Montreal and Toronto to get a new ‘Maple Leaf Fibre’ link

Montreal and Toronto are Canada’s two hottest technology sectors and also have a high density of data centres. Now they’re getting a new fibre optic cable link connecting those resources thanks to a new collaboration between three firms.

Montreal-based Metro Optic Inc., Toronto-based Crosslake Fibre ULC, and Utilities Kingston are joining forces to build the new physical infrastructure. (Maple Leaf is a joint venture of Metro Optic and Crosslake, and Utilities Kingston is collaborating for this project.) The new strand of glass will travel overland between Montreal and Kingston, then dive into Lake Ontario for the rest of its journey to Toronto. When the project is complete, estimated for the second half of 2019, there will be new dark fibre available to a market that is demanding more bandwidth.

Montreal’s low electricity costs have proven a boon for the data centre business there, with a recent boom in the wholesale and retail hosting business. Montreal is now home to data centres that host all three major hyper scaler providers – Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform – in addition to other connectivity and service providers. With private connections between businesses and their public cloud deployments in high demand, more dark fibre will help provide that.

In a press release, Maple Leaf Fibre says it will own and operate the new cable independently and from a carrier-neutral position. Bandwidth will be sold to customers that include carriers, data centre operators, service providers, and government, among other clients.

“Canada is uniquely situated as a gateway for high-capacity data flow between Europe, the U.S. and Asia. The Montréal-Toronto route is critical to reach Europe through the Maritimes, the major U.S. trading hubs of New York and Chicago to the South, and Asia to the West,” says Michael Bucheit, Chief Executive Officer of Metro Optic, in the release.

Crosslake Fibre has another fibre project that involves submarine cables through Lake Ontario, connecting Toronto to Buffalo, New York.

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Brian Jackson
Brian Jackson
Former editorial director of IT World Canada. Current research director at Info-Tech

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