The top 10 franchises born and raised in Canada
If you’ve ever been interested in purchasing a franchise, then you’ll most likely find this article particularly interesting. With the help of BeTheBoss.ca (the Best Franchises and Business Opportunities in Canada), we’ve ranked the top 10 franchises throughout the country. The different businesses have been ranked according to how many units of each franchise is currently open—from least to highest. To add an extra spin on the topic, you may discover that each of the following franchises is not only in Canada, but originated in the country, too! Take a look to see how these particular businesses stand out from the rest.
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10. Booster Juice
Dale Wishewan is the man behind Booster Juice—Canada’s largest chain of fresh juice and smoothie bars. The first shop opened in November 1999 in Sherwood Park, Alberta. Today, there are around 285 units of the food franchise. Though smoothies and fresh-squeezed juices remain to be customer favorites, food items like fresh-made paninis, quesadillas and wraps are also on the menu.
9. Coffee Time
Headquartered in Scarborough, Ontario, Coffee Time has been “pleasuring taste buds” since 1982. Tim Michalopoulos is the man behind the franchise, which originated in Bolton Ontario. With 300 different locations spread throughout Ontario, Alberta, Quebec, Greece, Poland, China, Iraq and Afghanistan, the menu offers a range of coffee, soups, sandwiches and plenty more.
8. Mr. Sub
Originally called Mr. Submarine before the 1990s, this sandwich shop officially opened in 1968 in Toronto’s Yorkville neighborhood—an area known for its “hippie” culture. Two friends had the bright idea to open a restaurant that not only served fresh and quality food, but that also served it quickly. Just five months later, the two friends opened a second location. Today, there are 317 units of Mr. Sub that offer a range of signature items, including assorted cold cuts, roast beef and Italian salami.
7. Boston Pizza
Greek immigrant Gus Agioritis began Boston Pizza in Edmonton, Alberta in 1964. Just six years later, there were 17 locations of Boston Pizza throughout Western Canada. Now, there are 348 locations in Canada and another 40 units in the United States and Mexico. Boston Pizza is Canada’s number one casual dining brand and offers a variety of options, such as pizza, pasta, sandwiches and burgers and salads. The CEO of the company is Mark Pacinda.
Started in 1922 by the Billes brothers—John William and Alfred Jackson—Canadian Tire is the first and only retail franchise to make our Top 10 list. With 350 locations, the store offers a wide range of merchandise that includes automotives items, sports and leisure products and home products. The head office is located in Toronto, Ontario. The store is widely known for its Canadian Tire money—a loyalty and coupon program that originally started in 1958.
5. Second Cup
Known as one of Canada’s largest coffee franchises, Second Cup originated in 1975 when Tom Culligan and Frank O’Dea teamed up to start the business. Since the beginning, ownership has changed hands several times; there are now 360 units of the business. Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, menu items include coffees, espressos, frozen drinks and café delights for those who have a sweet tooth.
M & M Meat Shops have much to be proud of, including being the largest specialty frozen food store chain in Canada. Headquartered in Kitchener, Ontario, locations of this privately owned franchise can be found in all 10 provinces, as well as the Yukon and Northwest Territories. Founded by Michael (Mac) Voisin and Mark Nowak in Kitchener, Ontario in 1980, the original model for the business was to provide quality meat at a lower price. Now, there are 409 locations of the store.
Country Style began in Toronto in 1963, offering great-tasting coffee and over 50 varieties of freshly baked donuts. Now, with 500 locations and based out Richmond Hill, Ontario, the franchise offers an assortment of options, including breakfast sandwiches and bagels, hot and cold beverages, muffins and various deli choices. Country Style can be found in Ontario, Atlantic Canada and Western Canada and in a range of formats, such as free-standing restaurants, strip plazas, malls and gas/convenience stores.
2. Pizza Pizza
Founded and owned by Michael Overs, the first location of Pizza Pizza opened in 1967 in Toronto. The fast-food restaurant continued to grow throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Now, there are over 700 units of the franchise spread throughout Quebec, Nova Scotia and Western Canada. Locations are both traditional and non-traditional, such as university campuses and movie theatres. Pizza Pizza is headquartered in Etobicoke, Toronto. The menu offers more than just pizza, however, including wings, salads, sandwiches, fries and onion rings.
Originally known for its coffee and donuts, Tim Horton Donuts—later renamed to Tim Hortons—is Canada’s largest quick service restaurant chain with currently over 3,600 units located just throughout Canada alone. Founded in 1964 in Hamilton, Ontario by Canadian hockey player Tim Horton and Jim Charade, the menu now offers items that include breakfast sandwiches, grilled paninis, wraps, chili and soups and various baked goods. Headquartered in Oakville, Ontario, restaurants can also be found in Ireland, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.
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This article originally appeared in the June issue of Business Review Canada