Internet retail giant Amazon announced Tuesday that it plans to expand its Toronto Tech Hub and create 600 new tech jobs in software development, machine learning, cloud computing, digital advertising, and artificial intelligence.
Amazon has opened a new 113,000 square foot office in Scotia Plaza in downtown Toronto, the company said in a press release.
Amazon already employs more than 800 people in Toronto whose primary focus is on research and software development for Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Alexa, Amazon’s virtual personal assistant, as well as business development for Amazon Advertising and AWS.
“Amazon is excited to create hundreds of new highly-skilled jobs in Toronto,” Tamir Bar-Haim, Amazon’s Toronto Site Lead and head of Amazon Advertising in Canada, said in a statement.
“Toronto has a well-educated and diverse workforce, and there’s a real culture of innovation here.”
Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Amazon’s investment is “a vote of confidence” in the province’s skilled workforce and its business environment.
“It sends a clear signal to the world that Ontario is Open for Business,” Ford said.
Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Ottawa welcomes Amazon’s investment.
“Canada is recognized globally as a leader in the innovation economy, and Amazon’s expansion of its Toronto tech hub is proof that Canada’s talented and skilled workforce has what it takes to compete and succeed,” said Morneau, who is the Liberal Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre.
Amazon’s Toronto Tech Hub is one of the company’s 18 Tech Hubs outside Seattle in North America, which together employ more than 20,000 people building new products and services for Amazon customers.
But earlier this year Toronto lost its bid to host Amazon’s next corporate headquarters, dubbed Amazon HQ2. Toronto was the only Canadian city that made it to the company’s short list to host Amazon HQ2.
Still in 2018, Amazon announced plans to create more than 6,000 new jobs in Canada, across new corporate offices in Vancouver and Toronto and four new customer fulfillment centres, basically giant warehousing and shipping operations, in Ottawa, Caledon, Tsawwassen First Nation in the Greater Vancouver Area, and Edmonton.
Since 2011, Amazon has invested more than $3 billion in Canada, including customer fulfillment and cloud infrastructure, research facilities, and compensation to its employees, the company said.