Hipness a priority for Amazon: Tory
TORONTO — arts, culture and other quality-of-life issues were top of mind for amazon.com officials in discussing toronto as a possible location for its second headquarters with the city’s mayor.
Housing affordability, immigration and transit were also hot topics in the talks earlier this year, Mayor John tory said.
“they spent what some people would probably find a surprising amount of time on what we’ll call, the sort of arts and culture, the general kind of life in the city,” tory said at an interview at bloomberg’s toronto offices. “and this as a livable city.”
toronto is the only city outside of the u.s. to make the shortlist for amazon’s second headquarters.
dubbed HQ2, the company said the development is slated to cost more than $5 billion and create 50,000 jobs.
tech is already booming in North america’s fourthbiggest city, with firms including Microsoft, uber technologies and Shopify announcing plans for thousands of jobs in the past few months.
choosing toronto would provide a hedge against increasingly restrictive u.s. immigration policies, a big concern of tech companies since the election of donald trump as president; investing that much investment outside the country could also raise his ire.
the mayor said amazon was “inscrutable” in terms of disclosing whether toronto was a serious contender.
Still, he said amazon was “very flattering” about the diversity and depth of the city’s talent base, many of which have made their way south to the company’s u.s. operations, tory said.