Original Tim Hortons store to get museum makeover

The first ever Tim Hortons outlet, in Hamilton's east end, is getting a modern makeover that will include a vintage collection of the 50-year-old chain's memorabilia.
The original Tim Hortons outlet will get a modern look but the history of the location and the chain will be on display inside. (Jeff Green/ CBC)

The original Tim Hortons store in Hamilton, Ont., will be revamped into a two-storey building that will include a collection of memorabilia from the chain's 50-year history on the second floor. 

And to celebrate the store's new status as the chain's de facto museum, the chain is planning a block party around store No. 1, at the corner of Ottawa Street North and Dunsmure Road in the east end of Hamilton.

The original store as it looked when it opened in 1964. (Supplied by Tim Hortons )

"It's important that people understand this is where we came from," said David Clanachan, Tim Hortons chief operating officer at an announcement today.

He also told the CBC that the block party will happen in "four to eight weeks," he said.

Clanachan said the block party is not meant to make amends for celebrating the 50th anniversary of the iconic chain by briefly recreating store No. 1 in Toronto.

Read More: Tim Hortons recreates original Hamilton store — in Toronto

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"It was a timing issue on our part," Clanachan said after a cake-cutting ceremony, saying plans for a celebration in Hamilton on the chain's official 50th birthday weren't ready. 

"We really wanted to celebrate something on May 17," Clanachan added, referring to the chain's birthday celebrations which brought much of the memorabilia planned for the Hamilton museum to Toronto's Yonge-Dundas Square for the day-long celebration this past spring. 

The revamped store will be designed with a glass cube at the corner, but more traditional features in the remainder of the building. 

"We really wanted to create a showpiece for the neighbourhood," said Clanachan.

The new building will feature the original brick colour, retro red seating and steel railings.

It won't be a replica of the original store, which was built into an old garage. Patrons will be able to "walk through time" in the second-floor museum, which will feature memorabilia from the chain last half-century. Most of that memorabilia will be relocated from the company's Oakville headquarters. 

"We think [the memorabilia] belongs here," Clanachan said.

Over the past 50 years, Tim Hortons has grown from its Hamilton beginnings to become the dominant coffee and baked goods chain in Canada, with more than 4,000 locations, as well as approximately 800 in the U.S. and more than two dozen in the Middle East.