Toronto was thrilled when it landed on Amazon’s shortlist for their HQ2 headquarters this spring. It was the only Canadian city to make the list of 20, which was an achievement in itself. While Amazon ultimately ended up splitting their HQ2 location between Long Island City, New York and Crystal City, Virginia, it seems like Toronto is still going to be getting a share of Amazon’s love.
It was just announced that Amazon opened up a brand new office in downtown Toronto. The Seattle based e-commerce giant officially opened up a brand new 113,000 square-foot office within Scotia Plaza.
No one was aware of Amazon’s expansion until their announcement this morning, December 18th. Ontario premier Doug Ford attended the opening ceremony at the new Scotia Plaza office on King Street between Yonge and Bay.
This new office is technically an expansion of the company’s existing Toronto Tech Hub, which currently has an office of 800 employees at 120 Bremner Boulevard. This new office signals Amazon’s desire to grow within Canada.
Amazon is not the only tech company to set its sights on Toronto. Toronto created more tech jobs than even Silicon Valley in 2017, with an addition of 29,000 total jobs. Google also announced a few months ago that it plans on moving their Canadian headquarters to the city. Amazon’s expansion in Toronto further emphasizes the city’s position as the “Silicon Valley of Canada”.
In addition to the new office, Amazon also announced it plans on creating at least 600 more corporate jobs in Toronto. This comes just after the company announced they would be opening up another Amazon fulfillment center just outside of Edmonton, Alberta. The company has previously said it hopes to create around 6,000 jobs for Canada in total. For their new Toronto office, Amazon said they’re looking to hire in the fields of software development, machine learning, cloud computing, digital advertising, and artificial intelligence.
Not everyone will be happy about this sudden announcement. Many residents were concerned about how Amazon’s HQ2 would impact Toronto’s real estate market. San Francisco currently has an affordable housing crisis, which many credit large tech companies such as Amazon for creating.
The good news is that Amazon’s new office is a more gentle expansion of the company’s existing presence. They also seem to be looking to hire local talent, meaning they won’t be bringing in more competition for Toronto’s hot real estate. The city already has high prices and low availability; a larger office from Amazon likely won’t exasperate that issue much more.
Overall, Amazon’s expansion in Toronto will likely benefit the city and nation as a whole. “Amazon’s expansion of its Toronto Tech Hub underscores the incredible tech talent we have in our city, and jobs like these allow us to retain and attract high tech talent locally,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory in a statement provided by Amazon. “Thank you Amazon for choosing to grow in Toronto, and we look forward to working with you as a key partner in Toronto’s innovation ecosystem.”