‘Twas the Day Before Christmas

Merry Christmas from the banks of the Yukon River

I had to go into Whitehorse to run a couple of errands today, so I thought I’d take some photos of what the day before Christmas looks like in the Yukon’s capital city. The photo above was taken right at noon from the shoulder of the main access road from the south, at the edge of downtown.

I think I like the look of the sternwheeler SS Klondike even more in the winter.

Yukon River sternwheeler SS Klondike
Another look at the Yukon River, from the SS Klondike parking lot.

The Yukon River in the winter
I expected downtown to be crazy-busy, but it wasn’t. I found a parking spot a block from my bank, and it was even free, as the meter was out of order 🙂 The temperature wasn’t bad at -20°C (-4°F), but a strong south wind knocked the wind chill down to -33°C (-27°F).

Downtown Whitehorse at Christmas
The prospector and his husky have been standing guard over Main Street for almost 20 years.

Yukon prospector and his husky
Main Street is anchored by the historic White Pass & Yukon Route railway building, and a large Christmas tree is set up there every year.

White Pass & Yukon Route railway building
Looking up Main Street from the White Pass building.

Main Street, Whitehorse
Another look at Main Street.

Main Street, Whitehorse
Bicycles are seen more and more commonly in Whitehorse, regardless of the weather or temperature.

Winter cycling in Whitehorse, Yukon
The parking lot at Canadian Tire was packed, but next door, even with several people living there full-time for months, the parking lot at Walmart had lots of empty spaces. The only very busy place I saw today was the liquor store (how “Yukon” is that!!)

People living in the Walmart parking lot
I went up to the airport and was surprised how busy it was (by Yukon standards 🙂 ). Here, the runway was being swept off just before the Air North flight from Vancouver arrived. I had my scanner with me, and the tower was reporting gusts to 27kmh. The high cost of airport parking is a subject I see often from people in other areas – at YXY it’s been free for many weeks, as the automated parking-ticket system apparently doesn’t work in the cold! It still issues a ticket as you go into the lot but the exit gates are open. I expect that the tickets are being issued to back up revenue-loss claims in the lawsuit that is no doubt being developed.

Runway clearing at YXY

So that’s a look at the Christmas non-rush here in Whitehorse. Cathy and I hope that you all have a wonderful holiday, however you celebrate (or don’t). 🙂


‘Twas the Day Before Christmas — 10 Comments

  1. I love the Prospector and his husky! I grew up in Minot, ND, so I well understand your weather. Is it wrong that I don’t find -4*F/-20*C to be that bad? It was a way of life!

  2. Thanks for sharing the day before Christmas (Yukon style) with us. I’m glad things aren’t quite that cold here in Tennessee.

  3. Thanks Murray for sharing your pictures and comments.
    Que c’est bon de vivre au Yukon.
    A Verry Merry Christmas to you and Cathy.

  4. Merry Christmas Murray and Cathy. I was in downtown Whitehorse today as well and didn’t find it that bad for traffic. Mind you parking spots on Main Street are always hard to find. You mentioned the parking meter wasn’t working. I’m finding that more often than not lately. I wondered why the exit gate at the airport Saturday wasn’t working. Thanks for the explanation. Never thought about taking a camera today, what a wonderful idea so thanks for sharing your photos. Will pass along your URL to friends as I’m sure they’ll enjoy seeing the photos as well.

  5. Thank you Murray for sharing a Whitehorse, Yukon Xmas with all of us. Wishing you as well as Cathy a lovely holliday season filled with lots of great pictures. Here, in Valcartier, it’s a nice -15 this morning with lots of sunlight and a 2 feet cover of snow…..Hang in there, the days will soon be getting longer and will give you more time for picture taking……..Maureen

  6. Merry Christmas to you and Kathy…Whitehorse is beautiful in the snow. In Alabama it’s in the 50’s, stormy with the possibility of tornadoes, and I have no voice.

  7. Some more beautiful shots. I would love to visit that area one of these days. If I live to 120 and don’t run out of money 🙂 I might get to everywhere I want to go.

    They rob you at just about all airports. At least a lot of them in the US are now putting in cell phone lots (free so far 🙂 ) where you can park and wait for the person you are picking up to call you.