On September 15, 1922, at 8:34 John William Billes and Alfred Jackson Billes invested their combined savings of $1,800 in the Hamilton Tire and Garage Ltd (established in 1909 as the Hamilton Garage and Rubber Company) in Toronto. Hamilton Tire & Garage was sold in 1923 and the Billes brothers moved several times before they settled their site at 639 Yonge Street.
In 1934, the first official associate store opened in Hamilton, Ontario. In 1937, Canadian Tire moved into the new Main store at 837 Yonge Street, after completing extensive alterations to what once was the Grand Central Market. This location remains as an associate store in the chain today. The first Canadian Tire catalogue consisted of a price list in the format of a 24" × 10" folder. Sent in 1926 to car owners in Southern Ontario, this initial price sheet folder heralded the beginning of the Mail Order Department at Canadian Tire. Since then, the company has grown to over 487 stores. The company is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Canadian Tire has experienced a period of significant growth and success, having transformed its store network in three major waves beginning in 1994. In its last five-year strategic plan it attained top-quartile total returns to shareholders among all publicly traded North American retailers, with a total return of 286%. Canadian Tire is an industry partner of the University of Waterloo Stratford Campus.
Certain merchandise items are branded specifically for Canadian Tire. The most recognized of these are Mastercraft, which offers a wide range of tools, SuperCycle (bicycles), BluePlanet (eco-friendly household cleaners, CFL bulbs and other green items), Likewise (general household items such as lighting/electrical products and hardware) and MotoMaster (tires, batteries and other automotive goods). NOMA, a company that exists in Canada as a trademark only, offering a wide range of items from Christmas lights to air purifiers. During the 1980s, Canadian Tire sold electronic items under the name Pulser (with Canadian Tire logo), such as radios, stereos, televisions, walkmans, cassette tapes, etc. It is unknown when the company began or went defunct.
As Canada's largest retailer, it is said that 90 percent of all Canadians live within a 15-minute drive of a Canadian Tire store; that nine out of ten adult Canadians shop at one at least twice a year; and that 40 percent of Canadians shop at Canadian Tire every week. There are 504 stores across Canada. Canadian Tire Stores are each owned and operated by an associate dealer. The buildings and lands are owned or leased by the company and everything inside the building, from fixtures to merchandise, is owned by the dealer. The majority of stores operate in distinct categories of automotive parts, automotive service, tools and hardware, sporting goods, housewares, and seasonal. Moody's explained the Canadian Tire concept to an international audience as follows:
One of Canada’s most powerful retailers, Canadian Tire, is a concept that is completely foreign to U.S. retail, and its market position and "hold" over the Canadian consumer is often both misunderstood and underestimated. The company sells products ranging from spark plugs and tires to sporting goods and apparel, with food offered in some of its locations. Its proprietary "currency," Canadian Tire money, which is a by-product of its loyalty program, has been accepted across Canada by multiple retailers and could almost be described as a "sub-fiat" currency.
Since 2003, Canadian Tire has converted the majority of its old traditional and new-format stores, as well as built new stores, making it the most modern network in the country. Last year, Canadian Tire introduced its two newest store formats - the Smart store and Small Market store. Currently, the second largest Canadian Tire store is located in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. It incorporates a Mark's Work Wearhouse (owned by Canadian Tire) within its doors. The largest opened in Edmonton, Alberta in June, 2015. Also, new-format Canadian Tire stores also exist in indoor mall locations, such as Place Vertu in Montreal where it opened in 2000 after taking over the former Kmart location (when Kmart withdrew from Canada in 1998), and Confederation Mall in Saskatoon, where Canadian Tire took up the area formerly occupied by Walmart in 2011. With the demise of Target's businesses in Canada in 2015, Canadian Tire took over the lease of 12 of the former Target store locations.
In May 2011, Canadian Tire announced the purchase of Forzani Group, a Canadian sporting goods retailer. "The deal represents Canadian Tire's first major acquisition since it took over Mark's Work Warehouse a decade ago."
Canadian Tire Online was an online purchasing system, launched in November 2000, where customers of Canadian Tire could order goods online. On January 1, 2009, citing consumer disinterest in online shopping faced with the convenience of its bricks and mortar stores, the Company announced the end of online sales effective at the end of January 2009.
On November 1, 2013, Canadian Tire returned to online shopping with delivery to stores.
PartSource is an automotive parts and accessories specialty chain, which has 87 stores across Nova Scotia, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. It was designed to meet the needs of major purchasers of automotive parts including commercial automotive installers as well as serious do it yourself customers. Originally, PartSource stores were a mix of franchisee and Canadian Tire Corporation operated stores. However, as of November 2013, all PartSource stores across Canada are owned and operated by Canadian Tire Corporation.
Canadian Tire Financial Services is the credit arm of the company. This division operates Canadian Tire Bank, a bank under Canada's Bank Act. Its primary business is branded credit cards, including the Canadian Tire Options MasterCard, but it also provides other credit and loan products. CTFS also sells insurance and warranty products, and operates Canadian Tire Roadside Assistance, an emergency roadside service.
In October 2008 (and 2014), Canadian Tire Financial Services was named one of "Canada's Top 100 Employers" by Mediacorp Canada Inc., and was featured in Maclean's newsmagazine.
Launched in 1958, Canadian Tire Petroleum now has 300 locations and 77 Simoniz car washes. In Ontario, CTP also operates Pit Stop, which provides services like oil changes and rust checks. The "Canadian Tire money" loyalty program was originally launched through the gas bars as "Gas Bonus Coupons".
Canadian Tire was the world's first hard goods retailer to begin selling gasoline at their stores as a means of increasing customer traffic.. CTP has opened 3 'Q' stop stores featuring a mini-grocery store as well as other items. CTP also operates the gas station portion of all ONroute locations.
Mark's (formerly Mark's Work Wearhouse) is a retailer of business casual, weekend and work clothing and accessories. It operates over 378 stores across Canada including L'Équipeur stores in Quebec.
FGL Sports Ltd. (FGL) is the largest national sporting goods retailer in Canada. It sells sports-related products under the Athletes World, Atmosphere, Intersport, Hockey Experts, National Sports, Nevada Bob's Golf, S3, SportChek, Sport Mart, Sports Experts, Tech Shop, Pro Hockey Life, and The Fitness Source brands. 
Historically, Canadian Tire's Christmas ads featured Santa Claus and Ebenezer Scrooge arguing about whether Canadian Tire's selection or their sales prices are the reason to do Christmas shopping there involving the marketing slogan "Give like Santa, save like Scrooge". A stamp was issued by Canada Post commemorating Canadian Tire's 75th anniversary based on the Canadian Tire advertisement of a boy (Bike Story) receiving his first bicycle which was purchased by his father at a Canadian Tire retail store.
Starting in 2007, the company ran month-long advent calendar promotions which provided free CDs and discounts throughout the holiday season.
From 1997 to 2005, the company's ads featured the "Canadian Tire couple". The male role also known as the Canadian Tire guy was played by Canadian actor Ted Simonett, and Gloria Slade played the female role. They are usually showcasing a new product to one of their neighbours, who are in need of a certain tool. The 'Canadian Tire Couple' were featured on Royal Canadian Air Farce as one of their targets of the year, as "Canada's most annoying couple". They also made a feature guest appearance on Royal Canadian Air Farce as actors in a skit.
In early 2006, ads featuring the couple were phased out replaced by a new campaign featuring overhead signs found in Canadian Tire's store aisles.
The company is one of Canada's largest advertisers.1970s: "It's for people like you"
1980s: "There is a lot more to Canadian Tire than tires"
1992: "There is a lot more for a lot less"
1996: "Everyday low prices made better"
1997: "Canadian Tire, still the right place"
Various Christmas seasons: "Give like Santa, save like Scrooge" or "Scrooge-Approved Prices"
2001: "Let's Get Started", which used the song "I'll Start With You" (released in 1992 by former Highway 101 lead singer Paulette Carlson)
2006: "_____ Starts at Canadian Tire", with the blank filled with various seasons (such as "Summer" or "The Holidays") or situations ("Home Improvement", "Spring Cleaning", "Car Care").
2008: "For Days Like Today"
2011: "Bring it On"
2012 & 2013: "Canada's Store". In some ads, the type of 'store' is included when appropriate to the advertising creative, ie... "Canada’s Automotive Store" or "Canada's Kitchen Store".
2014 & 2015: "Tested for life in Canada".
2016: "You got this."