ExploreNorth, your resource center for exploring the circumpolar North

Return to the Home Page The ExploreNorth Blog About ExploreNorth Contact ExploreNorth

Search ExploreNorth

The history of Whitehorse, Yukon

An Explorer's Guide to Whitehorse, Yukon

Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star
A work in progress - currently (February 2023) over 7,000 brief summaries of articles from the newspaper, and hundreds of complete articles.

Yukon Historical & Museums Association
Among other things, the site has an excellent illustrated tour of Whitehorse heritage buildings.

Yukon History & Abandoned Places
This very active Facebook group, with about 17,000 members, has a great deal of information about Whitehorse, with a search function to find what you're looking for.

The History of Whitehorse
An excellent illustrated summary by Ken Spotswood.

Historic Images of Whitehorse, Yukon
A collection of historic postcards and other photos.

Whitehorse Mayors and Aldermen / Councillors, past & present
A listing of all elected officials from the first council in 1950 to the present day.

The history of Whitehorse hotels and motels, 1942-2019
A complete listing of all hotels and motels in Whitehorse since 1942, with photos and brief histories of each.

The history of Whitehorse area street, building, and place names
A series of 53 articles by Delores Smith, published in The Whitehorse Star 1994-1995.

Street name origins in downtown Whitehorse
Police officers, politicians, railway executives, a bush pilot and others have been honoured by having one of the 21 streets named for them. Adapted from a CKRW Yukon Nugget series of 5 articles by Les McLaughlin.

The history of the Hillcrest area of Whitehorse
Built by the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1948, the community survived when the base closed in 1968.

Street name origins in the Whistle Bend community
The streets are - and will continue to be as the community grows - named after northern steamships.

The history of the Mary Lake Country Residential subdivision
The story of the subdivision area, from the 1950s to May 1988 when the Phase II lottery was completed.

Attempting to run Miles Canyon and the rapids, 1899
An article from The Klondike Nugget of October 7, 1899, tells the story of a canoeist and his photographer.

Whitehorse, January 1900
An article from the Klondike Nugget (Dawson City) of January 3, 1900, tells of the new city to be built, and of the welcome demise of the town of Bennett.

Land sales at White Horse, 1901
An article from The White Horse Star (White Horse, Yukon Territory) of January 16, 1901, gives the regulations regarding the sale of government lands.

Voters in Whitehorse, 1902
Published in The Weekly Star of November 20, 1902. There are 216 men - women would not get the vote for 16 more years. A Supplementary List was published the next week.

P.R.A. Fellowship Club - Whitehorse, Yukon, 1943
The final newsletter for this club for Alaska Highway workers talks about their many activities, giving thanks to many of their most active members.

The Two Decker
Cam Smith wrote this humourous poem about a 2-story outhouse at the Commercial Hotel in Whitehorse, Yukon, and published it in 1943.

Cemesto homes in Whitehorse, Yukon, 1944-1968
One of the more unique types of housing used in Whitehorse has been the ones built in the 1940s of Cemesto, panels made of sugar cane fibre, cement, and asbestos.

Strolling around Whitehorse, 1947
In this lengthy article from the 80-page booklet "All-Year Round Guide to the Yukon", E.J. "Stroller" White takes us on a walking tour of downtown Whitehorse.

Whitehorse Aviation to 1947
Two articles from the 80-page booklet "All-Year Round Guide to the Yukon" describe the development of the Whitehorse airport, and the city's part in Yukon aviation generally.

The history of the Whitehorse Hospital to 1947
An article from the 80-page booklet "All-Year Round Guide to the Yukon" describes the development of the Whitehorse hospital.

A Guide to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, 1949
Bill MacBride wrote this comprehensive brochure for the Board of Trade, covering everything from transportation and mining to living conditions and employment.

The Fish Lake Hydro-electric Project
A series of 3 columns by The Sideliner in The Whitehorse Star during October 1952 look at the development, current status and future plans of the operation.

The Whitehorse Dam
The story of power production in the Yukon, and the building of the dam which opened in 1958.

Riverboat Cafe and The Captain's Locker restaurant
The riverboat Neecheah was hauled up to the Alaska Highway and used as these 2 restaurants between 1958 and 1979.

Cheechako Grill, Whitehorse, Yukon
This 5-page menu from the restaurant is probably from the 1960s.

Edgewater Hotel in Whitehorse burns, 1961
A huge fire on December 25, 1961, with the temperature at -45 degrees, destroyed the Edgewater Hotel and several other buildings on First Avenue.

The history of Robert Service Way, Whitehorse
Highlights from the history of one of the two access roads from the Alaska Highway to downtown Whitehorse.

The Spider's Web youth coffee house, 1965-1966
The story of this teen coffee house and its equally short-lived successor, the Padded Cell.

The Burning of the Sternwheelers Casca and Whitehorse
On June 20, 1974, in the most famous fire in Yukon history, two of the last remaining Yukon River sternwheelers were destroyed.

The Territorial Administration Building
A new building planned to house all Yukon Government offices opened on May 25, 1976.

Heritage Preservation in Whitehorse
From 1998, an article about the city's Heritage Advisory Committee having their work cut out for them.

The Whitehorse Waterfront Trolley, 2000
Although dreams of having a restored steam engine back on the tracks died, a little trolley from Portugal added charm and colour to the banks of the Yukon River for a few years starting in 2000.

KARA / KMA Speedway
The stock car race track closed in 2004, but this 3/8 mile semi-banked dirt oval provided people with a lot of fun and excitement for over 30 years.

Whitehorse waterfont, 2003-2022
A pair of high-resolution aerial photos show the changes in the waterfront area (jpg, 6.4 MB).

Building the Hamilton Blvd. Extension, 2007-2009
A gallery of 25 photos follows construction of a new access route to the residential areas developing above Whitehorse.

Crocus Ridge Medical Staff Residence Opens
On April 28, 2011, construction of the new staff residence on Hospital Road, overlooking the Yukon River and the city of Whitehorse, was completed.