Silicon Valley applications giant Uber has announced plans to open an engineering hub in Toronto by early 2019, with plans to invest $200 million CAD (US$150 million) in Canada over the next five years.
The new investments will create hundreds of new tech and engineering jobs, says the company, and could increase it’s headcount to 500 in the city.
The engineering center — Uber’s eighth technology hub outside of the United States — will enable the development, operation, and continuous back-end systems updates that power it’s products.
The tech company is also considering an expansion of its self-driving research and development (R&D) center in Toronto, launched last year in an alliance with Raquel Urtasun, a Canadian professor and machine learning expert.
Considering the company’s statement, many foreign engineers with expertise in artificial intelligence are also working at the Toronto center.
Analysts say Uber is finding Canada more open and supportive at a time it is becoming increasingly difficult to hire skilled foreign talent in the United States.
Canada has sped up the process of issuing work permits and temporary resident visas in an attempt to ease the talent shortage in its technology sector.
In the statement, Uber says it is offering opportunities for its engineers working elsewhere in the world to relocate to Toronto. “Many have already expressed an interest to live and work in Toronto, some are Canadian and others are from elsewhere in the world.”