08/29/2014 04:27 EDT | Updated 08/29/2014 04:59 EDT

Our Readers Really Want Tims To Stay Canadian

Tim Hortons may be one of Canada’s most popular brands, but rarely does our beloved coffee-and-doughnut chain capture the attention of a global audience the way it did this week.

The announcement that Burger King Worldwide will take over Tims and form a new company with a headquarters in Canada sparked some heated reactions on both sides of the border.

Canucks lamented the new foreign ownership of a nation success story, while Americans were angered by the allegation that Burger King is setting up shop in Canada to avoid paying taxes.

Tims even launched a national ad campaign, featuring two-page spreads in newspapers, to reassure Canadians it will remain true to its roots.

The passion we saw this week led us to ponder exactly how Tims factors into Canadians’ daily lives. We turned to our readers for our own unscientific poll of how, why, when and where Canadians are enjoying their Timmys.

Here’s what we found:

Tim Hortons was the runaway choice for favourite coffee shop, chosen by 48 per cent of respondents, followed by Starbucks in a distant second at 19 per cent.

Nearly half of readers, 44 per cent, said they visited Tims a few times a week or more, with seven per cent frequenting several times per day. We don’t know how, but five per cent of respondents said they have never visited.

And it appears our love for Timmys doesn’t stem from a lack of choice, as 73 per cent of respondents said they have lots of options for coffee in their towns or cities. Just three per cent said they have no other options.

The most popular reason among our readers for choosing Tims was convenience, at 27 per cent, followed by taste of coffee at 21 per cent and price at 11 per cent. Just seven per cent of readers said their allegiance was mainly patriotic.

Canadian ownership however, does appear to be important to a majority of readers. Nearly half, or 45 per cent, of respondents said it was very important that Tims is Canadian.

Our readers know their Tim Hortons history. With seven-in-ten respondents saying they are aware the company was previously owned by another U.S. burger chain, Wendy’s. The fast-food giant owned Tims from 1995 to 2005 when it was spun off and listed on Canadian and U.S. stock exchanges.

Our survey results are based on responses from 615 readers from Aug. 26 to Aug. 29. The respondents skewed urban, female and Ontarian.

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