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Could Markham or Vaughan land Amazon's second global HQ?

York Region cities among 10 GTA sites in Toronto bid for global giant headquarters
Oct. 20, 2017
By Tim Kelly

Global giant Amazon could locate its mammoth new headquarters and the 50,000 jobs that come with it in Vaughan or Markham it was revealed Thursday.

The Vaughan Metropolitan Centre and Markham Downtown were two of 10 GTA sites highlighted in a 185-page submission sent to Amazon by the Toronto bid eager to land Amazon's second global headquarters.

Dubbed Amazon HQ2, the Seattle-based company is eager to expand into a second North American market and set an Oct. 19 deadline for bids from metropolitan cities eager to host the jobs and $5 billion investment that comes with it.

To date, more than 100 cities have sent in bids, almost all of them from the United States.

So the GTA bid, which includes sites in Milton, Burlington, Oakville, Mississauga, Brampton, Pickering, Ajax, Toronto as well as Vaughan and Markham, is in tough.

Amazon has stated it needs a footprint of up to eight million square feet for its headquarters, limiting the available sites. That's more than twice the size of the parking lot at Canada's Wonderland parking.

In Vaughan, the site falls in the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre on lands that were previously targeted for a potential casino.

In Markham, the land pegged for Amazon's headquarters would lie just east of current developments, north of the 407 and south of Enterprise Road.

York Region Chairman Wayne Emmerson touts York Region in the bid by highlighting its high-tech workforce and its focus on technology, a natural fit for Amazon.

"York Region has the highest concentration of technology companies in the country and is already a top Canadian headquarter location for global companies such as IBM, AMD, Huawei, Honda, Toshiba, J&J, BMW, Allstate and Adidas. As Ontario's fastest-growing large municipality, we are committed to creating world-class communities that attract and retain top global talent," he said.

There is no firm date for when the company will announce the winning bid.