September 22, 2023

Custom Tim Hortons Coffee Shop

The LEGO® Group launched the first annual Build Day on December 26, 2020. They encouraged fans to show their builds on social media with the hashtag #LEGOBuildDay. With the usual Christmas rush, I think it is a great idea to just stay home and build something on Boxing Day. That is especially true with the current state of the world and the global pandemic. However, rather than build a set, I decided to start a new MOC. I am expanding on my multi-level city concept. Therefore, this first update looks at the early stages of the street level. The first building is a Canadian staple. I added a custom Tim Hortons coffee shop to the corner.

In all honesty, a brick built Tim Hortons is not new for my city. Tim Hortons was actually the first MOC I ever built. However, coming out of my dark ages I did not have the same brick selection that I currently enjoy. Additionally, I did not know as many build techniques as I do today. My original Tim Hortons looked good, but it was a stand alone corner shop. It no longer fits my current city layout or plans. I also built it with the idea that more is more, and it looked cluttered inside. Consequently, day one consisted of tearing down the old building, deciding on new floorplan, and redesigning the counter area. Truthfully, most of the day went to making the coffee and Ice Capp machines.

This Tim Hortons is an upgrade of the first MOC I built after leaving my dark ages.

Custom Tim Hortons day 2 progress.
Day 2 progress on my custom Tim Hortons coffee shop.

In terms of interior changes, I started by opening up the floor space. I got rid of the bathroom from the original design. I like realistic touches like that. However, the facilities where so cramped that you could not actually get a Minifigure inside. It was there solely as a visual touch. Additionally, it resulted in less line-up and seating space. Finally, I settled on one booth and one counter as opposed to the counter and two tables from the original. The customer sitting space remains the same, just more condensed. As a result, Minifigures now have space to line-up for coffee without bumping into others already enjoying their treats.

Custom Tim Hortons progress.

The menu boards look essentially the same as in my original. However, they are wider. The small, central menu board and clock are new. That menu tile and sticker came from the City Ski Resort set. In the first iteration, I was not very good at alternative building techniques. I had never tried to attach windows horizontally to a wall as screens. Consequently, the result was functional but I did not follow proper building conventions. In fact, while the screens did stay up, they did not attached properly on one side. The technique I devised produced a gap of less than one plate width that always bothered me. Now, the screens are attached properly and following LEGO® building etiquette. Additionally, I redesigned the donut casing and added shelves and overhead lamps to the walls.

Upgrades involved opening the floor plan and adding more sophisticated details.

I kept the exterior of the building more or less the same. I like the dark red and tan look of many real Tim Hortons shops. However, I tried to add more texture to the exterior tan section. Additionally, I built the walls higher. Real estate is precious in my city. Tim Hortons can no longer occupy a corner all on its own. I will build more city above it, so all the walls need to be flush. Originally, the tan entryway was higher than the rest of the walls. Finally, I eliminated an ATM from the original design and added another window for more interior lighting. The ATM will likely move to another area of the baseplate I am using.

Custom Tim Hortons exterior.

Tim Hortons went up on one corner of a large 48 x 48 baseplate. Therefore, it is just the start of my current MOC project. What else is in store? I have already started work on a train station behind Tim Hortons. Since this is the base layer of the city, the train tracks have to traverse this plate. My city does not have a train station. Incidentally, I plan to modify the City Train Station (60050) for that purpose. The tracks curve in this area of my city and the train exits from under the shopping promenade. Therefore, I am attempting an angled tunnel entrance. We will see how it works out. I have not decided what to put on the remaining corner of the baseplate yet. Any suggestions? Feel free to comment below or reach out on social media.

Until next time,


The current layout of my new city block.
The current layout of my new city block featuring the custom Tim Hortons.

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