Buffalo and Rochester face cross-border competition for Amazon

Oct 23, 2017

Rochester and Buffalo have teamed up to make a bid for Amazon’s second North American headquarters. Billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs are at stake. But the New York bid will get stiff competition from north of the border.

Toronto mayor John Tory says his city is a prime candidate and he is leading the charge to make the case.

Credit amazon.com

Amazon announced in September that it is looking for a site for a new headquarters and will spend more than $5 billion to build it. When completed, the new HQ2 will house as many as 50,000 employees.

Interested cities had until last Thursday to file their applications, through a special website. Amazon says it won’t make its final decision until next year.
City staff in Toronto have been working with a new agency called Toronto Global, which is aimed at attracting global investment to their community.   
‘The staggering growth that we’re starting to see in the tech sector here is actually outpacing that you’re going to be seeing in New York and you’re going to be seeing in Silicon Valley," said Toby Lennox, the CEO of Toronto Global. He filed his 200-page bid last week and says Toronto’s bid cannot be ignored.
‘The talent, the costs, the growth. You match that with the breadth of opportunity we’re offering in the Toronto region and I really think that we’re offering Amazon everything that they require from stability, excellent taxation, excellent business climate, a supported business, access into the United States," Lennox said. "So, as a package, Toronto and Ontario is, without fail, what Amazon is looking for," Lennox added.
To increase its chances, the bid includes the Greater Toronto Region, which stretches from Kitchener-Waterloo to the Durham region, an area of about 6.5 million people.

But Toronto is not the only Canadian city vying for the Amazon headquarters. Bids have also come from Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton and Calgary.