Global e-commerce giant Amazon has released its list of the top 20 cities in the running for the company’s second North American headquarters.
Unsurprisingly, the majority of the cities on the list are American. In fact, 19 cities are American, with a single exception: Toronto, Ontario.
The inclusion of Toronto isn’t entirely surprising, as previous reports from analysts outside of Amazon suggested that the city would certainly be a contender.
In November 2017, Bert Sperling’s BestPlaces city ranking website hypothesized that Toronto ranked 15 on a list of 64 cities that were most likely to make the cut. The only other Canadian city to make Sperling’s list was Vancouver, which placed 64th.
“Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough — all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity,” said Holly Sullivan from Amazon’s public policy team, in a January 18th, 2018 media release. “Through this process, we learned about many new communities across North America that we will consider as locations for future infrastructure investment and job creation.”
It’s important to note that Amazon’s list is alphabetical, and not organized by how likely it is that a particular municipality will be selected.
Sperling’s own list suggests that Atlanta, Georgia, might win out in the end.
Still, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Minister of Economic Growth and Development Steven Del Duca issued positive statements about Amazon’s announcement.
“The Government of Ontario welcomes the news that Amazon has placed the Toronto Region on its shortlist as a potential site for HQ2, with the promise of as many as 50,000 ongoing and well-paying jobs,” reads an excerpt from a January 18th, 2018 Government of Ontario media release. “Of the more than 238 bidding cities across North America, Toronto stands out as an ideal destination with its talented and educated workforce, leading research and educational institutions, competitive investment climate, outstanding quality of life and vibrant, diverse communities.”
Additionally, Toronto Global — the Toronto-region consortium helping coordinate the city’s bid — issued a statement as well.
“On behalf of all the Mayors and Chairs of the Toronto Region and our partners in Waterloo Region and Guelph, we are thrilled that our bid to attract Amazon’s HQ2 will be moving to the next stage in the selection process,” reads an excerpt from a January 18th, 2018 statement by Toronto Global chair Mark Cohon, vice chair Janet Ecker and CEO Toby Lennox. “It is an unmistakable signal that our region is regarded by the finest and most forward-looking employers from around the world as one of the very best destinations for investment and expansion.”
For their part, former Wind Mobile (now Freedom Mobile) founder and CEO Anthony Lacavera and Lavalife co-founder and The Disruptors co-host Bruce Croxon both believe that Amazon shouldn’t open up its second North American headquarters in Toronto.
Update 18/01/2018: Story updated with additional quotes from statements by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Economic Development and Growth Steven Del Duca as well as members of Toronto Global.