Latest News

Durham Region is Amazon’s right choice for a bright future

Re: Does Durham has what it takes? – Oshawa Express. Jan. 31/2018

Dear editor,

Recently, Amazon announced the Toronto Region as the only Canadian city to be chosen as a top 20 finalist for their second corporate headquarters (HQ2)—a bid that includes two sites in Durham Region.

Durham Region’s smart, resilient and inclusive community radiates innovation; an ecosystem fuelled by a talented and educated workforce that uses collaboration to help spark new ideas and strengthen our competitive advantage.

We offer access to a talented workforce; outstanding quality of life; affordable real estate (housing market, commercial and industrial land); strong transportation options; and competitive development charges.

As part of the HQ2 bid, the two Durham Region sites are appropriately zoned and serviced; readily available to accommodate Amazon’s requirements.

However, it takes more than just a zoning regulation. It takes great infrastructure, transportation and a place people are proud to call home—all of which was displayed to Amazon via this process.

Durham Region is one of the fastest growing communities in Canada. Our council invests millions of dollars every year to ensure our water, sewer and roads are safe and reliable. And, we are home to four of Canada’s top 100 infrastructure projects.

Our Transportation Master Plan strategically outlines the policies, programs and infrastructure improvements required for our future transportation needs. As part of this plan, we also focus on cycling lanes and carpool lots as alternate options.

Our integrated transit system is guided by a service strategy that identifies capacity increases, service expansions, reliability enhancements, and growth projects for the future. It was the result of this work that several high-profile GO Transit projects were scheduled for our region, including bus rapid transit; the East Rail Maintenance Facility; new and improved pedestrian bridges at the Ajax and Pickering stations; and the extension of train service to Bowmanville.

Through our advanced transportation network, businesses can reach national and international markets. Highways 401 and 407 move people and goods throughout the Greater Toronto Area; an extensive rail network allows for expansion into North American markets; the deep water shipping port with access to the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Oshawa Executive Airport provide international connections; and the designated federal airport lands in Pickering will be a major economic driver, contributing to a prosperous future.

While great infrastructure attracts investment and new business, it is the strength of our partnerships that drive success. Exceptional market-driven post-secondary options in Durham Region are the key reason why we can boast such a talented and educated workforce.

Both the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Durham College are rising to meet industry demands across the STEM sector, driving innovation, and the development of smart communities through research and collaboration.

To learn more about the Durham Region sites within the HQ2 bid, visit the region’s Amazon HQ2 proposal website at durham.ca/amazon.

Brian Bridgeman

Commissioner of Planning and Economic Development

The Regional Municipality of Durham