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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

August 26, 2014 at 11:30 AM

7 things to know about Tim Hortons

People walk past a Tim Horton's cafe in Manhattan Monday  in New York City.  (Photo by Associated Press)

People walk past a Tim Horton’s cafe in Manhattan Monday in New York City. (Photo by Associated Press)

(The Associated Press contributed to this article.)

Burger King said Tuesday it struck a deal to buy Tim Hortons, Canada’s favorite doughnut and coffee chain, for about $11 billion and move its corporate headquarters to Canada. The companies say the deal creates the world’s third-largest fast-food company.

Here are a few things you might not know about Tim Hortons:

1 Company roots

The chain was founded in 1964 and initially sold just coffee and doughnuts. Over the years, it added bagels, muffins, cakes, pies, soups, chili, sandwiches and the bite-sized doughnut holes known as Timbits, introduced in 1976. While Canadians’ love of doughnuts is renowned, their doughnut consumption has been on a slight decline since 2010, according to market researchers at Canada’s NPD Group.

2 Hockey connections

The real Tim Horton, the company co-founder, was a Canadian professional ice hockey player, a defenseman for 24 seasons in the National Hockey League. He played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Buffalo Sabres. He died in a drunken-driving accident in 1974.

3 Bigger than McDonald's?

It is now Canada’s dominant fast-food chain with more than 3,600 locations. (That’s about one shop for every 9,500 Canadian residents.) McDonald’s, by contrast, had about 1,400 locations there last year. Overall, Tim Hortons has more than 4,500 locations, including 866 in the U.S.

4 Donuts now!

Most Tim Hortons locations are open 24 hours.

5 Not quite here yet

The closest Tim Hortons restaurants to Seattle are in Victoria and Abbotsford, B.C. The biggest concentration of Tim Hortons restaurants in the U.S. can be found in the Midwest and Northeast.

6 Canadian cultural icon

Tim Hortons was mentioned in several episodes of the U.S. sitcom “How I Met Your Mother.” The character of Robin, a Canadian, called the Tim Hortons around the corner from the Hockey Hall of Fame “the most Canadian place in the universe.” According to the CBC, the Canadian Oxford dictionary added the phrase “double-double” to its lexicon in 2004, a reference to a common Tim Hortons order of a coffee with two sugars and two creams.

7 Coffee sales are a big, big deal

Each year Tim Hortons serves 2 billion cups of coffee, and nearly 8 out of every 10 cups of coffee sold in Canada are poured at Tim Hortons.

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