New roadside attraction planned for Ontario

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TORONTO, Ont. — The Ontario government is looking for a new partner to improve roadside rest stops for motorists travelling along the 400 highways.

Currently there are a little more than 20 highway service centres in Southern Ontario being operated by a few different oil companies. With the current lease negotiations nearing expiration, the government is looking for a single contractor to take over operation and rebuild the stops, in an effort to boost tourism, generate revenue and improve the provinces aesthetic appearance.

The winning bidder will be expected to foot the bill for the redevelopment and share profits with the government, all in exchange for 900 acres of prime real estate and a customer base which generates, on average, revenue of $4.2 million each year.

Although many of the leases do not expire until 2011, new sites could be opened as early as 2008.

— with files from City News

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