Tim Horton had initially tried several different business ideas, including a chain of hamburger restaurants, but none had staying power.
That was until he opened that first donut shop.
Tim Horton and Jim Charade formed Timandjim
Ltd., and opened a burger and hot dog joint, in North Bay, Ontario.
Hamburgers didn’t sell as well as Horton had hoped, so in April 1964, he and Charade opened the first of the Tim Hortons that we know today on the site of an old Esso gas station in Hamilton, Ontario.
Maybe this is why Timandjim didn't stay in the hamburger industry, they couldn't spell it (look @ the sign)
According to the company,
Tim Horton, a National Hockey League Legend, opened the first store in Hamilton, Ontario Canada
, in April 1964.
And, according to Canadian History Ehx:
“... Most NHL players did not make a lot of money
in the 1960s and with a wife and four daughters, Horton needed to find a way to make some extra cash. He would open a hamburger shop in Scarborough, and a car dealership in Toronto but it was that donut shop that has his name that proved to be the golden ticket
Tim Horton had always wanted to have a restaurant. He would meet a man by the name of Jim Charade, a businessman from Montreal, who owned a donut shop two doors down from Horton’s favourite barber. The two men
decided to form Timanjim Ltd. They opened four restaurants that served burgers and chicken, and then another that served something different, donuts.
When he opened that first Tim Hortons donut shop on May 17, 1964, coffee was sold
for a quarter and donuts, only two types both created by Horton, the apple fritter and the Dutchie, but that quickly expanded until there were as many as 40 varieties of donuts to choose from. The original promo that appeared in the newspaper on May 15, 1964, advertised the business as the Tim Horton Donut Drive-In, complete with a picture of Horton. Coffee was sold for 10 cents a cup and donuts were 69 cents...
... As for that first store, today there is a small museum at the store on 65 Ottawa Street in Hamilton, where there is also a replica of the original 1964 sign, as well as a bronze
plaque that commemorates the opening. It states, “This site is dedicated to the dream that lived in the hearts of Tim Horton and Ron Joyce to the commitment and dedication of the operators who have built the Tim Hortons chain; and to the people of Hamilton, whose undying loyalty has been the backbone of our chain’s success. This location signifies the history
and heritage of Tim Hortons and will serve as a monument to even bigger dreams to come.”
➥ Canadian History Ehx: The Origin of Tim Hortons