Canpages Inc.

Canpages Inc.

September 10, 2007 07:00 ET

Canpages Launches a Single Comprehensive Phone Directory and Free Text Message Directory Assistance Service for Toronto

Canpages' arrival in Canada's largest city builds on success in Vancouver and Calgary

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 10, 2007) - Canpages Inc. (Canpages), publisher of more than 70 phone directories across Canada, today announced the official launch of its much anticipated, comprehensive Toronto area business directory, marking its arrival in Canada's largest metropolitan region.

The company has also launched its free text message directory assistance service, "TXT 411", which allows users to search for business listings in Toronto and throughout Ontario at no cost. This follows the release of Canpages' business directories in Calgary and Vancouver, and its recent expansion into Montreal.

"Canpages is offering consumers and businesses better features and more comprehensive listings while charging advertisers significantly lower rates for wider circulation, allowing us to take on our competition-and win," said company President and CEO, Olivier Vincent. "We are now in Canada's four largest cities and have taken a major share of directory usage in many areas of the country - up to 60 per cent in some markets."

In response to demand from consumers and advertisers, Canpages' Toronto print directory differentiates itself from competitors with its improved geographic scope, better design and superior editorial content. Currently, the competition prints two separate directories, separating the city into east and west using University Boulevard as an approximate dividing line. With Canpages' directory, consumers and advertisers in Toronto now have access to a single phone book offering 60 per cent more business listings than any other directory in Toronto. In addition to the 95,000 Toronto area listings found in the classified section of the new book, Canpages' Toronto directory also features a comprehensive white pages section with listings for all of Toronto, North York, Etobicoke and Scarborough.

"This Toronto directory better corresponds to the way consumers live, travel between home and work, and generally shop for products and services," said Vincent. "Providing consumers with one directory for all of Toronto offers superior convenience, since they don't necessarily shop nor do business exclusively in the east or west of the city."

According to an Ipsos Reid survey, more than 75 per cent of respondents in Toronto indicated they would be very likely or likely to use a directory that encompassed businesses for Toronto in one book. "We are pleased to offer a consolidated directory that responds directly to consumer demand and shopping patterns," said Vincent.

Canpages directories offer comprehensive information; high quality maps; entertainment, tourism and community information; and restaurant and take-out menus. The directory also includes GO Toronto, Canpages' own glossy-style tourism and attraction guide for the Toronto, Muskoka and Niagara regions.

The addition of the Toronto market brings the total circulation of Canpages phone directories across Canada to 7.2 million. In summer of 2008, Canpages will launch a comprehensive print business directory for the Island of Montreal.

For those on the go, Canpages has also launched a text message directory assistance service, called TXT 411. The service, which has proven widely popular in Vancouver, is expected to attract hundreds of thousands text-savvy Torontonians.

With the easy-to-remember TXT 411 (898 411) short code, Canpages' text message directory assistance provides wireless phone users with information such as business locations and phone numbers, any place, any time, at no charge. Whether trying to locate a bed and breakfast in Niagara Falls or Reds Bistro & Bar in downtown Toronto, users can type in their search by company name or keyword, and within seconds, have full access to the listings database.

Users can also access same- and next-day Environment Canada weather forecasts for the Toronto area via TXT 411 and can search unknown callers using Canpages' 'Reverse Look-Up' function. Users simply send a text with the unidentified phone number in the message to 898 411, and the name and address of the person or business is texted in return.

The launch of TXT 411 reflects a growing trend in Canada, as use of text messaging is skyrocketing. In 2006, Canadians sent more than 4.3 billion person-to-person text messages, more than doubling the previous year's volume of 1.5 billion. "With the rising popularity of text messaging, TXT 411 is an excellent way to deliver information to people conveniently, through a medium they are familiar with," said Vincent.

Canpages listings are also available online at Canpages.ca, the first local search engine of its kind in Canada. It provides interactive maps (developed in partnership with Google), advanced and intuitive browsing functionalities, links to wireless phones, videos of local businesses and many other Web 2.0-type features.

About Canpages

Canpages Inc. publishes more than 70 telephone directories across Canada with a total circulation of 7.2 million. The company, headquartered in Coquitlam, British Columbia, has more than 500 employees in offices located in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia. Canpages is owned by HM Capital Partners who, recognizing the potential of this business, invested more than $110 million into growing the company's operations and markets. For more information, visit www.canpages.ca.

Note to editors/reporters:

The following materials are all available upon request:

- A backgrounder and fact sheet on Canpages

- A fun fact sheet on text messaging etiquette

- Instructions on how to use TXT 411

- Photos of the Toronto area print phone directory cover

- Photo and bio for Olivier Vincent, Canpages' President and CEO

- Screenshot of Canpages.ca functions and features

More information about TXT 411 is available at www.canpages.ca/sms

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