City plans ‘blockbuster’ Amazon bid
In its strategy of presenting a united front to beat out fierce competition for Amazon’s second North American headquarters, Toronto is partnering with three other municipalities and two mayors to put forward a single, regional bid.
Three mayors — Toronto’s John Tory, Mississauga’s Bonnie Crombie and Brampton’s Linda Jeffrey — and chairpersons of the Durham, Halton and York regions have joined forces in the bid.
The municipalities are part of Toronto Global, a new agency working to bolster efforts to attract foreign direct investment to the region.
Amazon is the agency’s first major project, and one that Tory believes is unparalleled in Canada when considering its possibility to generate tens of thousands of jobs, billions of dollars in investment and potentially massive spinoffs.
Seattle-based Amazon announced its search for a home for “Amazon HQ2” on Sept. 7. The tech giant is poised to invest “more than $5 billion (U.S.) in construction and grow this second headquarters to include as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs.”
“It’s going to be a blockbuster bid because it’s going to have the region bidding, hopefully with some people who aren’t technically part of Toronto Global joining us,” Tory said.
Though Global Toronto was conceived to include the immediate GTA at the time of its launch in February, Tory said he hopes to partner with cities such as Waterloo and Hamilton in this bid and for future projects.
Tory said the timing of this agency was perfect for the Amazon bid, but creating a regional partnership to entice foreign investors is something he has been working on for years.
“It was about actually deciding that when we went forward to attract foreign direct investment, which this is, that we would do it as a region because we were stronger together,” Tory said.