THE NEW YORK TIMES ‘BUSINESS DAY’ ON WHY TORONTO MADE THE ‘PLAYOFFS’ FOR AMAZON’S HQ2

The New York Times correspondent in Canada – IAN AUSTEN – wrote “regardless of the outcome, the announcement that the city remains a contender, shows how much progress TORONTO and the surrounding region, have made in establishing themselves as a major technology centre.”

TORONTO has two important virtues, in addition to becoming a technology hub. One is Canada’s immigration policy. Mayor JOHN TORY said when he was in New York recently, he found American executives were very interested in Canada’s unlimited visa program for certain skilled workers. Visas are granted at lightning speed, compared with the complicated American system.

TORONTO’s second asset is its publicly funded university and college system. The University of Waterloo has long been recognized as a top technology school; the University of TORONTO is a major centre for research in Artificial Intelligence. The province of Ontario has increased funding for AI programs by $30-million CAD.

TORONTO’s bid proposes several potential sites for HQ2, among them the largely abandoned Docklands <ABOVE> that will include a forthcoming Google-related technology redevelopment. “We don’t know what they’re expecting from us,” said the mayor. “There has been no playbook or playoff schedule supplied to the 20 finalists.”

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