Amazon looking for host city to open new $5B headquarters in North America

Sep 7 2017, 10:21 pm

On Thursday, Amazon announced that it is looking to open Amazon HQ2, its second headquarters in North America.

Only catch is, it doesn’t know where yet, and is asking for proposals from cities who want to host Amazon’s second headquarters.

“We expect to invest over $5 billion in construction and grow this second headquarters to include as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs – it will be a full equal to our current campus in Seattle,” wrote the global company on its website. “In addition to Amazon’s direct hiring and investment, construction and ongoing operation of Amazon HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community.”

The company has opened its Request for Proposals (RFP) and will no doubt be hearing from a lot of North American cities. But, it’s key to note, Amazon didn’t specify it was looking for another HQ in the US, it said “North America,” which means Canada is a major contender.

And there is no doubt that Toronto should be on the forefront of this new mega project.

North America’s fastest growing tech market

The first reason Amazon should consider Toronto as its new home is that it is the fastest growing tech market in North America. According to CBRE’s annual Scoring Tech Talent Report, which ranks 50 US and Canadian markets according to their ability to attract and grow tech talent, Toronto is the only Canadian city in the top ten. Toronto moved up six spots from last year to slide into 6th place overall, largely due to its addition of 22,500 tech jobs from 2015 to 2016. That number is more added jobs than New York and San Francisco’s tech jobs combined over that same period.

One of the 10 most high-tech cities in the world

Toronto has recently been named one of the top high-tech cities in the world. A report at the World Economic Forum has selectted Toronto as the 9th top technology city among 25. According to the report, Toronto is home to 30% of Canada’s IT firms, and the majority of which have less than 50 employees. “That means there’s a crop of young companies poised to make an impact in the next decade.”

That could be you, Amazon.

The second best city in North America for quality of living

Toronto was named the 2nd best city in North America according to Mercer’s 19th annual Quality of Living survey. Not only that, but Canada was named the #1 country in the world for Quality of Life.

And Amazon, you want to be in the best place for quality of living. Think of your employees!

One of the best cities in the world for Millennials

With millennials entering the job market by storm, Toronto is one of the best cities in the world for them (us?). Young, eager, and educated talent await companies like Amazon to enter the market. Parts of the reason we rank so high for young people? Toronto’s bright startup scene – among the best in the world – access to immigration tolerance, and LGBT friendliness. All would be beneficial to Amazon’s new HQ2.

City of Toronto is committed to the tech industry

Mayor John Tory and the City of Toronto have always been committed to the tech industry, which means Amazon would be welcomed with open arms. Tory helped launch Elevate Toronto earlier this summer, which is a three-day conference showcasing the best of the Canadian innovation industry right here in Toronto. Set in September, it’s expected to attract thousands of global tech leaders.

Toronto is also already home to tech leaders like Facebook, Shopify, and guess who else? Amazon. That’s right…

You’re already halfway through the door, Amazon

In June, Amazon announced it is officially opening its new corporate office in Toronto. The announcement was made by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, and Amazon Canada already employs 600 people in the city of Toronto.

“Ontario has all the right conditions to lead the world in innovation and technology,” said Wynne in a statement at the time. “Companies like Amazon are coming to our province because of our diverse and highly skilled workers and our strong business sector. I am pleased that Amazon is expanding here — giving people well-paying, rewarding jobs and driving continued innovation in Ontario.”

So, bottom line is, Amazon’s new home should be in Toronto. This is the most innovative and inviting city for tech in North America, and Toronto would allow Amazon to continue its growth of the digital economy.

Amazon estimates its investments in Seattle from 2010 through 2016 resulted in an additional $38 billion to the city’s economy, imagine what that economic boost would look like in Toronto.

Plus, with its original HQ is in Seattle, Amazon probably doesn’t want to deal with rain anymore. No need to even think about Vancouver when it comes to HQ2. In Toronto, you can experience all four seasons, and it doesn’t rain nearly as much. Toronto is the perfect environment, physically and economically, to house HQ2.

And, one more thing, we’re big fans of banana stands.

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