As Toronto continues its bid for Amazon’s new HQ2, Toronto Global confirms that Amazon officials were in the city recently.
Officials are visiting the 20 cities shortlisted as potential homes for Amazon’s second headquarters and were in Toronto mid-March.
According to Toronto Global, the city held two days of meetings with the officials, who were “very interested in hearing more about our tech sector and the benefits that come from our publicly funded health care and education systems.”
“It was a very productive and positive visit, and an opportunity for us to promote the incredible access to highly-skilled, highly-educated, diverse, global talent available to them in the Toronto Region,” said Julia Sakas Director, Marketing & Communications at Toronto Global, in an email.
Sakas said that because the meetings were commercial in nature, she wouldn’t be able to detail their itinerary, or who they met while they were in town.
“They’ve made it clear that these are working visits, and they’ve asked all the shortlisted cities to respect that fact – and this is typical for visits of this sort,” Sakas said. “Organizations looking to invest in a new market expect that their meetings be treated as competitive undertakings, and we always respect that.”
Toronto was one of 238 cities bidding for Amazon’s new HQ2. In Canada, bids were received from Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Sault Ste. Marie, Windsor, Hamilton, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax, Toronto, and even Langford – a suburb of Victoria.
Chicago, LA, Dallas, New York City, and Boston, among others, are all up against Toronto.
Amazon HQ2 will be Amazon’s second headquarters in North America, and the company expects to invest over $5 billion in construction and grow this second headquarters to include as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs.
Last fall, Toronto Global submitted an official 185-page bid to the online giant, which explored how the innovative and thriving city is ready to be the next home of what Amazon has coined “HQ2.”
“Throughout the visit, we remained unwavering in our message to Amazon: that the Toronto Region can offer a steady, sustainable supply of skilled talent at a cost that few others can even come close to matching,” Sakas said.
She added that what sets Toronto apart from other cities in the top 20 is Canada’s immigration system.
“As a result of our nimble immigration system, we offer access to the world’s top talent in a way that U.S. locations can’t match. We continue to reinforce what we in the Toronto Region already know: there is no better place to build, relocate and grow your business.”
Following the top 20 announcement earlier this year, Amazon said it would work with each of the candidate locations to dive deeper into their proposals in the coming months.
They expect to make a final decision sometime in 2018.