New Tim Hortons opens location opens on Cowessess First Nation land in Regina

·2 min read
Chief Cadmus Delorme was with Mimikwas Agecoutay, Cowessess's junior powwow princess, at the grand opening of the Tim Hortons on Wednesday. (Mah Noor Mubarik/CBC - image credit)
Chief Cadmus Delorme was with Mimikwas Agecoutay, Cowessess's junior powwow princess, at the grand opening of the Tim Hortons on Wednesday. (Mah Noor Mubarik/CBC - image credit)

The site of a former Regina strip mall is now home to a new location of one of Canada's best-known coffee chains — but it's actually on land owned by a Saskatchewan First Nation.

Cowessess First Nation celebrated the grand opening of the new Tim Hortons location on Albert Street, in Regina's North Central neighbourhood, on Wednesday.

"To the Cowessess First Nation citizens, this is a proud day," Chief Cadmus Delorme said at the opening of the restaurant, where a teepee was raised to mark the occasion.

"We're getting stronger one day at a time, and it's economic opportunities like this that make it happen."

The land where the restaurant is located was bought by Cowessess First Nation, whose main reserve is about 140 kilometres east of Regina, in 2010. The property was formerly the site of a strip mall that was later demolished.

The architectural design for the Tim Horton began in 2018, and in 2020 the land received official reserve status. Construction for the Tim Hortons began in April this year.

The restaurant will be operated by Macora Hospitality, a family-owned business that manages multiple Tim Hortons locations in Regina, according to a news release from Cowessess First Nation. Macora Hospitality will be in charge of all operations and staffing.

Cowessess First Nation owns the land around the Tim Hortons and the building itself. The First Nation will lease it out on a 20-year agreement.

Cowessess says the monye it receives will go toward underfunded areas, investments and projects for the First Nation.

Delorme says the grand opening was a proud day. His late father worked as a band councillor when the land was bought.

Mah Noor Mubarik/CBC
Mah Noor Mubarik/CBC

Delorme said he used to drive around with his father as a kid, and every time they went past the property, his dad would point out that it was something they owned.

He would always ask his father what would happen to the land, with his dad's response being that the First Nation was working on it.

"To share now that we own a building that houses Tim Hortons, it's pride itself," he said, adding the agreement will allow the next generation to focus on growth as well.

Delorme said there is also work underway to include Indigenous art within the restaurant.

"We are already talking about putting in Indigenous content and artwork, to show that pride that this is First Nation status land."

The drive-thru already has Indigenous artwork painted close to it.

Submitted by Richard Agecoutay
Submitted by Richard Agecoutay

"This location has allowed us to offer our regular guests, our new guests and the residents of North Central a beautiful new restaurant in a wonderfully landscaped property," said Corinne Zerr-Mything, one of the co-owners of Macora Hospitality.

Macora Hospitality operated the Fourth Avenue Tim Hortons location until last month, she said. The new location has a drive-thru, which the business had been hoping to incorporate into its former location.

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