British Columbia

Amazon says thanks, but no thanks Vancouver

E-commerce giant has announces a short list of 20 cities — including Toronto — which will now vie to become home to Amazon HQ2.

Toronto the only Canadian city to make shortlist of 20 locations for e-commerce giant's 2nd headquarters

The Amazon logo is displayed at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York's Times Square. Vancouver did not make the cut of 20 cities which the company will consider for its second headquarters. (Richard Drew/The Associated Press)

Vancouver's bid to land Amazon's second headquarters has fallen short.

The e-commerce giant has announced a short list of 20 cities which will now vie to become home to Amazon HQ2. Toronto is the only Canadian city to make the cut. The other 19 are located in the United States.

Greg Moore, Chair of Metro Vancouver and Mayor of Port Coquitlam says he is disappointed.

Toronto is the only Canadian city to make Amazon's short list of 20. (Jennifer Lee/CBC)

"It would have been a great opportunity for our region to have that type of employer here, but at the same time Amazon already has quite a presence here in Vancouver. They employ over 1,400 people and they plan on growing that," said Moore.

Too close to Seattle?

Moore speculated that because many of the finalist cities are on the East Coast, Amazon may have an interest in geographically diversifying from its West Coast Seattle base. 

He said part of the Vancouver pitch was focused on leveraging the proximity of Vancouver to Seattle.

In a statement, the coordinating agency behind the Vancouver bid congratulated Toronto and the other shortlisted cities.

"We continue to stand 100 per cent behind the metro Vancouver proposal — the result of an unprecedented effort in regional economic development — which fully demonstrates what Vancouver has to offer any business that chooses to make this region its home," reads the release from the Vancouver Economic Commission.

VEC spokewoman Ingrid Valou said the commission would be releasing the bid document at a future date. She did not have the final figures on how much the bid cost.

In Sept. 2017 the provincial government kicked in $50,000 to support Vancouver's bid campaign. 

Canadian losers

The City of Langford on Vancouver Island also submitted a bid, as did Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Sault Ste. Marie, Windsor, Hamilton, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax.

Besides Toronto, the other cities on the Amazon HQ2 short list are:

  • Boston.
  • New York City.
  • Newark, N.J.
  • Chicago.
  • Washington D.C.
  • Raleigh, N.C.
  • Northern Virginia.
  • Atlanta.
  • Miami.
  • Columbus, Ohio.
  • Los Angeles.
  • Dallas.
  • Austin, Texas.
  • Philadelphia.
  • Pittsburgh.
  • Indianapolis.
  • Denver.
  • Nashville.
  • Montgomery County, Md.

The company estimates Amazon HQ2 will employ up to 50,000 people in high paying positions.

Amazon said it received 238 applications in total and that it expects to make a final decision this year.

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