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Qcloud, the cloud arm of Chinese Internet giant Tencent, is opening its first North American cloud center - in a building that once housed the security for G20 World Summits in Toronto.

The Chinese service provider is now offering cloud services to Chinese enterprises growing their business in North America, as well as customers from North America and other parts of the world, from a data center near Toronto, according to Chinese news site IT168. Sources say Tencent is renting space from a “high-end data center provider”, which is pretty clearly Canadian telecoms and data center provider Cogeco.

Secure facility 

cogeco toronto barrie
Toronto – Cogeco

The Qcloud services will be provided from space in a data center in Barrie, in the Northern outskirts of Toronto. The building once served as the National Comprehensive Security Building (of Canada) and as the Security Command Center for the series of World Summits that took place in the city. It is also hosted Canada’s first public cloud, according to reports. 

Toronto is experiencing a boom as a data center hub, and the Cogeco site claims to be constructed to “Tier III+ standards”, with high bandwidth network resources, and speedy connections to Europe, the Middle East and - of course - China. 

The site uses Schneider’s Ecobreeze cooling system, which combines fresh air cooling, free water-based cooling and compressor cooling. When the environmental temperature falls to a certain point, the system will be automatically switched to free cooling mode. Toronto’s cool climate means the facility can use free cooling for 330 days each year, achieving a PUE of 1.2, which makes it one of the most energy efficient sites in North America.

In the Barrie site, the Qcloud data center shares space, technical architecture, and operation expertise with Tencent’s existing North America data center which was built in 2013 to provide overseas support for the Chinese Internet giant’s applications including the very successful QQ online chat and WeChat instant messaging services, which have more than 100 million. 

Once the Qcloud data center in North America is online, Qcloud is also expected to offer cloud services to those global QQ and WeChat customers.

Chinese Internet players are expanding into North America, with Alibaba opening a data center in Silicon Valley in March 2015. Tencent’s expansion has included a Hong Kong cloud data center opened in July 2014.

Read more news on our Chinese language site!