Downtown Plan

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What is the Downtown Plan?

Home to businesses, public spaces, historic sites, public institutions, cultural and entertainment venues, and two distinct neighbourhoods, the Downtown area is a hub of day-to-day life for Whitehorse residents. 

It is also a place that has undergone considerable change over the past decade – including waterfront redevelopment, a building “boom”, and a growing residential population.

The last Downtown Plan was completed over a decade ago. Now is the ideal time to “fine tune” the direction for Downtown Whitehorse and chart the specific actions needed to keep it a vibrant and vital part of our community over the next 10-20 years. 

What will be included in the Plan? 

The Downtown Plan will create a blueprint for Downtown Whitehorse’s future in three key ways: 

  • Urban design and/or capital projects (i.e., changes to the physical environment)
  • Programs and/or initiatives 
  • Policies that affect how the Downtown functions and develops

The Plan will consider many aspects of the Downtown, including business, heritage, transportation, housing, public spaces, health and safety, environment, arts and entertainment, sustainability, active transportation, and land development.

Three final documents will be produced:  a Downtown Background Report, a Downtown Plan (20-year outlook) and a Downtown Action Plan – a targeted list of high priority actions to be undertaken over the next decade.

How does the Downtown Plan fit in with other planning work?  

The Downtown Plan is being undertaken at the same time as a plan for the Marwell industrial area with an eye to a “Greater Downtown” for Whitehorse. The two projects share the same overall timeline and process but will result in distinct, unique plans. Check out www.whitehorse.ca/marwell

Both planning projects will feed into the upcoming 2018 Official Community Plan review. 

The planning process

The Downtown and Marwell planning projects kicked off in March 2017 and will be underway until early 2018.

DT MW 2017 Process Graphic

How can I get involved?  

There will be many opportunities for the public and community stakeholders to get involved with the Downtown Plan. We’ll be hosting four major events – the Downtown Future Forum, the Downtown Plan-a-Thon, the Downtown Action Plan Partner Workshop and the Downtown Plan Open House. A variety of smaller events will also be held to seek ideas for and input into the Plan throughout all stages of its development. 

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The Downtown Planning Team 

The City has hired Urban Systems to lead the planning process for the Downtown and Marwell areas. The core team members include: 

Michael von Hausen, Urban Design/Planning – Michael is one of the leading urban design and planning experts in Canada, with over 35 years of award-winning experience and dozens of downtown plans to his credit.

David Bell, Planning/Land Economics – David is the head of the Land Economics Team at Urban Systems and a Registered Professional Planner who has worked on numerous Whitehorse projects, including the last Downtown Plan in 2007.

Jane Koepke, Planning/Engagement – Jane is a born and raised Yukoner and Registered Professional Planner who has worked on a broad range of planning projects in the territory, including the 2016 Downtown Whitehorse Retail and Entertainment Strategy. 

Get in touch with us!

For more information please contact Ben Campbell, Planner, at 668-8338 or email downtown@whitehorse.ca