It is with heavy hearts and much lighter wallets that we are gathered here today to mourn a truly saddening loss.
As a new school year begins, we must embark on the next chapter of our academic journeys without one of our greatest allies in our scholarly struggle at McGill University. Yes, when Tim Hortons vacated the Redpath Library basement, we lost a restaurant and Canadian icon; but most importantly, we lost a friend.
You rarely meet someone on a big, bustling campus like McGill that wants to reach out and be there for everyone, but that was what Timmy Hortons embodied. Whether you needed Timbits for your group project meeting or a pick-me-up Canadian maple donut for the final you just bombed, Timmy was always willing to lend a hand. Most of all, he got you over the hump when you hit that mental wall on the 14th page of your term paper and didn’t think you could go on any longer.
With Timmy, friendship was a two-way street, but he asked for so little in return that it was like he just did things out of the goodness of his heart. On a campus where everybody else was always trying to squeeze a little bit more out of you, his kind nature went a long way. If you scrounged together enough nickels and dimes out of your wallet’s coin pocket to purchase a delicious fruit explosion muffin, you almost felt like he was the one doing you the favour, not the other way around.
Not only was Timmy nice, but he also had a knack for knowing when you needed a little extra boost. When things were looking bleak in February and you were dealing with frigid weather, brutal midterms, or a solitary Valentine’s Day, Timmy brought back “Roll Up The Rim” and put a smile on your face.
When I heard the news of Timmy’s passing, it was like getting whacked in the face with an enormous sack of dark roasted Arabica beans. He had so much to live for, including the excitement of being welcomed into new family after the Burger King merger deal. However, as unbelievably shocking as it was, the signs were definitely there. He thrived on a constant stream of incoming students, and when construction took over the Redpath terrace last year, visiting Timmy became like visiting your friend who moved out of the Ghetto to the Plateau—not really all that difficult if you made the effort, but you definitely have to make an effort. I think that if we had known how much time Timmy really had left, we all would have tried harder.
Reflecting on this great loss, I feel a profound sadness—not just for myself, but for all the students who will never know what it was like to pack up their laptops after five-hour study sessions and pay Timmy a warm visit before returning to the sixth floor of McLennan. Although that wonderful luxury will never be available to them, the Hortons family has informed me that his brother has generously volunteered to accommodate Timmy’s old friends at his home on the corner of Sherbrooke and University, a place that those who frequent Schulich have cherished for years. It’s a little out of the way for us McLennan folk, but the Timmy I knew would have wanted us to pay his brother a visit every now and then.
Though we may now be living in the Première Moisson era of high-end, expensive pastries and coffee, let us never forget everything that Timmy stood for–his compassion, his morality, and the positive spirit he projected onto an otherwise dreary building. I can just picture him up there in heaven serving bagels and Double Doubles to everyone.
Oh, and Pizza Pizza, you’ll definitely be missed too.