Province looking for private partner to jazz up image

On the open road, they’re often the only places open to weary travellers and truckers.


But Ontario’s highway rest stops, most of which were built in the 1960s, are looking a little tired themselves, according to Queen’s Park.


Now the government is looking for a single private-sector operator to revamp all 23 of the highway rest stops on Highways 400 and 401 in the hope of presenting a better image to out-of-province travellers and offering more revenue-generating amenities.


Among the services that could soon be available are showers, separate bathroom stalls, computer lounges for truckers, art galleries, tourist kiosks, souvenir shops and other merchandise.

With most of the government’s existing leases to Shell, Imperial Oil and Petro Canada set to expire between now and 2011, changes could be in the works by next year. There’s also the possibility of revenue being generated by billboard and other advertising at the sites.


  • The rest stops could even sell alternative fuels, run on solar energy or recycle their own water.