Microsoft announces Canada data centre expansion plan

Microsoft says it will invest US$500m in expanding its hyperscale cloud computing and AI infrastructure in Quebec to help the region seize AI opportunities

Microsoft has announced that it is set to invest US$500m in expanding its hyperscale cloud computing and AI infrastructure in Quebecs, aimed at reinforcing the region’s innovation economy, creating high-value jobs and preparing the province for the new AI economy.

The company’s investment is expected to increase its local cloud infrastructure footprint by 750% across Canada across the next two years.

The announcement coincides with the launch of a report from EY which found that Microsoft and its ecosystem in Quebec – which includes more than 3,200 partners and substantial cloud infrastructure accounts – supports over 57,000 jobs, and contributes more than US$6.4bn annually to its GDP. 
“Today’s announcement builds on the extensive investments Microsoft has made in Quebec and is just the latest example of our deep commitment to this province,” said Chris Barry, President of Microsoft Canada. “These investments will not only provide Quebec’s private and public sector organisations with more capacity and added resiliency to transform operations but will also enable a trusted and secure foundation to scale solutions faster to market and compete globally, securing Quebec’s future in the digital economy.”  

Expanding Quebec’s digital capacity to seize AI opportunity 

Set to expand Quebec’s computing capacity by approximately 240% over the next three years, Microsoft’s investment will also accelerate the pace of AI innovation and enable Quebec organisations to further build on the significant capacity already in place across the province – including an existing data centre region first launched in 2016. Microsoft was the first company to launch enterprise-grade, hyper-scale cloud services in Quebec. 

“This is excellent news for our economy, both in terms of its impact and to attract new investment to our region,” said Carl Viel, President and CEO of Québec International. “The fact that an innovative global company like Microsoft has chosen Quebec for a project of this magnitude demonstrates the quality of foreign investments we are able to attract. It also secures our position in future-forward fields such as cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.”   

Microsoft is set to construct new data centre locations in L'Ancienne-Lorette, Donnacona, Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures and Lévis. These locations will be designed to align with the company's sustainability goals, aiming to be carbon negative, water positive and zero waste by 2030.This includes using low-carbon materials during construction, and using renewable energy, advanced cooling features and measures to decrease diesel fuel use during operation.

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