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There was a six-week stretch in 2014 when Iqaluit’s Tim Hortons didn’t receive any supplies. A combination of delayed flights due to lousy weather and their low-priority goods packed in large, space-gobbling boxes meant it was months before the store was fully stocked, says former manager Greg Toner. They did own a big freezer with boxes of donut ingredients stored away, but they only had two bases (cruller and cream-filled) to work with.

So staff made do—and new donuts—drawing inspiration from what they saw around them.

When head office found out about their unauthorized creations thanks to social media, the bosses down south were not impressed. You can’t just make changes to a menu that’s consistent from sea to sea to sea, after all. But the bigwigs lightened up after Toner explained how limited their options were and how much people loved the new flavours. Besides, they were only using ingredients already on the menu.

Here's what they came up with:



Iqaluit in the mist

They were fogged in for a long time, says Toner, so they covered a cream-filled base with grey sprinkles.


Bacon donut

They smothered a cream-filled base in maple glaze and bacon—real bacon. “We have the military base here, and they were just loving it,” says Toner.


Mud on a tire

“A cruller looks like a tractor tire, so we put chocolate on it,” says Toner. After driving some of Iqaluit’s unpaved streets, it’s obvious where the idea came from.