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Face the Bear: Toronto’s Response to Amazon HQ2

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on September 21, 2017

Hiker unexpectedly meets a bear in the woods (NPS Photo / Jake Bortscheller)
To attract Amazon’s HQ2 to Toronto, we need to make our city look as large as possible (NPS Photo / Jake Bortscheller)

If you unexpectedly meet a bear in the woods, you should remain calm, speak firmly, and make yourself look bigger. Stand-up tall, raise your hands above your head. Make the bear think you are as large as possible. This is also good advice when trying to attract a new business like Amazon’s HQ2.

The Toronto Urban Region, or Greater Golden Horseshoe, is one of the most dynamic, well-educated, resilient, and well-managed cities in the world (believe it or not). A big challenge the Region has though is presenting a united figure, showing off to our full extent.

Combined, Toronto Region’s eleven universities are the best in the world. With an additional 20 colleges, there is likely not a better trained and educated workforce in the world. A transportation system integrated across the Region could connect more than 7 million people in less than 45 minutes and another 3 million within another 20 minutes (with less than 250 grams of carbon dioxide emission per trip).

The entire Region would benefit from Amazon HQ2 regardless of where it specifically locates. The entire Region should present a common, combined community. Together we make an impressive showing.

Add in restaurants, film and theatre, golf courses, beaches, proximity to cottage and canoe country, and great craft beer and the big picture is truly big.

Meeting a bear on a forest trail clears the mind very quickly. Past grievances and grudges disappear. Everyone in the party cooperates.

Meeting a proposal like Amazon HQ2 should be the same. Together, the Toronto Region is the best option for companies like Amazon.

Filed under: Sustainability 101