Amazon is expanding its footprint in Canada with a fulfilment centre in Ottawa that will create 600 full-time jobs.
The e-commerce giant announced Tuesday that employees at the new warehouse in the capital city's eastern suburb of Orleans will pick, pack and ship large items such as household decor, sporting equipment and gardening tools.
The warehouse will be the company's eighth in Canada, joining others in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, and a technology hub in Vancouver that is undergoing an expansion. The Ottawa announcement came as Amazon is hunting for a home for its second North American headquarters, dubbed HQ2. Toronto is the lone Canadian city still in contention to house the headquarters, whose location the company said it will announce sometime this year.
"Ontario continues to be a great place for Amazon to do business and we look forward to adding a fulfillment centre in the National Capital Region," Glenn Sommerville, Director of Amazon Operations in Canada, said in a release.
"Our ability to expand in Ontario and create more than 600 new jobs is the result of two things: incredible customers and an outstanding workforce. Amazon is committed to providing great opportunities for employment and creating a positive economic impact for the region."
The 92,900 square metre facility in Ottawa will be constructed by Broccolini, the real estate developer behind the forthcoming CBC and Radio-Canada headquarters in Montreal and a 50-storey, mixed use tower across from the Bell Centre in the same city.
Ottawa city councillor Stephen Blais said he expects construction of the facility — Amazon's fifth in Ontario — will create more than 1,500 construction jobs.
The company already employs more than 6,000 workers throughout Canada and 2,000 full-time associates at its existing Ontario facilities in Brampton, Mississauga and Milton.
Tuesday's Ottawa announcement was welcomed by a handful of politicians from all levels of government, who praised the potential economic growth it could bring to Ontario and the country.
"We applaud Amazon for making this investment and, we look forward to doing our part to help other top employers create and protect good jobs in our province," said Ontario Premier Doug Ford, in a statement. "Ontario is open for business."
Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press