With more than 17,000 Warm Wishes shared on social media so far, nearly 10,000 hats to be donated to children in need, and more than 2,000 blankets donated to a Toronto shelter, Tim Hortons spread #WarmWishes one more time by creating the warmest Tim Hortons in Canada in one of the coldest places: Fort Frances, Ontario.
On December 11, the town of Fort Frances was abuzz over the mysterious "yarn bombing" of trees, mail boxes, and even park benches around town. Two days later, the good residents of Fort Frances woke up to long strings of red yarn all over town. Curious to unravel the woolen mystery, people followed the trails of yarn, until they reached the local Tim Hortons. The restaurant was wearing a giant knitted toque and scarf, and the inside was completely knitted over, top to bottom, in red and white coverings. The tables, the chairs, and even the door handles, were cozy and warm, and the coffee was on the house for the entire day.
"Our Warm Wishes campaign this holiday season has been all about generosity and sharing warmth, so it was only fitting that we celebrate the campaign with a gesture of warmth on a grand scale," says Peter Nowlan, chief marketing officer of Tim Hortons. "Fort Frances is a small community that experiences bitterly cold winters and the local Tim Hortons is a regular stop for many, so we wanted to warm up their daily routine in a special, unexpected way. This Warm Wishes transformation is one of many ways we have surprised guests throughout the year. From building a replica of our very first Tim Hortons restaurant at Toronto's Yonge-Dundas square to celebrate our 50th anniversary, to our Get Into The Dark Experiment in Quebec, and our house-turned-Tim Hortons restaurant in Calgary, we have enjoyed celebrating with our guests and thanking them for making Tim Hortons Canada's favorite coffee."
The Fort Frances experience was captured on video. Tim Hortons is encouraging fans to watch the video, share it and tag @TimHortons with #WarmWishes until the end of the campaign on December 30.
"We have amazing guests at our Tim Hortons and I'm thrilled we were able to surprise them in this special way just in time for the holidays," says Gord McQuarrie, the Tim Hortons restaurant owner in Fort Frances. "We succeeded in spreading warmth—we gave out hundreds of cups of free coffee and hot chocolate and everyone looked happy and comfortable inside the restaurant."
To spread even more warmth, Tim Hortons is donating yarn to various knitting groups across the country to help knit hundreds of hats and scarves on behalf of the restaurant chain to be donated to people in need.
"We're proud to be have been part of this amazing project to spread Warm Wishes," says Sylvie Gagne, owner of Lettuce Knit in Toronto, which helped organize the group knit across Canada. "Our community of knitters will be busy creating hundreds of pieces to do our part in helping keep people warm this winter."
The team at Lettuce Knit also knit the TimsRunner sweater for the launch of the #WarmWishes campaign, which was repurposed into blankets that were donated to Covenant House Toronto.
Launched on November 17, the Tim Hortons #WarmWishes social media campaign encourages Canadians to do good for others in an effort to help spread some warmth for the holiday season. For every share of a good deed @TimHortons on Instagram or Twitter using hashtag #WarmWishes, Tim Hortons will provide children in need with a warm and cozy toque through the Tim Hortons Children's Foundation.