Tim Hortons opens transformed Ottawa Street museum

The newly-rennovated restaurant and museum officially opened Wednesday with a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony.

The original Tim Hortons restaurant on Ottawa Street unveiled their renovated store and museum today with a grand opening celebration.

Hamilton residents were lined up outside the door to get a first-look at the transformed two-storey restaurant and museum featuring Tim Hortons memorabilia from the past 50 years.

The celebrations included a ribbon cutting ceremony with Tim Hortons president and Chief Operating Officer David Clanachan and Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger.

“What a great transformation to Ottawa Street. This is ground zero for coffee and donuts in the world and it all started here,” said Eisenberger.

The late Tim Horton, an NHL defenceman, opened his first restaurant at the corner of Ottawa Street and Dunsmure Road in Hamilton, on May 17, 1964. A statue of Horton, wearing a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey, is displayed outside the restaurant.

Horton’s first Ottawa Street restaurant has grown to over 4,000 locations across Canada and has become an iconic symbol of Hamilton over the years.

The museum captures pieces of the city’s history with displays of everything from old city photographs to items from the Hamilton Tiger Cats and bits and pieces of pop culture.

Visitors can also see old coffee cups and Tim Hortons products in a tour the company’s COO. calls an incredible walk through the decades.

Hamilton residents Janice Kawerau and Anita Ouellet were sharing memories about the restaurant’s past while sipping coffee served in retro cups at the grand opening.

Kawerau’s first job was at Tim Hortons on Upper James Street in the early 70s when she was just 15 years old.

“I forgot about these uniforms. I remember these paper hats and dresses and the little aprons, they’re so funny to see,” said Kawerau looking at the items on display.

This is ground zero for coffee and donuts in the world and it all started here- Fred Eisenberger, Mayor of Hamilton

Employees working at the store during the grand opening were wearing those yellow-and-brown uniforms, including 84-year-old Florence Kasoian who worked at the Ottawa Street store for 40 years.

An old photograph of Kasoian is featured on the memory lane wall inside the museum.

“It certainly brings back memories,” said Kasoian.“The store looks wonderful.”

Construction from start to finish took six months to complete, and the restaurant now blends the old retro-feel with the new.

Along with free coffee and donut giveaways, the grand opening also included a $10,000 donation to Food4Kids, a local charity providing healthy food for kids aged 5-14.