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Tim Horton: Canadian Hockey Legend and Founder of Tim Hortons

Full Name Miles Gilbert "Tim" Horton
Born January 12, 1930 in Cochrane, Ontario
Died February 21, 1974 (aged 44)
Position Defenseman
NHL Teams Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Buffalo Sabres
Stanley Cups 4 (1962, 1963, 1964, 1967)
Hall of Fame 1977
Twitter @TimHortons
Instagram @timhortons

As a lifelong hockey fan, I‘m thrilled to provide an in-depth introduction to Tim Horton – one of the greatest players and most iconic figures Canada has ever known. During his 24 illustrious NHL seasons, Horton cemented his legacy on and off the ice.


Horton was born in 1930 in Cochrane, Ontario and grew up playing hockey. He joined the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1947 and quickly became an anchor on defense. A strong skater and passer, Horton helped the Leafs win 4 Stanley Cups in the 1960s. He played over 1,400 NHL games before retiring in 1971.

In 1974, Horton died tragically in a car accident at just 44 years old. He left behind his rapidly growing coffee and doughnut chain, Tim Hortons, which he co-founded to expand across Canada and become a national institution.

Hockey Career Highlights

Over his storied career, Horton:

  • Played 1,446 NHL games, the most by a defenseman at the time
  • Tallied 115 goals and 403 assists for 518 points
  • Appeared in 7 NHL All-Star games (1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1955, 1962)
  • Won 4 Stanley Cups with the Toronto Maple Leafs (1962, 1963, 1964, 1967)
  • Was the NHL‘s first player to wear a helmet full-time
  • Had his #7 jersey retired by the Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres

Horton‘s endurance and conditioning were legendary. He often played entire games without rest, once logging 48 minutes in a playoff game. His smooth skating and crisp passing made him a dangerous two-way player. Though underrated offensively, Horton still scored 20+ goals three times.

Tim Horton‘s Hockey Career Timeline

  • 1947 – Debuts with Toronto Maple Leafs
  • 1960 – Wins 1st Stanley Cup Championship
  • 1964 – Wins 4th Stanley Cup Championship
  • 1967 – Traded to New York Rangers
  • 1972 – Retires from hockey
  • 1977 – Inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame

Why Tim Horton is so Beloved

Horton earned the admiration of hockey fans across Canada for his excellence on the ice and generosity off it:

  • Consummate team player – Helped Toronto win 4 Cups in the 1960s
  • Tough two-way defenseman – Offensive sparkplug but hard to beat in his own end
  • Incredible durability – Once played entire 60 minute game without rest
  • Role model – Humble, gracious and gave back to the community
  • Business pioneer – Founded Tim Hortons, which became a Canadian institution

Tim Horton is nothing less than a Canadian icon. His gritty play and selfless leadership inspired generations of hockey players. Though I never saw him skate, Horton‘s legacy lives on through the thriving company that bears his name.

5 Fascinating Facts About Tim Horton

  1. Horton sold Timbits at his first bakery before expanding to restaurants. The bite-sized doughnuts are now a staple at Tim Hortons.
  2. He invested in 30 Tim Hortons locations before his tragic death in 1974 at age 44.
  3. Maple Leaf Gardens, where Horton won 4 Stanley Cups, had a seat permanently installed in his honor.
  4. The Tim Hortons coffee chain serves over 5 million cups of coffee globally per day.
  5. Horton still holds Maple Leafs franchise records for career games by a defenseman (1,184) and points by a defenseman (519).

Tim Horton accomplished more in 44 years than most do in a lifetime. His on-ice brilliance, business vision and community leadership make him one of Canada‘s most cherished icons. Horton‘s lasting legacy continues to warm the hearts and fuel the days of Canadians from coast to coast.