Dallas among the finalists for Amazon's HQ2

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Toronto was the only Canadian city to make the list, alongside 19 mainly megatropolis-type USA cities like Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia.

"Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough-all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity", a spokeswoman for Amazon said in a statement.

Company officials said they will now move into the next phase of selection and start communicating more directly with officials from finalist cities.

In the run up to the formal proposal deadline, Calgary Economic Development released a series of ads espousing the benefits of opening up Amazon's HQ2 in the city. Some surprise candidates included Columbus, Ohio, and Indianapolis.

Amazon said it chose from among 238 submissions and will work with each location in the coming months to dig deeper into the proposals and plans to make a decision by the end of the year.

A year ago the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce submitted a bid throwing Austin's hat in the ring for Amazon's HQ2.a second headquarters.

Amazon, now based in Seattle, says it will spend $5 billion for HQ2, bringing up to 50,000 high-paying jobs to the city it selects.

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Even if Amazon did "give serious consideration" to Northwest cities bidding for a shot at the retail giant's second headquarters, known as HQ2, it still passed.

"As the Toronto Global submission highlights, Mississauga's downtown site (adjacent to the Square One Shopping Centre) has immediate proximity to the City Transit Hub that provides direct access to GO Transit rail and bus services, along with light rail and bus rapid transit stops, a regional bus station, and local bus services". Amazon has trimmed down its list to just 20 cities.

Greg Moore, Chair of Metro Vancouver and Mayor of Port Coquitlam says he is disappointed. "We are confident of some exciting announcements in the future and together, as a region, we are hopeful that we will land the next Amazon soon".

The D.C. metro area is one step closer to potentially being home to Amazon's second US headquarters. Newark, New Jersey is reportedly offering Amazon up to $7 billion in tax breaks.

Several said they don't want their competitors to know what they're offering, a stance that open-government advocates criticized.

Lopez also noted an Eastern United States' slant on the finalists' list.

And he also said the cost of the bid would be hard to determine, but it was not a significant amount because much of the work was done by people whose salaries were already included in existing budgets.