What is the current state of the data center market in your region?

The growth in the Canada data center market is driven by the key characteristics that have made the province of Quebec very attractive for digital infrastructure investments in general: green energy, competitive power rates, cold climate, and a good fiber optic network.

What are the key drivers and goals of the data center business in your region? 

The digital transformation of the government and the private sector combined with the democratization of AI are some of the main drivers of data center growth in Canada. It should be noted that important credit programs have been put in place to accelerate this transformation on the private sector side, with the objective of improving productivity and partially solving the problem of labor shortage.

What benefits does the local area recognize from the industry?

From a governmental point of view, there is a recognition of the importance of data centers in the value chain of the digitalization of the economy. Moreover, the jobs data centers create fit very well into the government’s strategy, which aims to develop the economy around high-paying jobs that will stay in high demand in the future (which in turn also caters to the best interests of both the general community and the skilled workforce specifically).

Who are the biggest champions for data centers in the region?

Hydro-Québec, Montreal International, Quebec International, and Investissement Quebec are all public entities that play a key role in our success, whether it be in the search for land, permitting, the creation of tax programs, or the supply of electricity. They demonstrate that it takes a village to succeed in large-scale projects—in a similar vein as Northern Virginia with the Loudoun County Economic Development. When all the stakeholders work together to establish best practices and progress towards mutual goals, great things can be achieved.

What are the biggest advantages for your location as a data center cluster?

There are many advantages that contribute to making Quebec—and Canada overall—a world data center hub. A few of these include: being a green energy base that sits on one of the most reliable and efficient infrastructures in North America (including a world-class fiber optic network); having competitive land, construction and utility rates; possessing a regularly cold climate; and having access to a specialized workforce and the strategic location between the United States and Europe.

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