amazon hq2 toronto

Toronto ranked second most likely to get new Amazon headquarters

Thirsty economic development officials continue to bat their eyes at Jeff Bezos this week as news circulates that Amazon is one step closer to choosing its second North American home.

Rumour has it that the CEO just finished visiting all 20 cities on the shortlist for HQ2 — a project that's expected to bring about $5 billion and 50,000 high paying jobs to whichever city gets it — but nobody seems to have a definitive clue as to what will happen and when.

It's like watching a really long season of The Bachelor play out in slow motion, except where the competitors have something real to gain (and keep a bit of their dignity. Well, most of them.)

Toronto has long been thought of as a long shot, being the only Canadian city on Amazon's shortlist.

Still, as one of just 20 locations selected from 238 total applicants, Toronto has got to have something Amazon likes. Atlanta and Dallas may be fan favourites, but we're not out of the game just yet.

The New York-based economic insights firm Resonance just released a ranking of its own for the finalists based on cultural community fit, quality of life, housing affordability, recreational opportunities, business environments and the availability of talent (an area in which Toronto is particularly well-endowed).

Based on these factors, all pulled from Amazon's original request for proposals, they found that Toronto is second only to New York City as the most-likely pick for HQ2.

"But of course there are other factors to consider such as the real estate on offer to develop this campus and the tax incentives being pitched," wrote the firm in its explanation of the ranking.

"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," it continued.

"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."

So there's that. Toronto is a great candidate for Amazon's HQ2 in every way except for one: we're too Canadian.

And people wonder where our inferiority complex comes from.

Lead photo by

Dustin William


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