Home > Contemplations, Life, The Universe, & Everything > Tim Hortons USA Vs Tim Hortons Canada – It’s The Little Differences

Tim Hortons USA Vs Tim Hortons Canada – It’s The Little Differences


This is a post I am writing after my road trip to the Syracuse, NY area – as I mentioned yesterday, I was there for the weekend. While in Syracuse I, being a Tim Hortons coffee drinker in Toronto (although I do frequent many other coffee houses, Tim Hortons is a good, simple go-to) I was delighted to find that there was one relatively close to our hotel in Syracuse, NY. But, as The Simpsons mentioned when they ripped off Pulp Fiction, it’s the little differences when you go to a popular place in a different country (or in The Simpsons’ case, city).

As an example of what I mean by this check out this picture of me below.

If you zoom it in to full size of the picture you will see that:

  • They offer Mac & Cheese as one of their “Hot Bowls” options along with the standard Soup & Chili.
  • You can get an Egg White Omelet on any of the breakfast sandwiches (and they say Canadians eat healthier than Americans!).
  • (Not in picture, but true nonetheless) The coffee sizes they serve as Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large are cup sizes Medium, Large, Extra Large, and “Bigger than anything which exists at Canadian Tim Hortons locations” or Extra Extra Large.
  • (Not in picture, but true nonetheless) They have no idea what a “Double-Double” is.
  • Those Ice Cap cups on the counter are defined (according to the menu behind me) as Small, Medium, and Large – I am fairly certain that those are the cup sizes which are called Medium, Large, and Extra Large in Canada (could be wrong on that one).

There were also a few other key differences, specifically right when you walk in the door of the Tim Hortons:

On the counter was the sign you see above. WHAAAAAT?!?!?!? “Free WiFi” in a Tim Hortons? Is this for real? I scanned for Wi-Fi and found the network but didn’t have time to try it out. Also, the sign has a copyright date of 2009 so it may be that this location and others in the USA have had Wi-Fi  for quite a while (I am speculating here based on the sign’s copyright date).

Beyond that, there was one other thing I noticed – and this goes back to the menu…sort of:

In the picture above, and the one with the sign proclaiming Free Wi-Fi you will see literature and a sign for “Take Tims”. If this exists in Canada I have never seen it but the option is there to buy a huge jug of Tim Hortons coffee with 10 cups called the “Tim’s Take Ten” and an option to get a “Bagel Pleaser” which, according to www.timhortons.com/us/pdf/take-tims-catering.pdf, includes: “One dozen bagels, two tubs of cream cheese(plain & plain light) and Tim’s Take Ten of coffee.” That is pretty awesome and I can think of quite a few offices in Canada which would absolutely ADORE the idea of this – especially the coffee one. I know I have been assigned the task before of picking up a number of coffees for a variety of people and it is always fun to try and figure out where exactly to put these full cups of coffee so they don’t spill with the slightest bump and fly all over my car. That jug of coffee would come in real handy if they made it available here!
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  1. July 25, 2011 at 12:20 am

    They do have the Take Ten here in Canada, although I don’t think it’s called that and it doesn’t have the handy attached cup carrier. Good for meetings and for parties – you can get it with either coffee or tea.

    • July 25, 2011 at 2:32 pm

      Thanks Sean!
      I have never seen them before in Canada but now I know to be on the lookout for it – or to ask for it next time I have a large order for coffee.

  2. July 25, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Good post! Also an example of everything being larger in the U.S.

    • July 25, 2011 at 11:33 pm

      Haha, very true Andrea. But also seems (given the egg white omelet choice) that the USA is healthier than Canada! There goes that stereotype!

  3. Martin
    July 27, 2011 at 12:12 am

    Awesome post. I never saw a Tim’s beyond the border, knew they existed. This one time, in Windsor, I was in line with a father with his family up from the States and he was refusing to believe the fact that the Subway didn’t have an 18″ sub like all the ones in the USA. He ended up getting a foot long and a six inch. The End.

    • July 27, 2011 at 10:54 pm

      Haha. Yup, they do have some things bigger in the USA but it is probably based on what the market demands there and the increased competition between brands.

  4. jenni
    October 22, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Dan, you’re so right, it is the little differences. I’m Canadian by birth, but haved lived in the US most of my life. We used to visit my dad’s family in Kingston every summer and would often take trips to Ottawa and other cities. (Odd that I still feel more “at home” up there than down here sometimes.)I would bet, despite the egg white option, Canadians are still healthier than those of us below the border. :)
    @Martin – Not sure where the dude from the States is from, but in Virginia our Subways don’t have 18″ subs.

    • October 22, 2011 at 4:59 pm

      Thanks for the comment Jenni! It’s weird how we identify with one culture more than another even if there’s no real reason for it.

  5. Joey
    March 5, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Tim’s US location are often pilots for new products as their customers are less ‘entrenched’ in their thoughts of what Tims ‘Should be’ (that’s how their marketing department put it in a newspaper interview last year. The Egg white omelets were available in Canada in select markets at the time of your post, they are not available everywhere. Same with Panini flatbread. mac and cheese is still unique to US, I think in all but a few areas it’s discontinued. The Take 10 however has been available in Canada well before it was available in the US, not all stores carry it, but most do. The price of the take 10 however is more than 10 individual coffees. I guess you pay for the convenience. The Bagel pleaser is nothing more than a take 10, 12 bagels, and two tubs. You can get that at any tim hortons, you just ask for a dozen bulk bagels and two cream cheese tubs.

    Just thought I’d chime in with that.

    • March 11, 2013 at 11:49 am

      Hi Joey,

      Thank you for chiming in it is very much appreciated. The Take 10 thing, I guess I just never saw really advertised in Canada which is why I never knew it existed.

      Thanks for the insights into how the US Tim’s differs from the Canadian Tim’s (in terms of them trying things out in the US that they don’t have yet in Canada). It makes sense when you think about it as at the end of the day our countries are very, very similar in many aspects – especially the parts that near border each other!

  6. johnny
    August 21, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    at least there is a legacy for a hockey player who loved the game(died on his way from a Toronto game,one guy who was an enforcer) now I want a double double eh

  7. November 4, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Tim the Enforcer? Strong s a bull, but too skilled for that label!

  8. RobK Tim's Junkie
    December 2, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    I hears there is a difference in the actual coffee used in Canada vs. the US. Something to do with the County of Origin. Anyone know anything about that?

  9. Terri
    December 7, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    This was a fun read. I’m from Canada but have lived in the US for the most part since 1999. I love it when I cross the border or touch down at a Canadian airport and get my first Timmies. I have had a couple from down in the US and for some reason they just don’t taste the same. Of course I am so far into the midwest (NE Missouri, south of DesMoines, IA) that no one believes me when I tell them that not only are the more than twice as many Tim’s as there are McDs, but that they are way more popular :)

    • Terri
      December 7, 2013 at 9:08 pm

      In Canada, that is!

  1. July 29, 2011 at 12:38 pm
  2. August 31, 2011 at 10:42 pm

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