Toronto is Canada’s best chance in landing the much-coveted golden goose that is Amazon’s second global headquarters.
According to a new ranking by Sperling’s Best Places, Canada’s largest city is 12th in the race based on the ranking’s compilation of 18 of the most reputable studies with lists and rankings of potential locations for HQ2.
Toronto is ranked just behind of Pittsburgh and ahead of San Jose.
None of the Canadian cities made it to the top 10.
This is followed by Calgary at 55th (tied with Suburban Maryland), Montreal at 56th, Ottawa at 61st, and Vancouver dead last at 64th.
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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