“I think what we accomplished at Tim Hortons was based on common sense and gut feeling.”
Ron Joyce was born in 1930 and raised in Tatamagouche Nova Scotia until the age of 16. He then left to seek employment in Hamilton Ontario where he worked at several places before joining the Royal Canadian Navy in 1951.
Mr. Joyce served on several ships including HMCS Magnificent during the Queen’s Coronation in 1953 and HMCS Iroquois on Peace Keeping duty in Korea in 1954-55. The return to Canada ended up as a good will tour via Singapore, Colombo, Ceylon, India, Pakistan, Malta, Gibraltar, Azores and then Halifax.
In 1956 Mr. Joyce joined the Hamilton Police department and served on the force until 1965 when he left the department and purchased the first Tim Horton store located in Hamilton. He opened the next two locations and in 1967 he and Tim Horton became full partners in the business.
Tim Horton died in an automobile accident in February of 1974. Two years later, Mr. Joyce became the sole owner of the chain, which then consisted of 40 stores. In memory of Tim, he created the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation in his memory to work with children less fortunate. Today there are six camps in total, five in Canada and one in the United States. More than 9,000 children are guests of the Foundation at no charge, and their stay is supported primarily by the Tim Horton store owners.
In 1989, Mr. Joyce was honored for his success in the foodservice industry by being made a Fellow of the Hostelry Institute. He was selected as the recipient of the Ontario Hostelry Institute Gold Award as Chain Restaurant Operator of 1992.
Mr. Joyce’s dedication and commitment to the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation earned him the Gary Wright Humanitarian Award in 1991. In 1992, he also received an appointment to the Order of Canada.
In May 1993, Mr. Joyce proudly accepted an Honorary Doctorate of Commerce from St. Mary’s University in Halifax. In 1994 he received the McGill University Management Achievement Award. He also holds honorary degrees from Mount Allison University, Queens University, MacMaster University, University College of Cape Breton and the University of Calgary. In November 1996, Mr. Joyce became the second person to ever receive the Canadian Franchise Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
“There is so much ambiguity and clutter that seeing the forest for the trees is, in my opinion, what is to determine marketing success.”
In April 1999, he was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame, and then in October of the same year, he was named Entrepreneur of the Year for Ontario and Canada. In November 2002, he was inducted into the Canadian Professional Sales Hall of Fame.
Although Mr. Joyce is retired, he is actively involved in his company, Jetport, an executive charter airline company based in Hamilton. He also spends a great deal of time aboard the sailing sloop Destination Fox Harb’r, christened in the fall of 2002.
Another source of pride for Mr. Joyce is Fox Harb’r Golf Resort in Wallace, Nova Scotia, which opened in 2001.
Mr. Joyce is very active in his retirement and enjoys spending time with family and friends. He is the proud father of six sons and one daughter, and he resides in Calgary, Alberta.