Downtown Plan

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   Photo: April 2017 Downtown and Marwell Future Forum


Downtown and Marwell Plan-a-Thon Materials Posted

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Plan-a-Thon session that was held on June 7 and 8! We had over 150 people - including representatives from local/Territorial/First Nation governments, stakeholders, and the public  - participate in this important stage of the Downtown and Marwell planning projects. The primary purposes of the Plan-a-Thon were for the project team to report back on what was heard during the April Future Forum and other engagement events through May, to share what we've learned so far, and to begin evaluating and confirming potential planning directions for the Downtown and Marwell Plans. Draft renderings and concept plans from the design stations were also developed to visually capture some of the main ideas being explored for the Downtown and Marwell plan areas. The draft concepts will be refined during future phases of the planning process (Phases 3 and 4). Click the links below for the Downtown draft concepts. For the Marwell concepts please go here.

Document Description

Downtown What We Heard

A condensed summary of what was heard from governments, stakeholders, and the public on Downtown during Phase 1 (Background Research).

Downtown Draft Planning Directions

A summary of the draft planning directions that could be explored in the Downtown Plan as a result of what was heard and other key background research. Plan-a-Thon participants were asked to identify if any other directions were missing and to rank them based on priorities.

Downtown Overall Draft Concept

Preliminary overall concept that was produced during the Plan-a-Thon that is meant to be refined.
Downtown and Marwell Greenway Concept Preliminary concept of proposed greenway corridors and trail connections in Downtown and Marwell.
Downtown Concept - Waterfront Freight Shed A draft concept idea of a new freight shed at the Waterfront Wharf area as an events venue and to act as a wind break and shelter.
Downtown Concept - Mixed-Use Civic Building A draft concept idea of a new mixed-use parking building Downtown with such features as ground floor retail, a transit hub, underground and covered parking, and a civic space. 
Downtown Concept - Transit Bus Hub Concept A draft concept idea of a proposed transit hub along 2nd Avenue near Steele Street. 

Downtown Concept - Black Street Greenway 1

Downtown Concept - Black Street Greenway 2

A draft concept idea to enhance the Black Street corridor as a primary active transportation route with more emphasis of pedestrian and bike amenities.
Downtown Concept - Waterfront Commercial Opportunity A draft concept idea to place a small commercial building located along the Waterfront as a means to increase the vibrancy of the area.


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

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.


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