Whistler, British Columbia
|Resort Municipality of Whistler|
|Region||Sea to Sky Country|
|Settled||1914 by Myrtle and Alex Philip|
|Incorporated as a resort municipality||1975|
|• Type||Elected town council|
|• Mayor||Jack Crompton|
|• Manager||Mike Furey|
|• Governing body||Whistler Town Council|
|• MP||Patrick Weiler|
|• MLA||Jordan Sturdy|
|• Total||240.40 km2 (92.82 sq mi)|
|Elevation||670 m (2,200 ft)|
|• Density||49.3/km2 (128/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC−08:00 (PST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−07:00 (PDT)|
|Postal code span|
V0N 1B0 & V8E
Whistler (Squamish language: Sḵwiḵw) is a resort municipality in the southern Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains in the province of British Columbia, Canada, approximately 125 km (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 11,854, plus a larger but rotating population of seasonal workers, typically younger people from beyond British Columbia, notably from United Kingdom, 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.
The Whistler Valley is located around 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.
The first British survey by the Royal Navy took place in the 1860s. 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. 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 rumours of the natural beauty of the area from Pemberton pioneer John Millar. 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. 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.
For skiing, the different run difficulties (easiest to hardest) are Green (circle), Blue (square), Black (diamond), Double Black (diamond). Throughout the year each run's difficulty stays the same.
1968 and 1976 Winter Olympic bids
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 town, then still known as Alta Lake, was offered the 1976 Winter Olympics after the selected host city Denver declined the games due to funding issues. Alta Lake 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
Whistler was the Host Mountain Resort of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games, the first time the International Olympic Committee 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 Cheakamus Crossing.
Whistler is located on British Columbia Highway 99, also known as the "Sea to Sky Highway", approximately 58 km (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 at the Whistler railway station between Vancouver and Jasper 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.
Vancouver International Airport
Pemberton Regional Airport
Pemberton Regional Airport (ICAO: CYPS) is a public airport serving Pemberton and Whistler. It is the closest airport for fixed wing non-amphibious aircraft and is 38 minutes north of Whistler. There are no scheduled flights but three charter services operate out of the airport.
Whistler (Municipal) Heliport
Whistler (Municipal) Heliport (TC LID: CBE9) is a public heliport operated by the Whistler Heliport Society. Currently there are no scheduled flights but charter services to/from Vancouver International Airport, Vancouver/Harbour (Public) Heliport and Victoria Harbour (Camel Point) Heliport (TC LID: CBF7) are available.
Whistler/Green Lake Water Aerodrome
Whistler/Green Lake Water Aerodrome (ICAO: YWS, TC LID: CAE5) is a public floatplane base owned and operated by Harbour Air Group and Whistler Air. Seasonal scheduled flights are provided by Harbour Air Seaplanes and West Coast Air to Victoria Inner Harbour Airport and Vancouver Harbour Water Airport. The seaplane base is located at the Nicklaus North subdivision on the South end of Green Lake.
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 km (6.2 mi) north of Cache Creek, British Columbia. North of Whistler is Pemberton, British Columbia, which is about 23 km (14 mi) north of the mountain village. Also north is Lillooet, British Columbia, which is 122 km (76 mi) north of Whistler. South of the village is Squamish, British Columbia, about a 53 km (33 mi) drive. Also located south is Vancouver, which is 125 km (78 mi) south of the village.
Whistler has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb). It has cold wet winters, and drier, 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).
|Climate data for Whistler|
|Record high humidex||7.8||12.8||18.8||38.7||34.8||38.0||42.2||38.8||34.6||27.3||13.7||10.3||42.2|
|Record high °C (°F)||8.9
|Average high °C (°F)||0.6
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−2.1
|Average low °C (°F)||−4.9
|Record low °C (°F)||−28.2
|Record low wind chill||−29.4||−37.4||−21.7||−10||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||−22.2||−31.9||−30.1||−37.4|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||176.0
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||84.7
|Average snowfall cm (inches)||103.0
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)||18.9||14.9||16.9||16.2||15.0||13.8||10.0||9.2||10.0||17.3||19.6||18.0||179.7|
|Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm)||10.6||8.7||11.6||14.3||15.0||13.8||10.0||9.2||10.0||16.7||14.5||7.9||142.2|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm)||13.7||10.1||9.2||4.4||0.5||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||1.4||9.7||14.6||63.5|
|Average relative humidity (%) (at 15:00 LST)||85.8||75.1||66.3||57.8||52.5||52.9||47.9||47.5||52.4||70.3||85.8||87.1||65.1|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||40.3||78.4||123.2||162.4||207.3||204.9||250.6||241.4||194.0||109.0||41.8||30.4||1,683.8|
|Percent possible sunshine||15.1||27.6||33.5||39.4||43.4||41.9||50.8||53.8||51.1||32.6||15.3||12.0||34.7|
|Source: Environment Canada|
The wet West Coast marine temperate climate in the valley floor is characterized by a coniferous mixed forest, with a preponderance of western red cedar—a continuation of the rainforest of the Pacific Northwest.
The slopes are slightly drier and are also coniferous mixed forest with western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) and mountain hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana), Whistler hybrid spruce (Sitka spruce and Engelmann spruce). The last is
...a hybrid spruce that is unique to Whistler, aptly dubbed the "Whistler Spruce." The Whistler spruce hybrid is indicative of Whistler's geographic position—we're not quite coastal, but not quite interior.— Robyn Goldsmith, Getting to know Whistler's trees - Museum Musings
A hybrid of the wetter West Coast Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) - that ranges from Northern California to Alaska and the drier Interior Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii). Others include the Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta), endangered whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis).
The higher slopes transition to many species of scrub juniper, Rocky Mountain Juniper (Juniperus scopulorum), and many species of scrub willow in the genus Salix at the tree line, and to Arctic tundra like conditions in the high alpine above the tree line.
Both the valley floor and the mountain sides are characterized as mixed forest, predominantly conifers, but with a peppering of a few deciduous trees like the Pacific dogwood (Cornus nuttallii), locally extinct Pacific crabapple (Malus fusca) or Pryus fusca, bitter cherry (Prunus emarginata), pin cherry (Prunus pensylvanica), choke cherry (Prunus virginiana), Red Alder (Alnus rubra), Sitka Alder (Alnus sinuata), Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera), big leaf maple (Acer macrophyllum), Douglas maple (Acer glabrum)
Whistler was clear cut twice in succession. So it is not an old growth rain forest with 1,000s of species, but a mere plantation with only 100 species. The Oregon Grape Mahonia aquifolium (AKA hollyleaved barberry)  and Highbush Cranberry Viburnum opulus were accidentally re-introduced as escaped landscaping plants, and may all be Oregonian Subspecies. All the wild Pacific crabapples Malus fuscawere AKA Pyrus rivularis Douglas and AKA Pyrus fusca were dug up by Pemberton Pioneers for grafting Rootstock. It is unclear whether the Chickasaw Plum, Prunus americana was indigenous, or introduced by Indigenous Transcontinental Trade Networks or later Western Contact. All the wild Plums were dug up too by Pemberton Pioneers for fruit trees to transplant and as rootstock. Once abundant on the forest floor, Lingonberry Vaccinium vitis-idaea is no longer found because of the loss of habitat through the clear-cutting.
The School District 48 Sea to Sky operates public schools in Whistler. There are two elementary schools, Myrtle Phillip Elementary and Spring Creek Elementary. There is one high school in the community, it is named Whistler Secondary School.
The Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique operates one Francophone primary school in that city: the école La Passerelle.
Whistler has one weekly newspaper, Pique Newsmagazine, published every Thursday. The Whistler Answer was published intermittently from 1977 to the 1990s. The Lost Duck is a monthly events guide and calendar that lists what's happening in the resort. Other tourist-oriented, print media such as FAQ, Visitors Choice and Whistler Magazine are published from quarterly to once or twice a year.
|FM 88.7||CFTW-FM||Whistler Information Radio||Tourist information||Four Senses Entertainment|
|FM 90.7||CFMI-FM-1||Rock 101||Mainstream rock||Corus Entertainment||Rebroadcaster of CFMI-FM (Vancouver)|
|FM 92.3||CFOX-FM-1||CFOX||Alternative rock||Corus Entertainment||Rebroadcaster of CFOX-FM (Vancouver)|
|FM 96.9||CJAX-FM-1||Jack||Adult hits||Rogers Radio||Rebroadcaster of CJAX-FM (Vancouver)|
|FM 100.1||CBYW-FM||CBC Radio One||Talk radio, public radio||Canadian Broadcasting Corporation||Rebroadcaster of CBU (Vancouver)|
|FM 101.5||CKEE-FM||Whistler FM||Adult contemporary||Four Senses Entertainment|
|FM 102.1||CISW-FM||Mountain FM||Adult contemporary||Rogers Radio||Rebroadcaster of CISQ-FM (Squamish)|
|FM 103.1||CBUF-FM-10||Ici Radio-Canada Première||Talk radio, public radio||Canadian Broadcasting Corporation||Rebroadcaster of CBUF-FM (Vancouver)|
An internet radio site for the community exists It is designed to be a community radio station showcasing local music talent and interests of relative importance. History: 28 November 2003, "Feds shut down local pirate radio station... frequency 105.5 FM in the Whistler area, received a visit from Industry Canada and local RCMP officer", Federal Police. Freeradio Whistler still legally broadcasts over the Internet at freewhistler.com.
|OTA channel||Shaw Cable||Call sign||Network||Notes|
|9 (VHF)||11||CHAN-TV-7||Global||Rebroadcaster of CHAN-DT (Vancouver)|
|18 (UHF)||6||CHWM-TV-1||Independent||Rebroadcaster of CHEK-DT (Victoria)|
|21 (UHF)||13||CJWM-TV||Citytv||Rebroadcaster of CKVU-DT (Vancouver)|
The incumbent cable television provider in Whistler is Shaw Cable. Additional service providers covering whistler include Telus TV (Optik IPTV service and Telus Satellite TV), Shaw Direct (satellite), and Bell TV (satellite).
The television show Whistler takes place in Whistler. Whistler, the series is a Canadian television drama centring on the aftermath of the mysterious death of a local snowboard legend. The series was set in the ski resort of the same name and aired for two seasons from 2006 to 2008. It was created by Kelly Senecal and developed by Patrick Banister, John Barbisan, Mindy Heslin, and Susan James.
The television series Peak Season is filmed in Whistler and documents the lives of people that live there. Reality Show Fresh Meat II was filmed in Whistler. The community also appeared as the location for Shane and Carmen's wedding in The L Word (season 3, episode 12) Whistler was also featured on The Real Housewives of Orange County and ABC's Extreme Weight Loss.
Reality Show Gene Simmons Family Jewels filmed some episodes in Whistler, it is an American reality television series that premiered on A&E on 7 August 2006. The show follows the life of Kiss bassist and vocalist Gene Simmons, his longtime partner and wife Shannon Tweed, and their two children, Nick and Sophie.
Sophie Tweed-Simmons has her own reality TV series spin off in production. Filming began December 2013, in Whistler, Vancouver Los Angeles and Nashville. Sophie and her mother, model Shannon Tweed, will be the focus of the new show. Producers of the show are Force Four Entertainment, Vancouver. Eight 1/2 hour episodes are to be broadcast on W Network Canada in the spring of 2014.
Kansai TV Japan was produced in Whistler with a 1 1/2 hour TV special, Race to the Canadian Northern Lights. Thirty minutes of footage on Whistler's winter activities, shopping, Village and spa. The show aired March 2001. It had a viewership of 3 million and had an estimated public relations value of $2 million.
Stewardess Cops Fuji Television AKA Fuji Network, a popular Japanese drama, shot a two-hour special on location in Whistler during the fall of 2001. It was aired January 2002 and had an estimated audience of 22 million.
The Crash Reel, a 2013 documentary and reality film, directed by Academy Award Nominee Lucy Walker, was filmed on location in Whistler. It features top-ranked American snowboarder Kevin Pearce, who because of injuries missed the 2010 Winter Olympics, dealing with his rival Shaun White. It was a selection for the Whistler Film Festival, the Montreal World Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011) and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012) were not filmed in Whistler proper, but north and south of town. The crew was housed in Squamish and later Pemberton, but the stars were housed in Whistler hotels, hence the reason for all the star sightings in the village.
- The Windows XP codename "Whistler" is named after this community.
- The Windows Vista codename "Longhorn" is named after the Longhorn Saloon, a bar at the base of Whistler Mountain. Country Dick Montana died at his drumset in this bar in 1995.
- The Windows 7 codename "Blackcomb" is named from the resort.
- List of neighbourhoods in Whistler, British Columbia
- Blackcomb Peak
- Mount Cayley volcanic field
- Garibaldi Lake volcanic field
- "British Columbia Regional Districts, Municipalities, Corporate Name, Date of Incorporation and Postal Address" (XLS). British Columbia Ministry of Communities, Sport and Cultural Development. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
- Population and growth, top-25 fastest-growing municipalities of at least 5,000 inhabitantsTable 5 Note 1 located outside census metropolitan areas, Canada, 2011 and 2016. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 9 February 2017
- Population 1981/1986[permanent dead link]
- BritishColumbia.com - Whistler, British Columbia
- BritishColumbia.com - History and Heritage of Whistler Mountain
- Whistler Shuttle
- YVR Skylynx
- Canada Flight Supplement. Effective 0901Z 30 January 2020 to 0901Z 26 March 2020.
- Harbour Air
- "Canadian Climate Normals 1981-2010 Station Data". Environment Canada. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
- Getting to know Whistler’s trees - Museum Musings
- Douglas-fir Fertilization with Biosolids: Five-year Results at Whistler, B.C.
- Cytological aspects of seasonal changes in the mesophyll chlorenchyma cells of Pinus Contorta dougl. ex loud ssp Latifolia (Engelm, ex wats) in relation to frost hardiness
- Science under the Peak 2 Peak; forestry researchers use Blackcomb to study future prospects for the whitebark pine
- Malus fusca (Raf.) C.K. Schneid. Oregon crab apple
- The Trees of British Columbia: Native and Naturalized
- Varner, Colin (2002). Plants of the Whistler region (1st ed.). ISBN 1551926024. LCCN 2002096043. OCLC 51086167. OL 3571927M. Retrieved 17 February 2006.
- Pacific crab apple
- E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia, Malus fusca (Raf.) C.K. Schneid.
- Vaccinium vitis-idaea L. lingonberry
- "Carte des écoles." Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britanique. Retrieved on 22 January 2015.
- Feds shut down local pirate radio station
- Free*Whistler.com Internet Radio
- Life is not always awesome for Sophie Tweed-Simmons
- Japanese getting eyeful of Whistler
- "TODAY in Canada: 20–24 September". Archived from the original on 21 April 2005.
- "Organization". The Whistler Film Festival Society (WFFS). Retrieved 24 July 2014.
- Whistler Film Festival wraps with film about American snowboarder Kevin Pearce
- Ski School
- The X Files: I Want to Believe
- "On-location vacations: Movies shot in Canada". Archived from the original on 18 January 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- Why Did I Get Married?
- White Fang 2: Myth of the White Wolf
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Whistler.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Whistler.|