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.
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