Carl's Jr. announced plans to aggressively expand in Ontario, Canada's "Golden Horseshoe," a territory that includes Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton, Brantford and London.

According to a news release, parent company CKE Restaurants Holdings Inc. has signed an exclusive development agreement with Toronto-based 6Points Food Services Ltd. to develop, open and operate 30 new Carl's Jr. restaurants in the market throughout the next six years. 6Points plans to open its first Carl's Jr. restaurant in Toronto later this year.

The agreement with 6Points, owned by Saskatchewan-based Westbridge Capital, is part of CKE's larger plan to expand the chain across Canada and to double CKE's international presence within the next five years

"We see tremendous growth potential in Canada for Carl's Jr.," said Ned Lyerly, CKE executive vice president of International. "Our brand has been well received in the market and customers understand the superior nature of our product and service offering. With eight franchise entities developing restaurants in Canada, the market will be a key contributor to the growth of CKE's international system.

6Points managing partner Kent Graber brings 40-plus years of experience operating and developing quick-service restaurant chains across Canada.

"Carl's Jr. is really gaining momentum across Canada. There's a lot of buzz about the burst of development of the brand throughout the market, and we're anxious to dig in," he said in the release.

Carl's Jr. franchisees are currently operating restaurants in Vancouver, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Kelowna, Vernon, Kamloops, Penticton and Grande Prairie, with additional locations planned for this year in Edmonton and Toronto.

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