Doughnut holes or Timbits – whatever they’re called, toilets need to work

Yesterday I had to explain how doughnut holes are called Timbits in Canada.

A couple of colleagues came over to the house for a meeting, and I provided fruit and pastries, including the popular doughnut holes.

Tim Hortons, the Canadian money-making machine named after former hockey defenceman, Tim Horton, introduced the Timbit in 1976, and the term has become synonymous in the north with doughnut hole.

Whatever they’re called, they’re going to come out eventually. An Edmonton man who claims things literally went into the toilet for him after going to a south-side Tim Hortons has launched a lawsuit against the coffee shop giant.

Gerbrand Denes is suing Tim Hortons Inc. and Tim Hortons Canada Holdings for $121,000.

Denes alleges he was a paying customer at a Tim Hortons restaurant at 2133 99 St. on the evening of March 13, 2008, and had to use the washroom.

While “in the normal course of using” the facilities, Denes claims the toilet seat broke, which caused him to fall into the toilet and then onto the floor.

As a result of the fall – which he says was caused solely by the negligence of Tim Hortons – Denes alleges he sustained serious and permanent injuries.

Pic of mouse in doughnut shop allows Tim Horton’s to enter New York City – giv’r

Tim Hortons, which the N.Y. Times described yesterday as “a Canadian purveyor of doughnuts and coffee that has won a wide following,” is making a sudden entry into New York City, primarily because of a picture of a mouse.

Between Friday night and dawn on Monday, the Riese Organization intends to convert 13 Dunkin’ Donuts stores into the city’s first Tim Hortons restaurants, including early-morning, high-traffic shops like the one in Pennsylvania Station and another next to the New York Stock Exchange. The switch may surprise regular customers of the shops, said Dennis Riese, chief executive of the Riese Organization.

“You take down one sign and put up another. The biggest challenge will be to get New Yorkers to know what Tim Hortons is.”

Tim Hortons Inc. is a Canadian fast food restaurant known for its coffee and doughnuts, founded in 1964 in Hamilton, Ontario by Canadian hockey player Tim Horton. In 1967 Horton partnered with investor Ron Joyce, who quickly took over operations and expanded the chain into a multi-million dollar franchise. There are almost 3,000 Tim Hortons in Canada, and another 5-0 in the U.S. The chain accounted for 22.6 per cent of all fast food industry revenues in Canada in 2005. Canada has more per-capita ratio of doughnut shops than any other country.

Tim Horton was a bruising defenceman who won 4 Stanley Cups with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1960s. Born in 1930 in Cochrance, Ontario, Horton spent his formative years playing in mining communities surrounding Sudbury, Ontario. He got noticed by the Leafs organization and moved to Toronto when he was 17-years-old. He died in a car accident in 1974 after a 24-year National hockey League career.

Horton had a reputation for enveloping players who were fighting him in a crushing bear hug. Boston Bruins winger Derek Sanderson once bit Horton during a fight; years later, Horton’s widow, Lori, still wondered why. "Well," Sanderson replied, "I felt one rib go, and I felt another rib go, so I just had—to, well, get out of there!”

The Times reports that the arrival of Tim Hortons to N.Y. City comes after a decade of contention between Riese and Dunkin’ Donuts that peaked after The New York Post published a photo of a mouse munching on a doughnut in a shop operated by Riese on 46th Street at Fifth Avenue. The chain sued Riese, and the sides eventually agreed that the relationship would end this week in what Dunkin’ Donuts called a “disenfranchisement.”

In Canada, owning a Tim Hortons is like owning a license to print money.