Strong Downtown and Livable Neighbourhoods

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The Goal

A moderately more dense and livable city, especially downtown, with all neighbourhoods having access to low-impact transportation, diverse services and varied housing options.   

Increase livability of all neighbourhoods
Establish criteria and targets by 2020 OCP review will begin 2018
Increase downtown population density 
Increase by 10% by 2020

Downtown population increased by 3.5% between 2014 and 2018, but comprises less of the overall population.

Increase population of downtown and neighbourhoods closest to downtown 1% increase by 2020 Selected neighbourhoods have increased in population by 9.1% between 2014 and 2017, and remain 42.5% of the total Whitehorse population.

 Our Targets

Increase Livability of all neighbourhoods

Increase Downtown Population Density

Downtown is the jewel in the crown that is Whitehorse. Increasing the population of downtown is one way of ensuring it remains vibrant, while also encouraging a more compact built form.


Increase Population of downtown and neighbourhoods closest to downtown

A compact vibrant city relies on people living in it, making full use of its amenities, and creating the social connections that make a strong community. The neighbourhoods included in this target are Whitehorse's oldest and most established: Riverdale, Downtown, Hillcrest, Valleyview, and Takhini. This target reflects that these neighbourhoods need to stay vibrant while newer neighbourhoods like Whistle Bend fill out.


A vibrant, mixed-use downtown encourages active transportation, local businesses, civic pride, and tourism. Livable neighbourhoods attract residents and businesses. They have housing to suit different ages, abilities, and incomes, and amenities to meet daily needs.


High. Through planning and development regulation, the City influences new development. City jurisdiction in existing built areas is low.



The City of Whitehorse completed several plans that will guide development in the downtown and Marwell areas, including the Robert Service Way Planning Study, the Downtown Plan, and the Marwell Plan. The Downtown Parking Management Plan is also undergoing an update. Participation in these processes were good, indicating a high level of investment by residents in the downtown. 

More information

Read more about the City of Whitehorse's Planning and Sustainability Services Department and Community Economic Development Strategy.