By the end of the 2017, locals and visitors will be able to hail rides via Lyft in Toronto, the first city outside of the U.S. that the ridehailing company is targeting. Lyft

Skift Take: In Formula One, a racecar will go where the driver's eyes go. In capitalism, a startup will go where its investors see the most potential for market share gain. In the race between Lyft and Uber in Canada, the real winner now is the consumer, thanks to discounting.

— Sean O’Neill

Lyft Inc. is expanding its ride-hailing services north of the border to Toronto, its first market outside of the U.S.

The San Francisco-based rival to Uber Technologies Inc. plans to launch in Canada’s largest city “before you know it,” the startup said in a blog post Monday. The Toronto Star said Lyft will begin services in the greater Toronto area and Hamilton, Ontario, next month to cash in on the holiday demand.

Lyft is expanding into territory that has been long occupied by Uber. But it has been gaining significant ground on its rival and is expected to grab more market share in the U.S., according to a private Lyft investor document obtained by Bloomberg last week. Meanwhile, Uber has faced a series of civil lawsuits and executive turnover.

According to the Toronto Star, about 50,000 Torontonians have downloaded the Lyft app this year, even with no service yet available.

Lyft is offering incentives for new drivers in Toronto, including a 25 percent driver bonus on all rides for the first three months for certain qualified drivers, and bonus credits of C$200 ($157) for referring friends to drive for Lyft.

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