Tim Horton's co-founder, Ron Joyce has died

Ron Joyce, the co-founder of the Tim Hortons doughnut chain, has died at age 88.

The cause of death isn't immediately known, but there are reports he was found dead on Thursday.

The Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington, and its namesake foundation say in a statement that Joyce's generosity ``has been felt across the country''.

Joyce donated $7.5 million to support the hospital's redevelopment and expansion.

Joyce invested in the first Tim Hortons shop in Hamilton in 1964.

The Joyce family released the following statement:

It is with great sadness that the family of Ron Joyce shares the news of his passing yesterday, January 31, 2019. Joyce passed peacefully in his home in Burlington, Ontario with family at his side. He was in his 89th year.

On behalf of the Joyce family, Steven Joyce released the following statement:

My father had a big vision and a big heart. Through hard work, determination and drive, he built one of the most successful restaurant chains in Canada. In his journey with Tim Hortons, he travelled all over the country and considered himself Canadian above all else. He never forgot his humble beginnings, with The Joyce Family Foundation donating extensively to support those who are less fortunate, especially children and youth. He lived large and enjoyed the great journey of life.

He will be greatly missed.

The family gratefully appreciates privacy at this time.

Tim Hortons also released a statement:

“Today, we join the entire Tim Hortons family in mourning the passing of one of our founders, Ronald V. Joyce.

Ron was a larger than life friend who not only helped create one of Canada’s most iconic brands but was passionate about ensuring Tim Hortons always gave back to the community.

His work with so many charitable organizations across Canada, including the Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre in Hamilton, Ontario and the Joyce Family Foundation will continue to have a lasting legacy for future generations.

His love and commitment to the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation was celebrated recently with the dedication of the Ronald V. Joyce House at the Tim Horton Children’s Camp in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, recognizing his tremendous dedication to helping youth.

On behalf of all restaurant owners, team members, guests, and the entire Tim Hortons family, we offer our deepest condolences to the family and many friends of Ron Joyce.”

(with files from Canadian Press)