Bidders Short-Listed To Modernize The Ontario Highway Service Centres



    Redevelopment Project Attracts Wide Interests

    TORONTO, Nov. 22 /CNW/ - The Ministry of Transportation and
Infrastructure Ontario announced today the four companies short-listed to
submit proposals to design, build, finance, maintain and operate Ontario's 23
service centres across Highways 400 and 401.
    "Ontario's highway service centres are important to travelers and
tourists who rely on them for a safe place to rest, eat and re-fuel," said
Transportation Minister Jim Bradley. "I am glad this project is moving
forward. The new operator will renovate these centres, with modern amenities
to create a positive reflection of Ontario."

    The bidders short-listed for this project were pre-qualified through the
request for qualifications (RFQ). The short-listed bidders include:

    

        Areas (Anonimous Society) S.A. (http://www.areas.es)
           - Areas S.A.
           - Carillion Canada Inc.
           - RBC Capital Markets

        Brookfield Asset Management Inc./Trinity Development Group
        (http://www.brookfield.com/)
           - Brookfield Asset Management Inc.
           - Trinity Development Group

        Host Kilmer Services Centres Inc. (http://www.hmshost.com)
           - Host International of Canada Ltd. (HMSHost)
           - Kilmer Van Nostrand Co. Limited
           - Clough, Harbour & Associates LLP
           - Cubellis Inc.
           - Forum Leasehold Partners Inc.

        Morguard Service Centres SPV (http://www.morguard.com)
           - Morguard Investments Limited
           - National Bank Financial
    

    "We're pleased to see so much interest in this project," said Minister of
Public Infrastructure Renewal David Caplan. "It's exciting to see our
infrastructure renewal efforts attracting the types of organizations whose
experience will help us to provide world-class services to the public and
create economic opportunities for local communities."
    The short-listed bidders have varied backgrounds in commercial
development and managing highway service areas, as well as, retail, food and
beverage concessions.
    A RFQ was issued on August 28, 2007 and closed in October 24, 2007.
Bidders were pre-qualified based on their capabilities and approach to
partnering with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation as well as, their
development, operations, and financial capacity for projects of this size and
complexity.
    The pre-qualified bidders will be invited to respond to a RFP in winter
2008.
    The redeveloped service centres will provide many benefits to motorists.
The new operator will be required to keep the facilities open 24 hours-a-day,
seven days a week, year-round. Also, the service centres will provide
travelers a place to park and rest, buy fuel and food, and use public
telephones, washrooms, picnic areas and drinking fountains.
    As part of the RFP proposals, bidders will need to demonstrate a
commitment to road safety. They will be asked to optimize the use of the
service area lands and to recommend innovative services to better serve the
travelling public and commercial motorists.
    "Modernizing the service centres will help to build Ontario's tourism
industry and provide opportunities for us to showcase local adventures and
vibrant communities" said Minister of Tourism Peter Fonseca.
    The Ontario Ministry of Transportation will manage the procurement of the
new operator with Infrastructure Ontario, a Crown Corporation dedicated to the
renewal of the province's hospitals, courthouses and other essential public
assets.
    Using an Alternative Financing and Procurement (AFP) model that ensures
appropriate public control and ownership, Infrastructure Ontario uses private
financing for large-scale and complex projects to strategically rebuild vital
infrastructure, on time and on budget.
    All infrastructure projects will be guided by the principles in the
government's Building a Better Tomorrow framework, ensuring public ownership
of core public assets such as hospitals, schools and water and wastewater
facilities.
    Visit www.infrastructureontario.ca for more information.

    History

    There are 23 service centres located on Highways 400 and 401. The service
centres are located on lands owned by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.
The service centres are individually leased and operated by one of three
operators (Petro-Canada, Imperial Oil (Esso) or Shell Canada) who sublease to
food operators, retail shop owners and tourism organizations.
    The majority of the service centres were built in the 1960s, apart from
three, which were rebuilt in the late 1990s (Newcastle, Ingersoll, and Maple).

    Current uses of the service centres

    The 23 service centres are unique to Ontario as they are the only
facilities with direct access to Highways 400 and 401. Currently, travelers
can stop to rest, buy fuel and food, use public telephones or washrooms, or
have a drink of water, while parking for free. The service centres contribute
to road safety - an important initiative for the Ministry - by providing a
rest area for motorists to take a break and ease fatigue during long drives.
    All service centres are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even on
holidays.

    Where are the service centres located?

    There are ten service centres along the 401 westbound corridor from
Bainsville (Quebec border) to Tilbury (near Windsor); nine service centres
along the 401 eastbound corridor from Tilbury to Morrisburg; two highway
service centres along the 400 southbound corridor at Maple and Cookstown; and
two highway service centres along the 400 northbound corridor at King City and
Barrie.

    
    Highlights of the service centres and Highways 400 and 401

    - There are 23 service centres along 1,000 kilometres of highway.
    - The service centres are situated on a total of 900 acres of land
      (362 hectares).
    - Service centres are within one hour's drive of each other.
    - More than 500,000 vehicles, including 45,000 trucks in total, travel by
      the sites each day.
    - Highways 400 and 401 are amongst the busiest highways in North America.
    - More people visit Ontario (traveling along Highway 401) for tourism and
      recreational purposes than any other province.
    - Highway 401 is the gateway to the Windsor-Detroit border crossing,
      which handles about 28 per cent of the $300 billion Canada-US trade
      volume.
    

    Why redevelop the service centres?

    The service centres contribute to Ontario tourism by providing tourists
with convenient rest, food and fuel stops. The facilities need to be
aesthetically pleasing as they form people's first impression of our province.
Currently, only a few of the sites have been upgraded and many sites are
deteriorating and in need of renewal.
    The service centres also play an important role in maintaining road
safety and economic prosperity. The border crossing between Windsor and
Detroit is the vital economic link between southern Ontario and the United
States. It accounts for 28 per cent of Canada-U.S. merchandise trade. The
truckers hauling merchandise along this corridor are in need of convenient
places to rest, eat and refuel. Commercial motorists can easily take a break
at one of the 23 service centres because they are strategically located along
the highways.
    Twenty of the long-term leases with the oil companies will expire between
2007 and 2011, with the remaining three leases expiring between 2018 and 2025.
With so many of the leases up for renewal, this is an opportune time for the
Ministry to partner with the private sector to renew and revitalize these
facilities to better serve the traveling public.

    
    The Ministry's vision

    In late August 2007, the Ministry and Infrastructure Ontario started a
procurement process to select a single operator to redevelop all the sites and
to offer a quality suite of standard services and amenities to the traveling
public.

    Redevelopment of the service centres will:

    - provide a network of renewed service centres that offer a quality suite
      of standard services and amenities for the traveling public and
      commercial motorists;
    - contribute to road safety;
    - create a reputation for high quality and dependability; and
    - maximize revenues and leverage current investments.
    

    The service centres project is the first Ministry of Transportation
project to be delivered under the Province's Alternative Financing and
Procurement (AFP) program. AFP makes the best use of private sector resources
and expertise to provide on-time, on-budget project delivery and to transfer
appropriate risks to the private sector.
    Unlike other infrastructure projects where the government pays the
private sector for constructing infrastructure, the selected operator of the
service centres will pay the redevelopment costs. Additionally, the private
sector will continue to pay the government to lease and operate the sites.
    Redevelopment of a number of facilities is scheduled to begin in November
2008.

    Disponible en français
    www.infrastructureontario.ca





For further information:

For further information: Bob Nichols, Ministry of Transportation, (416)
327-1158; Amy Tang, Minister's Office, Ministry of Public Infrastructure,
Renewal, (416) 325-4048; Paulette den Elzen, Infrastructure Ontario, (416)
327-5764


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