Toronto has made the short list of 20 North American cities that are still in running for Amazon’s second headquarters.
Of the 238 cities that put forward bids, 12 were Canadian and only Toronto still has a chance. Amazon acknowledged that getting to the final 20 was difficult because all proposals showed enthusiasm and creativity.
At a news conference in Toronto on Thursday, Mayor John Tory celebrated the news that his city and surrounding communities remain in contention.
“We made a very conscious decision, the first chance we had and, theoretically, the only chance we had, which was round one, to say that our bid would focus on investing in people and taking what we believe to be our greatest single advantage here, which is not just our quality of life but even more so our talent pool, and through an open approach that attracts the brightest and the best from around the world to come here,” Tory said.
Tory says when the bid was made last year, he would put Toronto up against any city in North America and it met all of Amazon’s specified criteria: an area with more than a million people, ability to attract top technical talent, within 45 minutes of an international airport, direct access to mass transit and the capacity to expand the headquarters.
“Now the job for us, having made the playoffs, is to go on and make sure we get to the prize if we possibly can,” Tory said.
Tory and the Ontario minister of economic development suggested that the next step would not include any financial incentives such as offered by some cities, but would stay the course, focusing on a skilled workforce and talent pool.