Tim Hortons’ #tbt celebration

Yonge-Dundas Square has been retrofitted with the makings of the QSR's original Hamilton store for its 50th birthday.

Today, as you may or may not know, is Throwback Thursday (or #tbt as it’s known in the social sphere). This means you can either get your nostalgic fix by scrolling through an Instafeed of family photos from yore, or immerse yourself in flashback wonder at Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square where 1960s gear-wearing guys, muscle cars, vintage newsstands and storefronts sit in celebration of Tim Horton’s 50th year in business.

Two days before the Canadian restaurant’s birthday (which takes place on Saturday), the brand decided to recreate the very first store Tim Horton opened on Ottawa Street in Hamilton, Ont. in 1964. It even brought in Fay and Flow, two ladies who used to work at the original store, which still stands, back in the day.

“Everybody knows about the story of Tim Hortons, and what it is today. But what we wanted to do is bring the original store on Ottawa [Street] and recreate it here in downtown Toronto,” said Glenn Hollis, VP, brand strategy, marketing and experience at the QSR. “Those in Hamilton know and love it, but we wanted to show it to a wider group and to say thanks.”

Throughout the two days, the brand will have guest appearances by Canadian jazz-pop singer Nikki Yanofsky (who will be performing a ’60s-style gig), Johnny Bower and Ron Ellis (Toronto Maple Leafs alumni and Horton’s former team members) as well as Wendel Clark and Darcy Tucker (also Leafs alumni). The Stanley Cup is also set to make an appearance today.

To get people pumped for the event, Hollis says the brand (which worked with OgilvyOne on the digital, social and experiential components, Mindshare on media and ParadigmPR on public relations) purchased some media space at the Square and ran recreated retro Tim Hortons ads from the ’60s to the ’90s in a loop on a digital screen, along with a 24-hour countdown clock to the big reveal.

OgilvyOne has also been helping with a social push as well as geo-targeted digital strategy, and will be releasing a video of the event (which will include a behind-the-scenes look at what went into the construction of the space) on multiple platforms for those in the rest of Canada to experience. And this Saturday, Tim Hortons will be handing out free birthday donuts at each of its stores.