Tim Hortons is an integral part of the Brantford identity. Aside from the 17 coffee shops about the community Brantford also bakes Tim Hortons’ donuts at the Aryzta factory, and the Onondoga Farms Tim Hortons Camp is a stone’s throw away from town on Highway 24.
This April, Brantford will become home to an 18th Tim Hortons, leaving the students of Laurier Brantford and those who spend their days in Brantford’s small downtown core community, with three Tim Hortons within walking distance.
Keri and Bernie Korfmann own the new Tim Hortons set to open in the Dalhousie Expositor Building location. Alongside the new coffee shop, the Korfmann’s also own the Tim Hortons kiosk at Brantford’s transit terminal, the West and Dundas location and the Paris Road location. They plan to close the transit terminal kiosk upon opening in the Expositor Building this spring.
The Korfmanns were unavailable for comment.
Unlike Tim Hortons, independent, homegrown restaurants struggle to open multiple sites in Brantford. Although anomalies do exist, like, Duey’s Ice Cream, Maria’s Pizza, Tipperary Bog and Pita Plus, to see a local restaurant with more than one venue is rare in Brantford.
When asked how they felt about a new Tim Hortons opening, reviews from students at Laurier’s Brantford campus were mixed.
For some students, like Kelly Monaghan, a fourth year Society, Culture and the Environment student at Laurier, the new location will provide students a safe alternative when scouring for late night food.
“Having a 24-hour Tim’s closer to campus is a good idea, the other option for [students] is the [Tim Hortons in the] Freshco plaza. This feels like a safer option and while I never felt unsafe going to the other location- this is closer to home for many of us… Having Tim’s on campus 24/7 is one step closer for Laurier Brantford to becoming a full campus.”
No one from Special Constable was available to comment on the role of the new Tim Hortons will play in student safety.
Despite there being over 100 “Likes” on a Spotted At Laurier Brantford post praising the new location, a number of students expressed frustrations:
Concerns from students vary from the loss of a historically rich and cultural space, to the threat the franchise may have on small scale, local restaurants in the downtown. Over the course of the year Hawk and Bell, Cobby’s and Brown Dog (which formerly occupied the space of the new Tim Hortons) all went under.
In hopes to revitalize downtown and encourage more traffic to the neighbourhood, the City of Brantford is currently offering a one time grant called The Façade Grant. The program offers a one time grant with a maximum value of $7,500 to business owners who are looking to improve the exterior appearance or structural quality of their spaces in the downtown area.
For students looking for something to eat besides Tim Hortons, downtown is host to a number of diverse food venues.
Mike Nguyen of Burrito Brothers speaks highly of the new Tim Hortons location: “There will be so much more foot traffic, it’s just such a good opportunity.” With the new Tim Hortons being integrated into the Dalhousie block, Burrito Brothers is hopeful that the venue will help the street stay lively, even during the summer months when students typically flee the downtown core.
Burrito Brothers Alternative:
For students looking something that isn’t being offered by Brantford’s 17 Tim Hortons locations, Nguyen recommends the 10″ Burrito, which runs $7.25. For those looking for a snack, Nguyen suggests chips and salsa for $2.50, or tacos, which cost $7.25 for three.
When asked about the new Tim Hortons, Viplan Rudrasingham of Rocklings in Harmony Square says he’s not concerned. “It’s beautiful. It’s great to have more people coming downtown…. People will still come for beer.”
Unlike Tim Hortons, Rudrasingham offers a discounted student lunch and additional discounts to Laurier athletes. For those in a pinch for time, during lunch hours at Rockings, a large poutine or burger and fries can be purchased by students for $6.00.
Sally Zhu of Sushi on Colborne is excited to see more businesses coming to the downtown neighbourhood. “We’re totally different,” Zhu says, explaining that she doesn’t see the coffee shop negatively impacting her business.
Sushi on Colborne Alternative:
According to Zhu, students are crazy about Sushi on Colborne’s Maki Lunch Special which costs $9.95.
Despite being new at Lonnie’s, Shaylene Mans doesn’t see another Tim Hortons having much of an effect on the 24-hour Market Street restaurant. With posters hanging to showcase upcoming local events, and shelves cluttered with community newspapers and independent magazines, it isn’t hard to tell that local affinity for Lonnie’s runs deep.
Highlighting a few of her favourites, Mans suggests that hungry students try their sandwiches or wraps ranging in price from $2.50-$5.75, or a large homemade soup for $3.00.
Despite the seeming excessiveness of there being 17 Tim Hortons locations in a community of 90,190, the local franchises put effort into contributing back to the town that runs on Tims.
Annually, the Tim Hortons franchises in Brantford team up with Brant Community Healthcare System (BCHS) to donate $1 from every Smile Cookie sold in Brantford, during a week long period in September, to the local Paediatric Unit at Brantford General Hospital.
Excluding 2014 data, which has yet to be released, since 2000 the Smile Cookie Campaign in Brantford has raised $345,000 for BCHS.