Industry Mourns Passing of Ron Joyce


TORONTO — Tim Hortons co-founder Ron Joyce passed away on January 31 at the age of 88.

The Nova Scotia-born entrepreneur left an indelible mark on Canada and the foodservice industry as a driver of the Tim Hortons brand.

When Maple Leafs player Tim Horton decided to expand his coffee-and-doughnut concept, he selected Joyce as the first franchisee. Together the pair founded the TDL Group Ltd. — then operator of the Tim Hortons brand. After Horton’s death, Joyce took control of the business, overseeing its growth into a billion-dollar brand. He also launched the Tim Hortons Children’s Foundation in Horton’s memory.

Joyce also owned Fox Harb’r Golf Resort & Spa in Wallace, N.S., which is run by his son Steven Joyce — the resort’s CEO.

After selling the Tim Hortons brand to Wendy’s International Inc. for more than $580-million in 1995, Joyce focused on philanthropic work. In addition to investing significant personal capital in the Tim Hortons Children’s Foundation, according to the Globe and Mail, Joyce donated $185-million through The Joyce Family Foundation.

Joyce has won numerous awards and honours for his entrepreneurial successes, commitment to corporate citizenship and philanthropic work, including The Order of Canada, induction into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame, Entrepreneur of the Year for Ontario and Canada, the Gary Wright Humanitarian Award and the Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year Award.

“His generosity has been felt across the country in education, healthcare, and children’s charities,” says a statement from Burlington, Ont.’s Joseph Brant Hospital, which received a $7.5-million donation from The Joyce Family Foundation to support its redevelopment and expansion.

Joyce is survived by his seven children: Gary, Ron Jr., Derrick, Darrel, Grant, Rhonda and Steven. According to CHCH News, no funeral service will be held, but a celebration of life will take place on Feb. 16 for close friends and family.

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