Tag Archives: hq2

Toronto loses Amazon HQ2, but gains 600 tech jobs

Amazon said it will be looking to hire 600 technology professionals over the coming years. This is on top of 800 they already employ in Ontario’s capital.

This news comes to addition of many other tech companies like Microsoft, Facebook, and Shopify opening new offices and hiring thousands of new employees combined. Toronto can not build office towers fast enough.

Amazon is hoping to hire professionals in software development, machine learning and cloud computing fields.


Toronto office is one of the 18 tech hubs Amazon has around North America. Toronto was shortlisted down to Top 20 to be on Amazon HQ2 list but unfortunately (or fortunately) lost out to the City of New York and Arglington, Virginia.

Toronto Mayor said he was happy that hundreds of jobs are being created.

Toronto Places Second for Amazon HQ2, New Study Says

Amazon is getting ready to pick its second head office from the list of 20 cities they have shortlisted just few months ago.

Amazon officials have been visiting the 20 different cities and going over various stats for each city. If chosen, the city is bound to receive $5 billion dollars (that’s with a B) and 50,000 jobs. No one is quite sure who will get it though.

Toronto, the only Canadian city chosen, have been vying to be selected but unfortunately unlike its American counterparts is restricted from offering tax incentives.

But it is not gave over just yet, a new study published by Resonance, sees Toronto as #2 city on the list after New York. Their own analysis was based on cultural community fit, quality of life, housing affordability, recreational opportunities, business environments and the availability of talent.

However the report warned that even though Toronto is #2 on the list there are other factors that could be in play

“Canadian cities like Toronto, a place that scored very well in our analysis and has both the people and the land… are prohibited from offering the tax incentives that U.S. cities can.

Amazon’s announcement last week that they will be expanding their team in Vancouver to around 5,000 employees also makes it less likely that they would choose another Canadian city for HQ2.”

I guess we will have to wait and see.

Amazon HQ2 officials Visit Toronto

We found out that Amazon officials came to Toronto few weeks ago and stayed for 2 days. They asked questions about health care and the tech sector.

Julia Sakas , Toronto Global representative said:

“They 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.”

Amazon officials said this is a working visit and they are visiting the other 20 cities as well. We want to remind you that neither Montreal nor Vancouver made the HQ2 list, and Toronto is the only international and Canadian city.

Toronto Mayor John Tory team said

“Mayor was glad to have the opportunity to tell the Toronto Region’s unique story in person  to the officials. He told them (Amazon team) there is no other city region in North America that can boast the same talent, the same quality of life, the same vibrancy and economic strength.”

Toronto is competing against cities like Atlanta, Austin, New York and Raleigh, N.C.  Toronto is also one of the few cities that has decided not to provide financial incentive for Amazon to come here. Free government health care, open immigration policies and vast tech talent is Toronto’s main selling point.

Amazon Shortlists Toronto for their New Headquarters

Amazon just announced that it has narrowed down the list of cities to 20 for their HQ2 location. Just as a reminder, Amazon wants to spend $5 billion dollars in the city, and hire 50,000 employees there. Amazon said it will make their final decision by the end of 2018.

So the good news is Toronto, a leader in IT space in Canada, has been chosen by Amazon on their short list of 20. The bad news is, no other Canadian cities such as Monteal, Vancouver, Ottawa or Calgary have made it. Few months we have predicted that this is exactly how this will play out in our article on why we think Toronto will be either shortlisted or the city Amazon will pick for its HQ2.

The 20 Amazon short listed cities for HQ 2 are:

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Austin, TX
  • Boston, MA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Columbus, OH
  • Dallas, TX
  • Denver, CO
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Miami, FL
  • Montgomery County, MD
  • Nashville, TN
  • Newark, NJ
  • New York City, NY
  • Northern Virginia, VA
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Toronto, ON
  • Washington D.C.

Amazon overall has received 238 proposals from cities. Holly Sullivan, an executive with Amazon Public Policy, said:

“Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough – all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity.”

Now the 20 short listed cities will work closely with Amazon over the next 9-10 months to “evaluate the feasibility of a future partnership.”

Toronto Mayor John Tory Was Ecstatic

‪I’m so proud of the Toronto Region’s bold Amazon.com bid. #AmazonHQ2 ‬


So who will be chosen now?

Paddy Power, website that takes wagers on sports but ventures into politics and other topics, gives Atlanta 2-to-1 odds against winning the competition. Philadelphia is at 7-to-1, Boston at 8-to-1 and Toronto at 9-to-1.

Trump Scared Amazon, or Why Canada Might Get Amazon HQ2

You must be living under a rock if you did not hear about Amazon’s plan to add a new city to host their second head office.

Different publications, blogs and mediums have rushed to the internet with their predictions. Cities like Denver, Colorado, and Austin, TX area as well as Chicago were being highlighted as potentials for Amazon’s HQ2.

A lot of naysayers are saying that Canada can never compete with the US on kickbacks aka subsidies that US cities and states can provide to the retail’s giant.

TravelingMice / Pixabay

Why Canada has a Chance

However Canada has one thing going that US does not. We do not have Trump north of the border. And this will help Canada tremendously as US giant might want to diversify their assets, and get easier access to more talent.

Mayor Jim Watson of Ottawa on a visit to Seattle said – according to NY Times:  “Amazon has something like 9,000 engineering jobs they can’t fill. Our immigration policy is much more liberal. That’s where we have an advantage.”

Canada Can Do It

Quiet a few cities in Canada can satisfy few of Amazon’s demands. Let’s see:

  • 1m people or more – yes
  • International Airport – yes
  • Tax Breaks – maybe
  • Affordable housing – maybe
  • Attract Good talent – maybe

Size Matters

Size of course matters to Amazon and that is why med population city might be disqualified on a spot – cities like Edmonton, Calgary , Winnipeg and Ottawa. With unemployment already at 0.02% in IT, it would be interesting how mid sized cities can help Amazon to hire 50,000 top notch engineers in those cities.

Location Matters Also

Location matters also – with Seattle being HQ1, why would Amazon open HQ2 within few hundred kilometers away from HQ1. It makes no sense.

Parlez-vous Français?

Language and ability to attract highly talented staff might prove difficult for Montreal to get Amazon to come there. With governing opposition parties pushing for making French language mandatory for companies with 10 or more employees – it would be interesting to see how Amazon the largest retail ecommerce store would handle that. Also getting highly specialized talent to come to Montreal with their families would prove to be difficult due to salaries / language requirements.

Toronto is Where It is at

No matter how competitive other cities in Canada are. Toronto is where HQ2 will open if it would be open in Canada. Toronto has a vibrant economy and is already considered to be a top place for tech businesses to operate in. With population of around 5m within an hour drive and specialized tech talent – Toronto can rival any US city.