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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Allison: Tim Horton's

Hi, everyone. It’s been a while since you’ve heard from me, I know. (Other than the ghost edits intended to preserve at least some semblance of sanity on this website.) Recent events and posts, however, left me in a position to make a personal interjection. It would be remiss of us to shower accolades on Sweden, Germany, and various regions of the United States, without acknowledging our other favorite land that’s near and dear to our hearts, Canada.

I’ve spent a significant amount of time in Canada, and after Holly’s brave confession yesterday, it’s my turn. Here goes:

At first, I didn’t get Tim Horton’s. I mean, I got that it was a coffee shop. I got that there were four on every corner. I even got that they were packed from open to close every single day. What I didn’t get was why. It’s a coffee shop. Less expensive than Starbucks, slightly better quality than Dunkin’ Donuts. So what.

A chain coffee shop is fine. A packed coffee shop is fine. Four coffee shops on every corner seems a bit excessive, but ok. Taken together, it was insanity to an unseasoned tourist like me.

And then I went to Tim Horton’s. And yes, now we have to go every day. And yes, we don’t always go in the morning. And yes, it’s completely awesome that wherever we are in the greater Toronto area we can find a Tim Horton’s faster than we can find a gas station or a street light. And yes, I love Tim Horton’s. I still have no idea why, but as soon as we cross the border, the switch goes off and Tim Horton’s joins the ranks of fiber, protein, and vitamin C as necessary for physical survival during our stay.

Don’t believe me? Mention Tim Horton’s to any Canadian and they will smile. They know. Maybe I’m just jealous because I’m not sure I can think of the equivalent in our country. Do we have such a tangible piece of national identity? That’s not rhetorical. Please post comments if you can think of something that binds all Americans like Tim Horton’s binds Canadians.

I’m sure there are Canadian’s who don’t like Tim Horton’s. There are probably even some that have never been inside one. But they’ll still understand your question when you ask. Speaking of which, when my fellow band-mate interviewed my hero Trevor McNevan of Thousand Foot Krutch and FM Static she asked if I had any questions for him. TFK’s my favourite band of all time. Of course I did. I’m the “friend” referenced in the last one.

I told you so.


  1. I didn't know that Tim Horton's was such a Canadian institution. Although that Richelle Mead book where Canadian satanists gather in Tim Horton's for their regular meetings makes much more sense now...

  2. I'm not sure if Canadians officially recognize it as phenomenon, but to an outsider, it was definitely a fascinating observation. I should qualify this by also mentioning that I've only spent significant amounts of time and travel in Ontario, so it may be regional, I don't know. My husband and his family are Canadian and we joke all the time about what a fixture Tim Horton's is in our lives. I even know several people who have visited Canada (non-Canadians) who come to the same conclusion and can't wait to go back for the Tim Horton's! Trevor McNevan's answer to that question was too funny and only proves my point. I have yet to meet a Canadian, or anyone who has visited regularly, who can't answer that question. :)