Amazon will open its first Canadian data centre in Montreal

Web giant Amazon announced this week it will open a data centre for its AWS cloud services in Montreal - the first Amazon data centre outside the U.S. in North America.

More cloud computing companies setting up in Quebec for cheap electricity, cold climate

Quebec has been promoting the province's cheap electricity and cold climate as ideal for cooling servers in cloud data centres. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Web giant Amazon announced it will open a data centre for its AWS cloud services in Montreal – the first such data centre outside the U.S. in North America.

AWS, which stands for Amazon Web Services, offers a suite of computer services for businesses delivered over the Internet, like data storage and analytics.

In a corporate blog post, the company said the data centre will be carbon-neutral.

The Quebec government and local entrepreneurs have for years promoted the province as an attractive location for data centres. They cite cheap and plentiful hydroelectric power and the cold climate as ideal for cooling heat-generating server farms.

The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal hailed the news as proof that Montreal's IT sector is recognized worldwide.

"The arrival of such a company in Montreal will have very positive impacts on innovation and generate creative projects," Michel Leblanc, the president of the Board, said in a statement.

In June 2015, Microsoft announced it would open two data centres in Canada this year, in Toronto and Quebec City, to take advantage of the growing cloud computing market.

Tech consultancy IDC predicted Canadian firms would spend $2.5 billion more on cloud computing in 2015 and 2016.