TORONTO – November 13, 2018 – Mark Cohon, Chair of Toronto Global, Janet Ecker, Vice-Chair of Toronto Global and Toby Lennox, CEO of Toronto Global issued the following statement:
“Today, Amazon communicated to our offices the news that the Toronto Region will not be the future home of HQ2. While the Toronto Region was not chosen for Amazon’s HQ2, we still feel like we have won – through this process and the exposure received as a result of being the only Canadian city to make the shortlist, the Toronto Region is now on the radar screens of companies that would not have otherwise considered locating here.
Since submitting our bid, Toronto Global has added 259 companies to our pipeline, and there has been a 400 percent increase in traffic to the Toronto Global website, over 22,000 mentions of the Toronto Region on social media and nearly 16,000 mentions in online media publications. The HQ2 process has generated $143 million in Advertising Value Equivalency (AVE) across both social and online media as result of the exposure for the Toronto Region.
Other companies, especially in the tech space, have taken note: 36 companies that Toronto Global has worked with have invested in the Toronto Region since we launched operations in early 2017. In addition, Toronto received $1.4 billion in investments in the tech sector in September 2018 alone, from companies like Microsoft, Uber, Intel and Pinterest. Finally, North America’s largest tech conference, Collision, announced its relocation from New Orleans to Toronto beginning in May 2019.
The Toronto Region was one of only two cities from a total of 238 submissions that posted our bid book online and made it publicly available when it was submitted to Amazon on October 17, 2017. This approach resulted in over 17,300 downloads to date, and prompted a wide range of commercial inquiries. Many of the companies our investment attraction team has worked with in recent months have referenced our bid book as a key resource that provided an in-depth overview of the diverse business offering across the region.
The HQ2 process was challenging and unique. It offered us an opportunity to come together to highlight the region’s advantages – from Waterloo Region, to Guelph and Hamilton; and from Burlington to Clarington, and Lake Simcoe to Lake Ontario – we are an engine of top notch talent and commercial competitiveness. The data collected to respond to the RFP allowed us to offer comparisons to other North American jurisdictions and has become an invaluable resource for our team when engaging with new companies.
Our UXTO Social Media campaign targeted at the 110,000 Amazon employees across North America also generated notice worldwide, receiving recognition from LinkedIn as one of their top performing campaigns from an economic development agency in 2017, and winning two Gold Excellence in Economic Development Awards from the International Economic Development Council. As a result of this process, we are now able to leverage a truly global platform to showcase our attractiveness as a world leading destination for jobs and growth.
We would like to express our sincere appreciation to our colleagues at the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada for working closely with our team throughout this process.”
Launched in February 2017, Toronto Global is an arms-length not-for-profit corporation representing municipalities in the Toronto Region. Its mandate is to work with our municipal, provincial and federal colleagues to market the entire region to international investors by promoting the Toronto Region’s diversity of services, sectors and industries, diverse and innovative workforce and strong and stable economy to attract FDI from targeted industries around the world. Toronto Global’s work builds upon the federal and provincial government’s commitment to growing Canada’s innovation and knowledge-based economies by driving targeted, region-wide economic growth to generate quality skills, jobs and opportunities for Canadians.
Toronto Global’s team of experts provides a comprehensive, customized service to ensure a smooth transition for international companies wishing to do business in the Toronto Region. Toronto Global makes investing in the region simpler by actively researching and targeting growth sectors such as advanced manufacturing, life sciences, financial services, technology and food and beverage with a goal of bringing companies to the region to generate economic growth and create high value jobs.
The Toronto Region is the economic engine of Canada, generating 20 percent of the country’s GDP and housing 40 percent of Canada’s business headquarters. The region is a major player on the international stage, attracting business investment from all over the world. There has never been a better time to come together to build on this momentum and to bolster the region’s stellar global reputation as a safe, stable and profitable place to invest.
The region is the most multicultural in the world and home to the most skilled and highly educated workforce among countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). With our strong and diverse economy, competitive business costs, exceptional talent pool, strategic location and unmatched quality of life, the municipalities that make up the Toronto Region present a global business offering that is second to none.