Tim Hortons Goes Arctic


It reached New York City before it made it all the way up to the northern reaches of its home country, but coffee chain Tim Hortons has opened three express locations in Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut, in the Canadian Arctic.

Nunavut was the last uncharted frontier for Tim Hortons, but thanks to this joint venture with the North West Company, the chain now has a presence in every Canadian province and territory.

The North West Company owns the NorthMart grocery and general store and two Quick Stop convenience stores, according to the CBC. Tim Hortons kiosks in each of those three locations offer coffee, doughnuts, muffins and cookies, the network said.

Hortons has long been known to the Inuit, who until now have had to stock up every time they passed through the Ottawa airport.

The Toronto Sun reports that Tim Hortons senior vice president Nick Javor said the outlets will offer a limited line of beverages and baked goods initially to “see how the community responds” and then consider introducing sandwiches and cold drinks.

Other fast-food chains, including Subway and Mary Brown’s, have tried their luck in Iqaluit and failed, but Javor said Tim Hortons takes a different tack, considering itself a meeting place rather than a fast-food outlet.

North West Company officials also know to keep prices affordable, a sore point in Nunavut given that the cost of importing fruits and vegetables keeps prices inordinately high. Thus a small coffee is $1.79 and a large is $2.39, the Sun said.

Nunavut, which was split off from the Northwest Territories in 1999, is Canada’s largest aboriginal land claim area, according to the Sun. The capital’s population is 7,250, though it is not known how many of them are coffee drinkers.