• By: OLM Staff

The Lasting Legacy of Tim Hortons Co-Founder, Ron Joyce

Ron Joyce, Nova Scotia native and co-founder of Canada's favourite doughnut chain, has passed away at the age of 88. 

It is with great sadness that the family of Ron Joyce shares the news of his passing. On behalf of the Joyce family, Steven Joyce released the following statement:

"My father had a big vision and a big heart. Through hard work, determination and drive, he built one of the most successful restaurant chains in Canada. In his journey with Tim Hortons, he travelled all over the country and considered himself Canadian above all else. He never forgot his humble beginnings, with The Joyce Family Foundation donating extensively to support those who are less fortunate, especially children and youth. He lived large and enjoyed the great journey of life."

In 1964, Ron Joyce invested in the first Time Hortons donut shop in Hamilton, Ontario. He grew the business into one of the most successful food service chains in the world and a staple for Canadians. Joyce eventually sold the business to Wendy's International Inc. in 1996.

With a vision of creating local employment and drawing tourists to his home province, Joyce established the now critically-acclaimed Fox Harb’r Resort. Harkening to the days in which he flew his own company planes, “Donut 1” and “Donut 2”, Joyce established Jetport Inc., a private jet charter company operating out of Hamilton, Ontario.

"Ron was a larger than life friend who not only helped create one of Canada's most iconic brands but was passionate about ensuring Tim Hortons always gave back to the community," reads a statement signed from the Tim Hortons team.

Two of Joyce's biggest philanthropic efforts were the Joyce Family Foundation and Tim Hortons Children's Foundation. 

His philanthropic work centered around The Joyce Family Foundation with over $185M donated, focusing on access to education and support of children and youth in financial need. The foundation currently gives money to over 40 different colleges and universities across Canada.

Joyce was also instrumental in founding the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation which is dedicated to helping support children from low-income families. The foundation operates seven different camps from Nova Scotia to Alberta and down to Kentucky. The foundation anticipates sending more than 20,000 children to camp in 2019 alone.

Joyce has won numerous awards and honors including: The Gary Wright Humanitarian Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the betterment of community life as founder of the Tim Hortons Children’s Foundation (1991), Appointment as a Member of the Order of Canada in honour of his dedication to underprivileged children and youth (1992), Appointment as a Companion to the Canadian Business Hall of Fame (1999), Entrepreneur of the Year for Ontario and Canada (1999), the Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year Award (2005), and several awards as Philanthropist of the Year.

His work will leave a lasting legacy for many generations to come.