Microsoft to build 2 new data centres in Toronto and Quebec City

Microsoft will be building two new data centres in Canada, one in Toronto and one in Quebec.

Local facilities will make it easier to do cloud computing for firms that need information housed locally

Microsoft will launch two new Canadian data centres in Toronto and Quebec City to boost its cloud computing presence. (Bogdan Cristel /Reuters)

Microsoft will be building two new data centres in Canada, one in Toronto and one in Quebec.

Kevin Turner, chief operating officer for the computing giant, made the announcement in Toronto on Tuesday alongside Toronto Mayor John Tory and Ontario Treasury Board President Deb Mathews.

Turner said the new data centres will upgrade the company's cloud computing business, which is growing by triple digits every quarter. "And we don't expect that pace to slow down," Turner said.

Tech consultancy IDC says Canadian firms are set to spend $2.5 billion more on cloud computing services this year.

Having more data centres to house that business in Toronto will help many local businesses because it addresses data residency considerations, Microsoft says.

"This substantial investment in a Canadian cloud demonstrates how committed we are to bringing even more opportunity to Canadian businesses and government organizations, helping them fully realize the cost savings and flexibility of the cloud," Turner said.

Microsoft Canada president Janet Kennedy says companies and government agencies can be confident that their data will stay in Canada and under Canadian jurisdiction.

Kennedy declined to say how many jobs would be created or how much the company was spending on the centres, but Mayor Tory estimated that more than 14,000 jobs in Toronto are connected to cloud computing.

"We're bringing Toronto into the 21st Century," Tory said. "Toronto is home to a skilled and talented work force that is ready to bring ideas to life. The City is committed to investing in state-of-the-art infrastructure that's needed to attract good jobs and fuel innovation."

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