.All Trips / North America / Western Canada / Yukon

Signs of Whitehorse

14 Signs of Whitehorse (7)

As many of you know, I like to collect photos of signage during my travels.  Looking for signs helps me study the destination I’m visiting more carefully than I otherwise might have, and often tells me a lot about the nature of the city I’m visiting.

Whitehorse is the Yukon’s only city and the center of the territory’s commerce, tourism and government.  And while it is a relatively young city, it dates to the Klondike Gold Rush, a most colorful and interesting period in history.

Here are some of the signs I encountered during my recent trip to northern Canada.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

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“Pic of the Week”, May 3, 2019: Whitehorse’s Horse

01 Whitehorse Stallion (1)

Erected near the public safety building on Two-Mile hill in Whitehorse is a horse crafted by Yukon artist Daphne Mennel.  You’ll see it as you drive into the city from the airport.  The piece is made of what appears to be scrap metal, which it is, but the community prides itself that all of the horse’s components were donated by Yukon residents.  For example, the magnificent tail is made from electrical cable donated by Yukon Electric , with many other interesting building blocks ranging from a frying pan, an anvil, a radiater, garden utensils and more. 

The horse statue has a great view of the city and surrounding hills.   To me it symbolizes the spirit of the people of the …

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.All Trips / North America / Western Canada / Yukon

Street Art in Whitehorse

P1110666

While by no means a large city, with only around 25,000 residents, Whitehorse is the major population center in Canada’s Yukon Territories.  This large territory (482,000 km2, 186,300 miles2)  is home to only 37,000 people (and about 75,000 moose), so Whitehorse’s influence in the region becomes apparent.

Whitehorse is changing and it is growing.   These changes are perhaps most notable to someone like me who hadn’t been there for nearly 20 years.   An appreciated addition was a proliferation of street murals on the buildings of the city.  These varied greatly in theme and style, but most of them in some way represented life in and the history of the north — notably …

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.All Trips / North America / Western Canada / Yukon

The S.S. Klondike, Whitehorse

00 SS Klondike Whitehorse (3)

One of the most popular attractions in Whitehorse is this sternwheeler which sits on the banks of the Yukon River in the heart of the city.  It’s one of only two surviving sternwheelers which plied the waters between Whitehorse and Dawson City — a relic from the time when waterways were preferred transportation route , before roads and railway provided quick access to the heart of the Yukon.

Whitehorse exists in large part because it of its proximity to the Alaska panhandle (and as such was a passing-through point during the Klondike Goldrush), and because it was the furthest city upstream on the Yukon River that could be successfully navigated by these flat-bottom boats. (Just upriver from the city, the Whitehorse …

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Alberta / Central Canada / North America / Western Canada / Yukon

“Pic of the Week”, April 12, 2019: Flying to the Land of the Midnight Sun

Flight to Whitehorse from Calgary (19)

I left for a 2 week vacation to the Yukon and Alaska last June 29th, just 8 days after the summer solstice.  My flight departed Calgary at 9:45 pm just in time to enjoy a pretty sunset, which you can see below (photos are in sequentially arranged).  There had been heavy rain that day and the clouds were starting to break apart as the sun dipped below the Rockies.

As we flew further north, the daylight seemed to be increasing, something I expected but still surprised me by how relatively bright it was.  Soon the sun was above the horizon again, illuminating our plane’s engine.  It only grew brighter the further north we flew.

We were scheduled to arrive in Whitehorse at …

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“Pic of the Week”, April 13, 2018: Boo the Bear, Golden B.C.

Golden B.C . Grizzly Bear Refuge (35)

I’d like you to meet Boo, a grizzly bear. Boo is well known around the Canadian Rocky Mountain region because he lives at the Kicking Horse Grizzly Bear Refuge and gets lots of visitors. His home consists of a fenced 22-acre piece of natural land (apparently the world’s largest protected grizzly bear habitat) where Boo has lived and wandered freely since 2003. Boo and his sibling were orphaned at only a few months old when their mother was killed by a poacher; sadly Boo’s sibling didn’t survive his first hibernation.

Boo has found a good home here in eastern British Columbia, near the town of Golden. He’s been known to escape during mating season (he digs out under his electrified fence), …

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“Pic of the Week”, February 9, 2018: Old Massett, Haida Gwaii

Q.C.I.  017.  Old Masset

Haida Gwaii — the island chain off the coast of British Columbia formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands — has a long history of terrific native artistry.  While visiting the islands, we made a stop in the small community of Old Massett which sits on the site of several historic Haida villages.  

It was in Old Massett that some of the Haida people who had survived the devastating wave of smallpox that arrived with white settlers started regrouping in the late 19th century.   Today, Old Massett is the administrative center for the Council of the Haida Nation. 

Old Massett is home to the Islands’ largest collection of contemporary totem poles, which are located throughout the village.  There are several skilled …

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“Pic of the Week”, August 25, 2017: A Rambler in Prince Rupert, B.C.

Q.C.I.  004 Prince Rupert.  Totem and Rhododendron by courthouse

I spent a rain-drenched day exploring Prince Rupert, B.C some years ago.  I’d flown to Prince Rupert (via Vancouver) to catch the ferry to Haida Gwaii (formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands) and had a full day to kill before departing.  As with any such travel opportunity, I pulled out my walking shoes and camera and tried to experience as much of the town as I could.

Prince Rupert sits on the Inside Passage just below the Alaska Panhandle.  A coastal city set against the mountains, it’s one of the few times in my life I’ve landed on an island airport and had to be ferried to the mainland.  The town’s industries are timber-related, fishing and mining, as is the …

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