Canadian Cities Vie to be the Next Amazon Hub

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Amazon is searching for a home for their new $5 billion North American headquarters—and mayors across Canada were quick to throw their city’s name into the race.

The e-commerce behemoth announced yesterday the company’s plans to build a second headquarters–what they’ve dubbed HQ2—and said they’re welcoming bids from cities in both the U.S. and Canada.

Canadian mayors have already declared their interest in hosting the new 8.1 million-square-foot Amazon campus that would create more than 50,000 jobs and bring a massive boost to a city’s economy.

Toronto mayor John Tory tweeted the city is a “prime candidate” for Amazon’s HQ2 and that he’s “leading the charge” with the city and Toronto Global on an attractive bid.

We are a bold, innovative city that has plenty of homegrown tech talent. We continue to attract talent & companies from around the world.

— John Tory (@JohnTory) September 7, 2017

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said his city is a “top contender” for the campus.

“In the heart of the Cascadia Tech Corridor and close to their American HQ, Vancouver’s world-class tech ecosystem is chock-full of top talent, a prime gateway for international business, a green economy hub, and consistently rated as a top liveable city thanks in large part to our outstanding transportation system,” said Robertson in a statement.

Mayor Denis Coderre tweeted his support for a Montréal bid and expressed his intentions to make a pitch.

Truely believe that our great city is a perfect fit @amazon‘s (@amazonnews)2nd headquarters North America. Mtl will certainly answer HQ2 RFP pic.twitter.com/f8nH4WKgzk

— DenisCoderre (@DenisCoderre) September 7, 2017

Calgary’s mayor Naheed Nenshi said in a Twitter video that he cannot imagine a “better place” than Calgary for the Amazon investment.

“Access to transportation, logistics; we’re such an important inland port, availability of outstanding space both downtown and suburban… And most important, a highly educated workforce that can absorb the very intricate and technical needs of the organization,” said Nenshi.

Local technology leaders across Canada also expressed their interest and jumped at the chance to make a case for why their city outranks others.

Invest Ottawa’s Blair Patacairk told the Ottawa Business Journal that the nation’s capital has many advantages, citing Amazon’s existing relationship with the city and its Ottawa office, the ability to draw tech talent, available space for a massive campus and the city’s high quality of life.

Mayor Jim Watson has supported Invest Ottawa’s pitch. In a statement, the Ottawa mayor said the city fits Amazon’s criteria, including an educated workforce, strong research and innovation ecosystem, and a Light Rail Transit system set to be complete in 2018.

Amazon has laid out several criteria it will use to evaluate which city is the best fit for the HQ2 including operating costs, labour force, cultural community fit and quality of life.

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