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This article is about the resort municipality. For the ski resort operation see Whistler Blackcombmarker.

Street signs in Whistler Village.
Whistler is a Canadian resort town in the southern Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountainsmarker in the province of British Columbiamarker, Canadamarker, approximately north of Vancouvermarker. Incorporated as the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW), it has a permanent population of approximately 9,965, plus a larger but rotating "transient" population of workers, typically younger people from beyond BC, notably from Australia and Europe.

Over two million people visit Whistler annually, primarily for alpine skiing and mountain biking at Whistler-Blackcombmarker. Its pedestrian village has won numerous design awards and Whistler has been voted among the top destinations in North America by major ski magazines since the mid-1990s. During the 2010 Winter Olympics, Whistler will host most of the alpine, nordic and sliding events, though freestyle skiing and all snowboarding events will be hosted at Cypress Mountain near Vancouver.


The Whistler valley, which is formed by the pass between the headwaters of the Green River and the upper-middle reaches of the Cheakamus, and is flanked by glaciated mountains on both sides, the Garibaldi Ranges on the side that containts the ski mountains, and a group of ranges with no collective name but which are part of the larger Pacific Ranges and are essentially fore-ranges of the Pemberton Icefieldmarker. Although there are a few other routes through the maze of mountains between the basin of the Lillooet River just east, the Cheakamus-Green divide is the lowest and most direct and naturally was the main trading route of the Squamish and Lil'wat First Nations long before the arrival of Europeans. One Lil'wat legend of the Great Flood says that before the deluge, the people lived at Green Lake,

The first British survey by the Royal Navy took place in the 1860s. These surveyors named the mountain London Mountain because of the heavy fog and cloud typically gathering around the mountain, but the area informally acquired the name "whistler" due to the call of the indigenous hoary marmot. In the late 19th century, a trail was cut through the valley linking Lillooetmarker via Pembertonmarker with Burrard Inlet via a pass from Squamish to the Seymour River. The trail was completed in 1877, but because of the difficult and unforgiving terrain, it was only used once for its intended purpose, which was to drive cattle. The area began to attract trappers and prospectors (such as John Millar and Henry Horstman) who established small camps in the area in the early 20th century. The area began to gain recognition with the arrival of Myrtle and Alex Philip, who in 1914 purchased 10 acres (4 ha) of land on Alta Lake and established the Rainbow Lodge. The Philips had relocated from Mainemarker to Vancouvermarker in 1910, and had heard rumors of the natural beauty of the area from Pemberton pioneer John Millar. After an exploratory journey, the couple was convinced. Rainbow Lodge and other railway-dependent tourist resorts were collectively known as Alta Lakemarker, until their absorption into the newly-minted Resort Municipality in the 1970s.

The completion of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway in the same year greatly reduced the travel time from three days, providing ease of access from Vancouver, and the Rainbow Lodge gained a reputation as the most popular vacation destination west of the Rockies. The lodge was primarily a summer destination, with boating, fishing and hiking among the most popular activities, and soon other lodges began to open not just on Alta Lake, but on other valley lakes as well.

Appreciation of the outdoors was not the only activity in the valley, however; logging was also a boom industry, and during the first half of the 20th century, most of the lower slopes of the surrounding mountains were cleared of old growth. At its peak, four mills were in operation, most located around Green Lake. Prospecting and trapping were pursued as well, though no claims of great value were ever staked.

Until the 1960s, this quiet area was without basic infrastructure; there were no sewage facilities, water, or electricity, and no road from Squamish or Vancouver. In 1962, four Vancouver businessmen began to explore the area with the intent of building a ski resort and bidding for the 1968 Winter Olympics. Garibaldi Lift Company was formed, shares were sold, and in 1966, Whistler Mountain opened to the public.

Later, the city was offered the 1976 Winter Olympics after selected host Denvermarker declined the games due to funding issues. Whistler declined as well, after elections brought in a local government less enthusiastic about the Olympics. The 1976 Winter Olympics were ultimately held in Innsbruckmarker, Austriamarker.

2010 Olympic plans

A statue of Ilanaaq, mascot of the 2010 Olympics, located on Whistler Mountain
Whistler in late summer

Whistler is the Host Mountain Resort of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, the first time the IOC has bestowed that designation on a community. Whistler will host the alpine technical and speed events, the sliding events at Fitzsimmons Creekmarker, the Nordic events in the nearby Callaghan Valleymarker and all the Paralympic events except the opening ceremonies, sledge hockey and wheelchair curling.The Whistler Olympic and Paralympic Village (commonly referred to as the Athlete's village) will house around 2,400 athletes, coaches, trainers and officials. Post-games, the site will be turned into a new residential neighbourhood.


Whistler's urban landscape was specifically designed to accommodate the natural environment, as well as to remediate a large garbage dump which became today's Whistler Villagemarker which had been one of the main non-natural feeding grounds for black bear in the valley. Since the resort's development, black bear populations have gradually recovered, coupled with the loss of pines due to multi-year drought conditions, bears have begun seeking food in settled areas. Many of Whistler's bears have learned to do things like open car doors or hold spring-closed gates open so they can reach food. Most are relatively docile and few bear-human incidents have been reported. Whistler residents are strongly conservationist, and the official response has relied heavily on behavior modification for both bears and people. Removal or killing are last resorts. The techniques being used have been studied and adopted by other municipalities with bear problems around the world .


Whistler is located on British Columbia Highway 99, also known as the "Sea-to-Sky highway", approximately 58 kilometres (36 mi) north of Squamishmarker, and 125 km (76 mi) from Vancouver. The highway connects Whistler to the British Columbia Interior via Pembertonmarker-Mount Currie to Lillooetmarker and connections beyond to the Trans-Canada and Cariboo Highways.

Elite-class rail service only is provided between the Whistler railway station and North Vancouver by the Whistler Mountaineer. Regular passenger schedules are no longer available. Rail service through to Jasper is provided by the Rocky Mountaineer, using Canadian National Railway tracks from North Vancouver via Whistler and Prince George. The station for tour passengers embarking from Whistler is in the Southside area, between Nita and Alpha Lakes.

Local bus transit service is provided by the Whistler and Valley Express, which also provides service to Squamish and Pembertonmarker.

Local aviation is served by the Whistler/Green Lake Water Aerodromemarker, which has service to several cities in the province.

The main airport that most Whistler residents tourists use is the Vancouver International Airportmarker, located 140 km south.


Whistler experiences cool wet winters, and dry warm summers. On average Whistler receives approximately 11 days with temperatures over 30°C (86°F), and approximately 24 days on average with temperatures falling below -10 °C (14°F).



Whistler has two regular print news media, Pique Newsmagazine and the Whistler Question. Both of these are published every Thursday.


Call sign Frequency Owner Format
CFTW-FM 088.7 FM Four Senses Entertainment tourist information
CFMI-FM-1marker 090.7 FM Corus Entertainment Classic rock (repeater of CFMI-FM, Vancouvermarker)
CFOX-FM-1marker 0092.3 FM Corus Entertainment Active rock (repeater of CFOX-FM, Vancouver)
CKLG-FM-1marker 0096.9 FM Rogers Communications Adult hits (repeater of CKLG-FM, Vancouver)
CBYW-FMmarker 00100.1 FM CBC CBC Radio One (repeater of CBU, Vancouver)
future station 0101.5 FM Four Senses Entertainment to be Hot Adult Contemporary
CISW-FM 0102.1 FM Rogers Communications Hot Adult Contemporary (repeater of CISQ-FM, Squamishmarker)
CBUF-FM-10marker 00103.1 FM Radio-Canada Première Chaîne (French) (repeater of CBUF-FM, Vancouver)


Whistler has no locally-originated aerial stations. The only aerial television available are repeaters of CBUTmarker (CBUWT channel 13), CHAN-TVmarker (CHAN-TV-7 channel 9), CKVU-TVmarker (CJWM-TV channel 21) and CHEK-TVmarker (CHWM-TV-1 channel 18).

Cable television service is served by Shaw Communications, which offer most stations from the Vancouver area.


  • The Windows XP codename "Whistler" is named after this community
  • The Windows Vista codename "Longhorn" is named after the Longhorn Saloon, a bar at the base of Whistler Mountain. Country Dick Montana died at his drumset in this bar in 1995.
  • The television show Whistler takes place in Whistler, B.C.
  • The television series Peak Season is filmed in Whistler and documents the lives of people that live there.

See also

Image:Whistler Panorama -2007.jpg|A panorama of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains taken in March, 2007.Image:Black Tusk- March, 2007.jpg|Black Tusk as seen from Whistler Mountain.Image:August 2006-Whistler.jpg|Singing Pass in August as seen between Whistler and Blackcomb.Image:View_of_whistler.jpg|View of Whistler from Whistler mountain.Image:View of Whistler from the Cable-car.JPG|View of Whistler from the Whistler Village Express Gondola in the summer.Image:N10012860 33522489 7053.jpg|The "Stairway To Heaven" area boundary on Blackcomb Mountain in winter.Image:Whistler ice sailor.jpg|Ice sailing in Whistler.Image:Whisler 1.jpg|Whistler Mountain On April 26 2009Image:Whistler_Nita_lake.JPG|Whistler Mountain as seen from Nita lake in summer


  1. Short Portage to Lillooet, Irene Edwards, self-publ., Lillooet 1976
  2. - Whistler, British Columbia
  3. - History and Heritage of Whistler Mountain

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