Amazon has narrowed the group of potential sites for its second headquarters to 20 locations and Toronto is the only Canadian city to make the list. The Seattle-based company selected the finalists from 238 proposals.

Amazon said it will spend $5 billion at the winning location and will employ 50,000 there. A final decision will be made later this year.

“We are thrilled to hear Amazon has included Toronto Global’s bid on the shortlist for its second headquarters,” said Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “Markham is proud to be a part of that bid which demonstrates our strength as a region to compete globally. We look forward to further region-wide cooperation.”

Why Markham? As the home to more than 400 Canadian head offices and the largest concentration of information and communication technology companies in Canada, the city seems to be a perfect fit. York University recently opened a new campus and a number of leading financial services and data centre companies are ready to facilitate Amazon’s future operations. As well, Markham boasts the lowest industrial and commercial tax rates in the GTA and more than 60 per cent of the residents have a post-secondary education.

Of note, Jan. 19 marks the official opening of the General Motors innovation centre to develop new technologies for its vehicles, further solidifying the city’s position as a high-tech hub.

Scarpitti adds how Markham fills all of Amazon’s needs for the location of their second headquarters.

“The tech giant wants to be near a metropolitan area with more than a million people, be within 45 minutes of an international airport, have direct access to mass transit and the ability to expand their second headquarters to as much as eight million square feet in the next decade,” he said. “Markham checks all those boxes.”