Ron Joyce

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Ron Joyce
Born Ronald Vaughan Joyce
(1930-10-19) October 19, 1930 (age 86)
Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Occupation Entrepreneur
Known for Co-founding Tim Hortons
Children 7

Ronald Vaughan "Ron" Joyce (born October 19, 1930) is a Canadian billionaire businessman. He co-founded the Tim Hortons doughnut chain as Tim Horton's partner and first franchisee.

Early life and career[edit]

Born on October 19, 1930[1] and raised in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, Joyce enlisted in the Royal Canadian Navy and specialized in communications. Joyce later moved to Hamilton, Ontario and joined the Hamilton Police force in 1956. He served as a police officer until 1965. He established a Dairy Queen franchise in Hamilton and got to know the hockey player Tim Horton by frequenting his doughnut shop while on foot patrol.

Joyce entered a franchise partnership with Horton in 1967, and Joyce reportedly wrote "You must be kidding!" in reference to the clause of the one-page franchise agreement requiring rent in advance.[citation needed] After Horton's death in an auto accident in 1974,[2][3][4] Joyce purchased Horton's share for about $1 million and assumed control of the full Tim Horton franchise.[5]

Joyce hired a management team and began to franchise the company throughout the late 1970s until the 1990s. During the early 1990s, Danny Murphy, a franchise owner of both Tim Hortons coffee shops and Wendy's fast food restaurants in Prince Edward Island wanted to combine both franchises under one roof in a new development in Montague. Murphy asked Joyce and Wendy's founder, Dave Thomas (1932–2002), to be present for the opening.


Joyce eventually sold his Wendy's stock and retired from management, but even in retirement continues to be active in his holding company, Jetport Inc, which has significant real estate, aviation, and commercial interests.[6] He also serves as Chairman Emeritus of the Tim Horton Children's Foundation and sits on the Board of Directors of Sobeys and Shaw Communications.

In 2000, Joyce opened Fox Harb'r Golf Resort & Spa, a five star, four diamond resort/gated community. An airport was built as part of the new resort, replacing the nearby Tatamagouche Airport located at the Tim Hortons Tatamagouche Children's Camp.

In 2006, Joyce published his memoirs of his time with Tim Hortons titled Always Fresh: The Untold Story of Tim Hortons by the Man Who Created a Canadian Empire.[7]

Charitable contributions and awards[edit]

Joyce devotes time to numerous charities including the Tim Horton Children's Foundation, which he founded, that sends underprivileged kids to camp each year. Joyce's efforts on behalf of the Foundation earned him the Gary Wright Humanitarian Award in 1991, presented periodically in recognition of the outstanding contributions to the betterment of community life throughout Canada. In recognition primarily for his work with the Foundation, he also received an appointment to the Order of Canada, with the official presentation taking place on October 21, 1992 in Ottawa. Joyce is still the honorary chair of the Tim Horton's Children Foundation, but he says he no longer takes an active role in the charity. Instead, he started his own foundation, The Joyce Foundation, to administer his personal philanthropic work.

In May 1993, Joyce accepted an Honorary Doctorate of Commerce from Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In 1994, he received McGill University's Management Achievement Award. He also holds honorary degrees from Mount Allison and McMaster universities. In November 1996, Ron Joyce became only the second person to ever receive the Canadian Franchise Association's Lifetime Achievement Award.

In April 1999, Ron Joyce was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame and in October of the same year, he was named Entrepreneur of the Year for Ontario and Canada.

In June 2005, Joyce donated $10 million towards the construction of a new sports stadium, Ron Joyce Stadium, at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, the single largest private donation to a Canadian athletics program to that date. In June 2007, he donated a further $10 million towards McMaster's new Burlington campus, now called the Ron Joyce Centre, which currently houses the school's MBA program.[8]

In November 2005, Joyce was the 2005 Humanitarian Award Recipient by the Canadian Red Cross, Nova Scotia Region for his work with the Tim Horton Children's Foundation and for his continued support of education and health organizations across the world.

In November 2008, he donated $5,000,000 to Mount Allison University to create the Ron Joyce Centre for Business Studies.[9]

In January 2016, the Burlington, Ontario-based Joyce Foundation made a $1,000,000 donation to the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in support of students who have demonstrated financial need.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Joyce was married twice and both ended in divorce. In a twist of fate, his son Ron Jr. married Tim Horton's eldest daughter Jeri-Lyn, returning the Horton family name back to the company. The couple run two Tim Hortons locations in southern Ontario.

On 11 November 2007, the Bombardier Global 5000 business jet in which Joyce was travelling crashed short of the runway at his Fox Harbour Resort's airport.[11] Joyce suffered two fractured vertebrae as a result.[12]

As of 2013, he is worth an estimated US$1.2 billion.[13]


  1. ^ Financial Post Directory of Directors (2000)
  2. ^ "Horton's death shocks hockey world;". Montreal Gazette. Canadian Press. February 22, 1974. p. 30. 
  3. ^ "Hockey world morning death of Tim Horton". Observer-Reporter. Washington, Pennsylvania. Associated Press. February 22, 1974. p. B2. 
  4. ^ "Horton killed in crash; ex-mates here saddened". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. February 22, 1974. p. 11. 
  5. ^ CBC Sports (December 26, 2000). "Horton widow dead at 68". CBC. Retrieved June 30, 2014. 
  6. ^ Walsingham Fund Sponsor
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Ron Joyce donates $10 million to MC Masters Burlington campus". Retrieved June 18, 2007. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "The Joyce Foundation makes a $1 million investment in UOIT students". Retrieved February 1, 2016. 
  11. ^ Transportation Safety Board Report 2007 - A07A0134
  12. ^ CBC Coverage of Crash at Fox Harbour Airport
  13. ^ Forbes Billionaires 2013: Notable Newcomers

External links[edit]