Amazing Race Canada recap: 'Tim Time!' -

Amazing Race Canada recap: ‘Tim Time!’

Sonya Bell explains why the final leg of the race was slightly unsatisfying



This afternoon at 1 p.m., Sonya Bell leads a live chat with two teams who captured many fans’ hearts. 

The Amazing Race Canada succeeded in uniting Canadians in the most unexpected way on Monday night: across the nation, everyone lost their office pool.

The three final teams — brothers Jody and Cory, sisters Vanessa and Celina, and father-son duo Tim Sr. and Tim Jr. — raced from Newfoundland to Toronto, where they rappelled down a 44-storey building and visited the giant pandas at the Toronto Zoo (the prime minister says hi!) It was an exciting leg, with each team in the lead at one point, only to lose it to someone else.

Host Jon Montgomery billed the finale as the culmination of what’s become “a race of the underdogs.” It’s a brilliant way to spin it. Everyone loves an underdog. Or six.

Looking all the way back to the first episode, you couldn’t have chosen a less likely trio of final teams. That first leg in Kelowna, Vanessa and Celina finished fifth; Tim Sr. and Tim Jr. were sixth; and Jody and Cory came seventh. There were nine teams competing.

“Time will tell, baby,” Tim Sr. insisted.

This lackluster start wasn’t hard to understand: Jody uses prosthetic legs and Tim Sr. has Parkinson’s disease. While Vanessa and Celina don’t have any obvious disadvantages … they didn’t have any obvious advantages either.

In Toronto, pleased with themselves for finding the clue at the panda exhibit right away, Celina boasted: “Our brains are good. We knew it was the koalas.” Thereby becoming the first person ever to confuse panda bears and koala bears.

As per the show’s tradition, all of the eliminated teams — from BodyBreak icons Hal and Joanne to Brett and Holly, the doctors you’d least want to see in an emergency room — were brought to the finish line at Toronto’s Olympic Island. Their contractual obligation: smile, clap and hoot for the winners. You have to wonder what went through their minds when they saw Tim Sr. and Tim Jr. come into view.

Related reading: Hal and Joanne are happy except for one edit 

Here’s the uplifting way to tell this story: a father-son team overcame Parkinson’s limitations together to win the first-ever Amazing Race Canada. At the finish line, Tim Sr. encouraged everyone to get up and move, and Tim Jr. calls him his hero. They did a final declaration that it’s “Tim Time!”

Here’s why it’s slightly less satisfying than that: until the finalé, Tim Sr. and Tim Jr. didn’t win a single leg of the race. They actually finished dead last two times; but by sheer, incredible luck, they were the show’s two non-elimination rounds. They also u-turned fitness icons Hal and Joanne, breaking many a Canadian heart.

No matter which way you see it, Team TimTim’s finish on Monday night was compelling. They were the last to arrive at the final challenge — which required them to identify the flag and flower of every province — but took only minutes to finish it. On the advice of his wife, Tim Sr. had been taking note of things like that along the way. Meanwhile, Cory took 21 attempts to match everything up correctly. He and Jody finished second, with Vanessa and Celina a close third.

The underdog phenomenon doesn’t appear to have hurt CTV’s ratings too badly: on the “After the Race” special that followed the finalé, Jon Montgomery announced that auditions will soon open for the Amazing Race Canada 2, which will premiere next summer.

As the winners, Tim Sr. and Tim Jr. nab $250,000 in cash, free Air Canada travel for a year, and a pair of Corvette Stingrays. They were led off stage at the end of the reunion episode to the cars, and zoomed away. It’s a feel-good moment. And then you remember they’re taking those beautiful vehicles back home to Winnipeg, Canada’s on-again, off-again auto-theft capital.

Best of luck, gentlemen.

For all of Sonya Bell’s coverage of The Amazing Race Canada, click here. 


Amazing Race Canada recap: ‘Tim Time!’

  1. Nice article but did you really have to ruin it with the theft comment

  2. Does anyone really watch this nonsense?

    • Considering Amazing Race has won 9 Primetime Emmy awards, I’d say yes people do watch it. I’ve been watching since Season 1.

      And for anyone who says the 2 non-eliminations for the Tims weren’t fair, it’s happened twice before where they went on to win – first with Flo & Zach, then BJ & Tyler. It’s just luck.

  3. yes thanks for the extremely negative recap of this show – which in fact shows Canada in a great light, encourages people to travel and see the beautiful provinces of our country and has inspired many people – I would hope a magazine like Maclean’s would be able to appreciate this. I’m very disappointed – Tim and Tim did an amazing job and we really don’t need this kind of gloomy perspective on a Canadian show.

  4. Of course she had to take a swipe at Winnipeg, it’s the only thing that keeps Toronto from realizing how big a joke Ford has made us.
    Good for those Tim’s, let’s get some not bimbos from TO next time.

  5. Looking forward to Season 2!

  6. I am disappointed with the cheap shot at the end of this recap. Perhaps Ms Bell missed out on the beauty and comraderie of this great nation. Canada goes from coast to coast (and shockingly exists beyond Ontario’s borders). Very fitting our Tim Double Doubles hail from the heart of the country.

    • But I think the irony here, is that people kept complaining there wasn’t enough diversity among teams, 5 out of 9 were from Ontario.

      And guess what? The guys from Winnipeg beat ’em all!

  7. The whole show was entertaining and inspiring. Great job to the casting crew! The after party was fun. Congrats to the Tims!

  8. The Tim’s showed a lot of class in their gracious comments about the city of Toronto and their admiration and appreciation for the rest of Canada, something this writer cold learn from to break the sterotype of the ugly Torontonion.

  9. Congrats Tim and Tim!

  10. “Thereby becoming the first person ever to confuse panda bears and koala bears.” LMAO! Kind of takes away from the slam when you confuse koalas and bears.

  11. So, what is that supposed to mean? A city like Winnipeg doesn’t DESERVE to have two beautiful cars in it? Pretty rude, Sonya, pretty rude….

  12. All I can say is “Winnerpeg”!!

  13. Way to go Tim sr and Tim jr! I rooted for you guys all the way! And as to the writer of the article, sounds like sour grapes to me. While Winnipeg used to be the auto theft capitol for a long time we no longer are. I do think however that the Tim’s will be keeping their corvettes parked for 6 months of the year what with our long cold winters here.

  14. It’s sad that Hal and Joanne from BodyBreak were actually selected to participate in this race and I’m left wondering why. They are already salivating at the free face time they garnered on the series and there are articles about them releasing new so-called “fitness” products into the marketplace in the near future, making their participation good for what they are truly competitive about – – sales and profits from the unassuming Canadian public! Again, how very sad!