Miles Gilbert “Tim” Horton
Miles Gilbert “Tim” Horton was born in Cochrane, Ontario on January 12, 1930. From the time he moved to Toronto to accept a hockey scholarship at St. Michael’s College, he was recognized as a potential star. Tim joined the Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey team in 1949, and for the next 17 full years and three part years toiled on the Leaf defence racking up a total of four Stanley Cup rings (1961-62, 1962-63, 1963-64 and 1966-67). He was an all-star six times and a recipient of the Bickell Cup as the most valuable Leaf in 1968-69. An excellent skater, Horton was known for his rushing ability, the big booming slapshot, and a muscular strength which he used with intelligence and remarkable self-restraint. He had a reputation as a peace-maker and, when altercations broke out, often deterred opposing team members from joining the fray by simply grasping them in the “Horton Bear Hug.” Following the 1969-70 season he was traded to the New York Rangers then to Pittsburgh before ending up in Buffalo. Returning to Buffalo after a game against the Leafs, Horton was killed in a single car accident on the Queen Elizabeth Highway on February 21, 1974; he was just 44 years-old. His name lives on in the popular chain of doughnut stores the he co-founded. Horton played a total of 1,446 scheduled games scoring 115 goals, and 403 assists for a total of 518 points. In 126 playoff games, he had 11 goals and 30 assists. Known as “Magoo” among the Leafs because of his poor eyesight, Tim Horton was liked and respected by his teammates and opponents alike. Away from the ice he was quiet, unassuming, and devoted to his wife and four daughters. In 1964, Horton opened his first Tim Horton Doughnut Shop in Hamilton, Ontario on Ottawa Street. He added a few of his culinary creations to the initial menu. By 1968, Tim Horton had become a multi-million-dollar franchise system. Horton’s previous business ventures included both a hamburger restaurant and Studebaker auto dealership in Toronto. Upon Horton’s death in 1974, his business partner Ron Joyce bought out the Horton family’s shares for $1 million and took over as sole owner of the existing chain, which had 40 stores at the time, and later expanded to nearly 4,600 stores in Canada alone by 2013. Joyce’s son, Ron Joyce Jr., is married to Horton’s eldest daughter.