching my son for the last 2 years and it's one hell of a program. They really care about they're impact on the community. I wish there were more companies like that around these days.

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    Forum Member MasterMerlin's Avatar
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    I would love to see a Tim Hortons this far south!!! That was always one of two mandatory stops in Fernie. That and Boston Pizzia on pasta Tuesday.
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    Forum Member firecat1's Avatar
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    I could go for some Timmy H right about now.

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    Yesterday morning...stopped at Tims for my morning coffee and bagel at 5:30....chatted with the gals. Anyway, when I stopped at a different one a couple of hours later, I reached in my pocket for money and discovered that I still had the 2 toonies and a loonie that I put in my pocket when I left the house! I forgot to pay for my purchase at the first stop! Not that they will miss the $3.23, but I'll straighten it up with them next time I'm through there. Ice Caps in the summer are the best.

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    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Hey RoadDogg, I'm gonna be up your way tomorrow (5 Nov) on my way back to Borden.
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    I have a 3 pound can of Timmy Ho's in my cupboard right now, courtesy of a friend who brings me Timmy Ho's whenever she visits her Dad in Ontario.
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    Smile Horton's in the US??

    Gotta be honest, I didn't realize we had them down here in the states. I now have the sudden desire for donuts (in an area with no 24 hr donut shops).

    Are they just up along the US/CAN border?

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    Before I got in the Forces and still lived at home I worked a Midnight to 8 shift. I was at Tim Horton's every night at 23:30. I would pull up to the drive thru and all I would get is "$1.39 drive through". She would have my coffee ready to go for me. I miss it. Now in this god forsaken city I live in sometimes I spend 10-15 minutes in the drive thru in the AM. Cut it close to being late a couple times for work. Of course those days I just show up with coffee for everybody.


    I think I'm going to avoid driving through northern Ontario from now on too. Not enough Tim Horton's along the way. All they have is that crap known as Robin's.

    Quote Originally Posted by MalahatTwo7
    Hey RoadDogg, I'm gonna be up your way tomorrow (5 Nov) on my way back to Borden.
    On the topic of Tim's and Borden. I wonder if the same Padre is still around from when I was last there. If you were in line behind him in the morning rush for coffee, he would buy the coffee's of the next two vehicles. I think people would sit and wait until the Padre pulled up and then it was a mad dash to get behind him in line.

    That was the busiest time of day on that Base. Between 7:00 and 7:20 AM.
    Last edited by ndvfdff33; 11-05-2008 at 01:38 AM.
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    MalahatTwo7, if you can get this, what time you coming through?

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    You know your town is on the map when you have a Tim Hortons. I don't go anywhere without my LARGE Timmies.

    I'm betting that there are a ton of Southerners that don't have a clue what we are talking about.

    Coffee is always brewing at my place, gotta love the Tims!


    Reminds me! Good Friend of Mine was on his first Rotation in Afghanistan a few years back he and I always would spend countless hours at Timmies chatting and talking the good times, I was so kind as to send him out a can. He called to tell me that the full can of fresh ground was gone within one day, everyone had a cup of home.

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    Send some my way. I miss them. The only good part of my day working in retail hell was the trip to Tim Horton's every morning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianFyrTrks View Post
    You know your town is on the map when you have a Tim Hortons. I don't go anywhere without my LARGE Timmies.
    Pretty much. Your town aint s*** if there is no Tim Horton's in it. I would love to know how much money I spend there in a month. I drink quite a few of the "NATO Standard" also known as a Double Double each day.


    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianFyrTrks
    Reminds me! Good Friend of Mine was on his first Rotation in Afghanistan a few years back he and I always would spend countless hours at Timmies chatting and talking the good times, I was so kind as to send him out a can. He called to tell me that the full can of fresh ground was gone within one day, everyone had a cup of home.
    Lucky for the guys in KAF they have a Timmy's on camp now. They can get it whenever they want,unless of course they run out and the shipment is late.
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

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    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    NY state has'em all over the place! LOL Or at least in the northwestern side anyhow. Came through western PA last night. Spent the night in Erie, and was able to hook up with RoadDogg for a beer or two at the Texas Roadhouse. Ok. He had one, I had two, but then I also took time to tuck into a really great prime rib too, with all the fix'ns.

    That was one thing I found out very quickly on my return (besides NOT being able to buy beer at 7-11! ) is that the meal portions at a resturant are SMALL compared to any US resturant. Just plain SUCKS. I walk away looking for a "snack" almost as soon as I finish "eating" here. Was very nice to stoke up the boilers one last time, last night LOL.

    Thanks, Andy for the suggestion, it was GREAT! Hope to catch you on a "down trip" next time.

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    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianFyrTrks View Post
    You know your town is on the map when you have a Tim Hortons. I don't go anywhere without my LARGE Timmies.

    I'm betting that there are a ton of Southerners that don't have a clue what we are talking about.

    A few of us do. When Laura and I arrived in Bowling Green, Ohio for the National Championship Tractor Pulls last August, we found our first Tim's. GOOD COFFEE!!........ I'd like to entice them to expand into the Mid-Atlantic area, all we have now is YuppieBucks and Drunkin Donuts.


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    MalahatTwo7 what exactly do you consider the NW part of NYS? I know theyhave then on the southern tier of NY, in Olean which is just north of the Pa. border. Please dont tell me that you are one of those guys that thinks upstate NY starts when you cross into Westchester county.
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    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    My experience of NY State is pretty much anything along the I79/I90 corridor, right up to Buffalo. Although I've travelled up I81 through to Syracuse and into the Canadian border. Have not yet had the pleasure of anything east of 81 so far.

    I like western NY and PA during the spring and summer/fall periods but since I DONT like winter, I'd never stay for long. Would have to be like the geese and fly south for the winter

    And no, I'm not like the guys you are concerned about, but when you have a state that is shaped like NY or even MD, in a big L for lack of a better descriptor, "north" is all relative to where you are and where you're headed. I know that there is a heck of a lot more "north" in NY than just (north) of PA, but there are two things that get in the way:

    1) that farck'n big body of water called "Lake"
    2) that other long fark'n ribbon of water called "River"

    both of them kinda bugger up the geographics for determining which way is UP and for how long.

    I won't get into the number of great bloody bridges that one has to cross...... and how many islands??? LOL

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    Come on Rick, what's not to love about 140+ inches of snow and ice, 90 car pileups on the highway, and municipalities that couldn't plow the roads right to save their lives? Lake effect snow is that great! Glad you liked the meal. That's one of my favorite chains in town. It's even better when my buddies ex is working the bar (she wasn't the other night), cause I get free drafts! Knowing my luck, I would have finished the 2nd beer and we would have gotten a run, leaving me ****ed off and stewing for the rest of the night.

    HWoods, I'd imagine that Timmy Ho's are slowly working their way down your way. They are truly addictive. I suppose that you'll get one about the time that good beer like Labatt's make it big round there like it is up here. Of course I'm getting spoiled drinking all these micro brews that have been popping up round this neck of the woods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fitguy51 View Post
    MalahatTwo7 what exactly do you consider the NW part of NYS? I know theyhave then on the southern tier of NY, in Olean which is just north of the Pa. border. Please dont tell me that you are one of those guys that thinks upstate NY starts when you cross into Westchester county.
    Hey! Somebody else that knows Olean. Lived there back in '84. Do folks still catch a lot of muskie there?

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    This is great! Now living within walking distance of a T.H.!!!

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