Whistler, British Columbia

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Resort Municipality of Whistler
Resort Municipality
Whistler Panorama

Logo
Whistler, British Columbia is located in British Columbia
Resort Municipality of Whistler
Location of Whistler in British Columbia
Coordinates: 50°7′15″N 122°57′16″W / 50.12083°N 122.95444°W / 50.12083; -122.95444
CountryCanada
ProvinceBritish Columbia
RegionSea to Sky Country
Regional DistrictSquamish-Lillooet
Settled1914 by Myrtle and Alex Philip
Incorporated as a Resort Municipality1975
Government
 • MayorNancy Wilhelm-Morden
 • ManagerMike Furey
 • Governing bodyWhistler Town Council
 • MPJohn Weston
 • MLAJoan McIntyre
Area
 • Resort Municipality240.40 km2 (92.82 sq mi)
Elevation670 m (2,200 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Resort Municipality9,824
 • Density40.9/km2 (106/sq mi)
 • Urban7,699[1]
Time zonePST (UTC-8)
Postal code spanV0N
Websitehttp://www.whistler.ca
 
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This article is about the resort municipality. For the ski resort operation see Whistler Blackcomb.
Resort Municipality of Whistler
Resort Municipality
Whistler Panorama

Logo
Whistler, British Columbia is located in British Columbia
Resort Municipality of Whistler
Location of Whistler in British Columbia
Coordinates: 50°7′15″N 122°57′16″W / 50.12083°N 122.95444°W / 50.12083; -122.95444
CountryCanada
ProvinceBritish Columbia
RegionSea to Sky Country
Regional DistrictSquamish-Lillooet
Settled1914 by Myrtle and Alex Philip
Incorporated as a Resort Municipality1975
Government
 • MayorNancy Wilhelm-Morden
 • ManagerMike Furey
 • Governing bodyWhistler Town Council
 • MPJohn Weston
 • MLAJoan McIntyre
Area
 • Resort Municipality240.40 km2 (92.82 sq mi)
Elevation670 m (2,200 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Resort Municipality9,824
 • Density40.9/km2 (106/sq mi)
 • Urban7,699[1]
Time zonePST (UTC-8)
Postal code spanV0N
Websitehttp://www.whistler.ca
Street signs in Whistler Village.

Whistler is a Canadian resort town in the southern Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains in the province of British Columbia, Canada, approximately 125 kilometres (78 mi) north of Vancouver and 36 km (22 mi) south of the town of Pemberton. Incorporated as the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW), it has a permanent population of approximately 9,965, plus a larger but rotating "transient" population of workers, typically younger people from beyond BC, notably from Australia and Europe.

Over two million people visit Whistler annually, primarily for alpine skiing and snowboarding and, in summer, mountain biking at Whistler-Blackcomb. Its pedestrian village has won numerous design awards and Whistler has been voted among the top destinations in North America by major ski magazines since the mid-1990s. During the 2010 Winter Olympics, Whistler hosted most of the alpine, Nordic, luge, skeleton, and bobsled events, though freestyle skiing and all snowboarding events were hosted at Cypress Mountain near Vancouver.

History[edit]

Historical population
YearPop.  ±%  
19811,369—    
19862,002+46.2%
19914,459+122.7%
19967,172+60.8%
20018,896+24.0%
20069,248+4.0%
20119,824+6.2%
[2]

The Whistler Valley was formed by the pass between the headwaters of the Green River and the upper-middle reaches of the Cheakamus. It is flanked by glaciated mountains on both sides; the Garibaldi Ranges on the side that contains the ski mountains, and a group of ranges with no collective name but which are part of the larger Pacific Ranges and are essentially fore-ranges of the Pemberton Icefield. Although there are a few other routes through the maze of mountains between the basin of the Lillooet River just east, the Cheakamus-Green divide is the lowest and most direct and naturally was the main trading route of the Squamish and Lil'wat First Nations long before the arrival of Europeans. One Lil'wat legend of the Great Flood says that before the deluge, the people lived at Green Lake.[3]

The first British survey by the Royal Navy took place in the 1860s.[4] These surveyors named the mountain London Mountain because of the heavy fog and cloud typically gathering around the mountain, but the area informally acquired the name "Whistler" due to the call of the hoary marmot.[5] In the late 19th century, a trail was cut through the valley, linking Lillooet via Pemberton with Burrard Inlet via a pass from Squamish to the Seymour River. The trail was completed in 1877, but because of the difficult and unforgiving terrain, it was only used once for its intended purpose, which was to drive cattle. The area began to attract trappers and prospectors (such as John Millar and Henry Horstman) who established small camps in the area in the early 20th century. The area began to gain recognition with the arrival of Myrtle and Alex Philip, who in 1914 purchased 10 acres (4.0 ha) of land on Alta Lake and established the Rainbow Lodge. The Philips had relocated from Maine to Vancouver in 1910, and had heard rumors of the natural beauty of the area from Pemberton pioneer John Millar[disambiguation needed]. After an exploratory journey, the couple was convinced. Rainbow Lodge and other railway-dependent tourist resorts were collectively known as Alta Lake. Along with the rest of the valley bridging the Cheakamus and Green River basins, they became part of British Columbia's first Resort Municipality in 1975.

Completion of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway in 1914 greatly reduced the travel time from three days, providing ease of access from Vancouver, and the Rainbow Lodge gained a reputation as the most popular vacation destination west of the Rockies.[citation needed] The lodge was primarily a summer destination, with boating, fishing and hiking among the most popular activities, and soon other lodges began to open not just on Alta Lake, but on other valley lakes as well.

Appreciation of the outdoors was not the only activity in the valley, however. Logging was a boom industry. During the first half of the 20th century, most of the lower slopes of the surrounding mountains were cleared of old growth. At its peak, four mills were in operation, most located around Green Lake. Prospecting and trapping were pursued as well, though no claims of great value were ever staked.

Until the 1960s, this quiet area was without basic infrastructure; there were no sewage facilities, water, or electricity, and no road from Squamish or Vancouver. In 1962, four Vancouver businessmen began to explore the area with the intent of building a ski resort and bidding for the 1968 Winter Olympics. Garibaldi Lift Company was formed, shares were sold, and in 1966, Whistler Mountain opened to the public.

Later, the city was offered the 1976 Winter Olympics after selected host Denver declined the games due to funding issues. Whistler declined as well, after elections ushered in a local government less enthusiastic about the Olympics. The 1976 Winter Olympics were ultimately held in Innsbruck, Austria.

2010 Winter Olympics[edit]

A statue of Ilanaaq, mascot of the 2010 Olympics, located on Whistler Mountain

Whistler was the Host Mountain Resort of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, the first time the IOC has bestowed that designation on a community. Whistler hosted the alpine technical and speed events, the sliding events at Fitzsimmons Creek, the Nordic events in the nearby Callaghan Valley and all the Paralympic events except the opening ceremonies, sledge hockey and wheelchair curling. The Whistler Olympic and Paralympic Village (commonly referred to as the Athlete's village) housed around 2,400 athletes, coaches, trainers and officials. Post-games, the site has been turned into a new residential neighbourhood.

Bears[edit]

Steel Olympic Logo structure.

Whistler's urban landscape was specifically designed to accommodate the natural environment,[citation needed] as well as to re-mediate a large garbage dump which became today's Whistler Village which had been one of the main non-natural feeding grounds for black bear in the valley. Since the resort's development, black bear populations have gradually recovered New residents like to say "bears have begun seeking food in settled areas" but this is a tautology. It is people that are settling in Bears traditional food areas. Many of Whistler's bears have learned to do things like open car doors or hold spring-closed gates open so they can reach food. Most are relatively docile and few bear-human negative incidents have been reported. Whistler residents are strongly conservationist, and the official response has relied heavily on behaviour modification for both bears and people. Removal or killing are last resorts. The techniques being used have been studied and adopted by other municipalities with bear problems around the world.[6]

Transportation[edit]

Whistler is located on British Columbia Highway 99, also known as the "Sea-to-Sky highway", approximately 58 kilometres (36 mi) north of Squamish, and 125 km (76 mi) from Vancouver. The highway connects Whistler to the British Columbia Interior via Pemberton-Mount Currie to Lillooet and connections beyond to the Trans-Canada and Cariboo Highways.

Elite-class rail service is only provided between the Whistler railway station and North Vancouver by the Whistler Mountaineer. Regular passenger schedules are no longer available. Rail service through to Jasper is provided by the Rocky Mountaineer, using Canadian National Railway tracks from North Vancouver via Whistler and Prince George. The station for tour passengers embarking from Whistler is in the Southside area, between Nita and Alpha Lakes.

Local bus transit service is provided by the Whistler and Valley Express, which also provides service to Pemberton.

Local aviation is served by the Whistler/Green Lake Water Aerodrome, which has service to several cities in the province.

The main airport that most Whistler residents and tourists use is the Vancouver International Airport, located 140 km (87 mi) south.

Directions[edit]

Whistler is located on the Sea to Sky Highway (Highway 99), which goes from the Peace Arch Border Crossing in Surrey, British Columbia to the Cariboo Highway (Highway 97) 10 kilometres north of Cache Creek, British Columbia. North of Whistler is Pemberton, British Columbia, which is about 23 kilometres north of the mountain village. Also north is Lillooet, British Columbia, which is 122 kilometres north of Whistler. South of the village is Squamish, British Columbia, about a 53 kilometre drive. Also located south is Vancouver, which is 125 kilometres south of the village.

Climate[edit]

Whistler experiences cool wet winters, and dry warm summers. On average Whistler receives approximately 11 days with temperatures over 30 °C (86 °F), and approximately 24 days on average with temperatures falling below -10 °C (14 °F).[7]

Climate data for Whistler
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high Humidex7.812.818.838.734.83842.238.834.627.313.710.342.2
Record high °C (°F)8.9
(48)
14.3
(57.7)
19.6
(67.3)
27.8
(82)
35.6
(96.1)
35.3
(95.5)
38.8
(101.8)
38
(100)
35
(95)
26.8
(80.2)
13.6
(56.5)
9.8
(49.6)
38.8
(101.8)
Average high °C (°F)0.6
(33.1)
3.2
(37.8)
7.2
(45)
11.8
(53.2)
16.4
(61.5)
19.9
(67.8)
23.6
(74.5)
24
(75)
19.8
(67.6)
11.2
(52.2)
3.5
(38.3)
−0.2
(31.6)
11.7
(53.1)
Daily mean °C (°F)−2.1
(28.2)
−0.5
(31.1)
2.4
(36.3)
6.1
(43)
10.1
(50.2)
13.6
(56.5)
16.4
(61.5)
16.5
(61.7)
12.7
(54.9)
6.7
(44.1)
0.9
(33.6)
−2.8
(27)
6.7
(44.1)
Average low °C (°F)−4.9
(23.2)
−4.2
(24.4)
−2.3
(27.9)
0.3
(32.5)
3.8
(38.8)
7.2
(45)
9.2
(48.6)
8.9
(48)
5.6
(42.1)
2
(36)
−1.8
(28.8)
−5.4
(22.3)
1.5
(34.7)
Record low °C (°F)−28.2
(−18.8)
−24.1
(−11.4)
−18.5
(−1.3)
−7.7
(18.1)
−3.4
(25.9)
−0.7
(30.7)
0.3
(32.5)
0
(32)
−3.2
(26.2)
−14.2
(6.4)
−24.3
(−11.7)
−29.2
(−20.6)
−29.2
(−20.6)
Wind chill−29.4−37.4−21.7−1000000−22.2−31.9−30.1−37.4
Precipitation mm (inches)176
(6.93)
104.6
(4.118)
97.6
(3.843)
75.9
(2.988)
66.7
(2.626)
58.9
(2.319)
44.7
(1.76)
47.5
(1.87)
54.9
(2.161)
154.6
(6.087)
192.1
(7.563)
154.1
(6.067)
1,227.7
(48.335)
Rainfall mm (inches)84.7
(3.335)
50.2
(1.976)
55.4
(2.181)
61.2
(2.409)
65.7
(2.587)
58.9
(2.319)
44.7
(1.76)
47.5
(1.87)
54.9
(2.161)
146.7
(5.776)
131.1
(5.161)
54.8
(2.157)
855.9
(33.697)
Snowfall cm (inches)103
(40.6)
64.2
(25.28)
47.4
(18.66)
15.8
(6.22)
1
(0.4)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
7.6
(2.99)
65.7
(25.87)
114
(44.9)
418.7
(164.84)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)18.914.916.916.21513.8109.21017.319.618179.7
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm)10.68.711.614.31513.8109.21016.714.57.9142.2
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm)13.710.19.24.40.500001.49.714.663.5
 % humidity85.875.166.357.852.552.947.947.552.470.385.887.165.1
Mean monthly sunshine hours40.378.4123.2162.4207.3204.9250.6241.419410941.830.41,683.8
Percent possible sunshine15.127.633.539.443.441.950.853.851.132.615.31234.7
Source: [8]

Media[edit]

Newspapers[edit]

Whistler has two regular print news media, Pique Newsmagazine and the Whistler Question. Both of these are published every Thursday.

Radio[edit]

Call signFrequencyOwnerFormat
CFTW-FM088.7 FMFour Senses Entertainmenttourist information
CFMI-FM-1090.7 FMCorus EntertainmentClassic rock (repeater of CFMI-FM, Vancouver)
CFOX-FM-10092.3 FMCorus EntertainmentActive rock (repeater of CFOX-FM, Vancouver)
CKLG-FM-10096.9 FMRogers CommunicationsAdult hits (repeater of CKLG-FM, Vancouver)
CBYW-FM00100.1 FMCBCCBC Radio One (repeater of CBU, Vancouver)
CKEE-FM0101.5 FMFour Senses EntertainmentAdult album alternative
CISW-FM0102.1 FMRogers CommunicationsHot Adult Contemporary (repeater of CISQ-FM, Squamish)
CBUF-FM-1000103.1 FMRadio-CanadaPremière Chaîne (French) (repeater of CBUF-FM, Vancouver)

An internet radio site for the community exists at wmn.fm. It is designed to be a community radio station showcasing local music talent and interests of relative importance.

Television[edit]

Whistler has a locally produced television channel called RTOWN TV which shows visitors and locals Whistler weather, snow reports, lift status, webcams, dining and activities guide, news and entertainment. This channel is broadcast in hotel guest rooms. The owner of the company as of 2013 is Don McQuaid.

The only aerial television available are repeaters of CBUT (CBUWT channel 13), CHAN-TV (CHAN-TV-7 channel 9), CKVU-TV (CJWM-TV channel 21) and CHEK-TV (CHWM-TV-1 channel 18).

Cable television service is served by Shaw Communications, which offer most stations from the Vancouver area.

Gallery[edit]

Notes[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and population centres, 2011 and 2006 censuses: British Columbia. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 17 March 2013
  2. ^ Population 1981/1986
  3. ^ Short Portage to Lillooet, Irene Edwards, self-publ., Lillooet 1976
  4. ^ BritishColumbia.com - Whistler, British Columbia
  5. ^ BritishColumbia.com - History and Heritage of Whistler Mountain
  6. ^ Darcy Frey (25 November 2007). "The Bears Among Us". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-11-24. 
  7. ^ Environment Canada. "Whistler". Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  8. ^ "Calculation Information for 1981 to 2010 Canadian Normals Data". Environment Canada. Retrieved July 9, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°7′15″N 122°57′16″W / 50.12083°N 122.95444°W / 50.12083; -122.95444