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Montreal ranked 56th most likely city to land on coveted Amazon HQ2

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Kenneth Chan Nov 20, 2017 8:00 am 233

According to a new super ranking by Sperling’s Best Places, Canada’s second largest city is 56th in the race for Amazon’s HQ2 golden goose, based on the study’s compilation of 18 of the most reputable studies with lists and rankings of potential locations for HQ2.

Montreal is ranked just behind Calgary and Suburban Maryland, which are both tied at 55th, and ahead of Chattanooga.

The Canadian city with the best chance is Toronto with a ranking of 12th. Ottawa is 61st while Vancouver is dead last at 64th.

None of the Canadian cities made it to the top 10.

Atlanta is the ranking’s clear winner, followed by Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Austin, Dallas, Denver, and New York City.

“As several pundits have pointed out, finding a metropolitan area that meets all Amazon’s criteria is not only difficult, but impossible,” said Bert Sperling with Sperling’s Best Places.

“And the HQ2 project is such a massive scale, that it can transform an area, adding missing infrastructure to meet its needs. In this unique case, conventional thinking may be a disadvantage. I expect to be surprised.”

The score the cities received in the ranking is based on the rank of each city in a study. As a result, the cities with the most points are the worst places for HQ2 while the cities with the least points are best.

Amazon’s Request for Proposals issued two months ago identified determining factors such as a minimum regional population of one million, a major international airport within close proximity, a stable business climate, a strong public transit system, a highly-educated labour pool, diverse population, a low cost of living, and a high quality of life.

A total of 238 cities and regions in North America, including many small communities such as Langford on Vancouver Island, submitted a bid for HQ2 before last month’s deadline. Amazon is expected to make a decision on its second home city sometime in 2018.

Amazon says its HQ2 will be a $5-billion investment with eight million sq. ft. of office space for 50,000 employees.

Sperling’s Best Places Super Study for Amazon HQ2

1 Atlanta 13.6
2 Boston 17.2
3 Chicago 21.7
4 Philadelphia 25.8
5 Washington DC 26.5
6 Austin 26.6
7 Dallas 27.7
8 Denver 28.3
9 New York 29.3
10 Raleigh 31.6
11 Pittsburgh 32.2
12 Toronto, Ontario 34.5
13 San Jose 34.8
14 Salt Lake City 35.7
15 San Francisco 35.9
16 Minneapolis 36.4
17 Portland 36.8
18 Nashville 37.3
19 Miami 37.4
20 Los Angeles 37.7
21 Baltimore 38.7
22 Detroit 39.6
23 Houston 39.9
24 Charlotte 40
25 Phoenix 40.9
26 San Diego 41.5
28 Rochester 42.6
28 Seattle 42.6
29 Cincinnati 42.6
31 Richmond 42.9
31 Las Vegas 42.9
32 New Orleans 43
33 Orlando 43.2
34 Indianapolis 43.3
35 Columbus 43.9
36 Jacksonville 44.2
37 St. Louis 44.4
38 Kansas City 44.7
39 San Antonio 45.6
40 Cleveland 46.8
41 Hartford 46.9
42 Memphis 47.1
43 Tampa 47.4
44 Suburban Virginia 47.6
45 Virginia Beach 47.6
46 Tucson 47.7
47 Birmingham 47.8
48 Omaha 47.8
49 Providence 48.1
50 Syracuse 48.2
51 Colorado Springs 48.2
52 New Haven 48.3
53 Westchester, NY 48.3
55 Calgary, Alberta 48.4
55 Suburban Maryland 48.4
56 Montreal, Quebec 48.6
57 Chattanooga 48.6
58 Anaheim 48.9
59 Sacramento 49.1
60 Grand Rapids 49.1
61 Ottawa, Ontario 49.2
62 Riverside 49.3
63 Newark 49.4
64 Vancouver, British Columbia 49.6

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Kenneth Chan
National Features Editor at Daily Hive, the evolution of Vancity Buzz. He covers local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation and infrastructure, and the travel industry. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]dailyhive.com

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