Donuts to Die For? – Famous, Certainly – Delicious, well . . .

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Founded in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1964 Tim Hortons could fairly be characterized as a Canadian icon. In mid-2007 there were 2,733 outlets in Canada alone. That was about twice as many as McDonald’s, making Tim Hortons Canada’s largest fast-food chain. The first store is located only a few blocks from my son’s house in Hamilton. Here is the plaque mounted on the front of the store:

Plaque at Tim Hortons #1

Tim Horton was a very famous ice hockey (is there any other kind in Canada?) player between 1950 to about 1968. There’s far too much material to cover here, so check the link. (Sorry, competitive sports of any kind simply bore me – I prefer to compete with myself. When I get tired, I can just quit and declare myself the winner. Yea! Fifty pushups – I’m the champ!) You can read about the hockey stuff on your own time.

What interests me, in a Homer-like way, is the donut shop. Tim Hortons is certainly ubiquitous around Hamilton and, presumably, around the whole of inhabited Canada. Here in Hamilton, near the house we’re staying in, I noticed, at one intersection, a Tim Hortons on three of the four corners. Is this possible? Can you make money like that? I guess so. Here’s a photo of Store #1:

 Tim Hortons Store #1

A guy who heard us mention that it was our first time at Tim Hortons said (I think with pride), “This is my third time today.” It was not yet noon. Does this guy have a job?

Okay, let’s get to the donuts. Frankly, I’ve had much better. I’d give them a seven on a one to ten scale. Please, Canadians, do not have me drawn and quartered. It’s just one man’s opinion. It wouldn’t be fair to compare Tim Hortons donuts to the royalty of the donut kingdom found at Long’s Bakery off of West 16th Street in Indianapolis. Long’s bakes theirs in small batches. With donuts, freshness counts. So does special ingredients and baking techniques. Sorry to say, Tim Hortons are definitely good donuts, but nowhere near the best.

And now, completely off the point, what’s the deal with leaving out the apostrophe for possessive nouns? Shouldn’t it be Tim Horton’s not Tim Hortons. I find this very disturbing. Even McDonald’s, which gets just about everything else wrong, gets this one right. (Although, in McDonald’s defense, I should mention that, in Austria, you can get a beer with your Big Mac. It’s a taste treat that you can live without, believe me.)

And now, as a protective measure, I should mention to my Canadian friends that this is in no way a character assassination attempt on that fine country. I have the greatest admiration for Canada, an excellent, upstanding nation that seeks constantly and earnestly to bother nobody. My latest tattoo (more on that later) will attest to my esteem for my son’s adopted home.

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3 Responses to “Donuts to Die For? – Famous, Certainly – Delicious, well . . .”

  1. Up Close and Personal in Hamilton Ontario | Madang - Ples Bilong Mi Says:

    […] got a moodiness that I really dig. I love images that speak to me. Please take note of the Tim Hortons coffee cup. In honour of my recently initiated love affair with Canada, I’m going to attempt […]

  2. Jill Says:

    Unfortunately, you missed the good doughnuts. They used to make from scratch in every store, every day. However, when they started adding more items to their menu, it became difficult for the employees to make everything. As a result, all of the baked goods are made in one location in Ontario and then shipped (frozen) to all the stores.

  3. MadDog Says:

    Jill, that’s what I was told. Frankly they are not the best I’ve eaten.