Toronto, Ontario – Ontario has confirmed that 20 service centres on Highways 401 and 400 will be redeveloped, with the first seven opening in July 2010. The provincial government had come under fire when it closed several centres for repairs or refurbishment that took much longer than expected.

Host Kilmer Service Centres Inc. (HKSC) will be the new service provider for Ontario’s centres. The 20 redeveloped centres will feature modernized rest areas, increased accessibility and improved food services.

Construction will occur over a few phases, with seven centres scheduled to open with fuel, washrooms, parking and a convenience store in July 2010. The seven centres will be fully operational by September 2010, including Canadian Tire fuel stations with adjacent convenience stores, and food operators such as Tim Hortons, A&W and Burger King. Two centres closest to the Windsor-Detroit and Quebec borders, at Tilbury South and Bainsville, will also feature new staffed tourism centres.

Twenty of the 23 service centres will be redeveloped over the next three years, and will be built according to LEED Silver certification standards to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. During construction, interim services such as parking, portable washrooms, public telephones, water and limited food service will be offered at select locations.

Under the 50-year contract, HKSC will be solely responsible for maintaining and operating Ontario’s highway service centres. The company will pay all costs related to operation, maintenance, lifecycle repair and renewal of the centres over the next 50 years, and share a portion of revenues generated at the 23 sites with the Ontario government. The cost of designing and constructing 20 new service centres is approximately $300 million, with HKSC contributing more than $100 million. The province expects its share of the investment to be fully recovered over the duration of the contract.

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