Marwell 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 Marwell draft concepts. For the Downtown concepts please go here.

Document Description

Marwell What We Heard

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

Marwell Draft Planning Directions

A summary of the draft planning directions that could be explored in the Marwell 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.

Marwell 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.
Marwell Concept - Copper Village A draft concept idea of proposed improvements to Copper Road as a means to make it more of a business centre within Marwell.
Marwell Concept - Tlingit Greenway A draft concept idea of proposed improvements to Tlingit Street including enhanced bike and pedestrian connections as a means to connect to the Yukon River.
Marwell Concept - Commercial Waterfront

A draft concept idea of proposed improvements to the Riverfront Trail along Marwell and encouraging a mix of different uses.

What is the Marwell Plan?

The Marwell area of Whitehorse was first developed for oil refinery operations during World War II and became home to a variety of government maintenance yards, fuel companies, and other industrial activities in the decades that followed. The past 30 years has seen the area shift yet again to the diverse mix of commercial, professional, and light industrial uses that we see today.

The last planning effort for Marwell was completed over 15 years ago. The continued growth of Whistle Bend and building boom in Downtown is creating new challenges and opportunities for this ever-changing area.

Now is the time to envision the future of the Marwell industrial area and determine how it can best integrate with the Downtown and rest of the city over the next 20 years. 

What will be included in the Plan? 

The Marwell Plan will create a blueprint for Marwell'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 Marwell functions and develops

The Plan will consider many aspects of the Marwell area, including business, transportation, residential and mixed land uses, public spaces, health and safety, environment, sustainability, active transportation, and land development.

Two final documents will be produced:  a Marwell Background Report and Marwell Plan  (20-year outlook). 

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

The Marwell Plan is being undertaken separately but at the same time as the plan for the Downtown 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. 

What's 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 Marwell Plan. We’ll be hosting three major events – the Marwell Future Forum, the Marwell Plan-a-Thon, and the Marwell 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 Marwell 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