Tag Archives: housing

Finding A Place: A History of Housing in Whistler

Our newest temporary exhibit Finding A Place: A History of Housing in Whistler will be opening Friday, May 31!

Finding A Place takes a look at the different ways people have made a home in the valley over the past century, from constructing a fishing lodge to subdividing a neighbourhood and from squatting in the woods to the Whistler Housing Authority (and everything in between!).  The exhibit also features the photographs of Carin Smolinski’s Living the Dream, providing a glimpse of some unique living situations in Whistler’s present.

Doors open at 6:30 pm.  Cash bar & free admission.  The exhibit will run through July 31.


This Week In Photos: April 5

Depending on the year, the photos from each week of the Whistler Question Collection show a very different side of Whistler.  Some weeks are dominated by photos of skiing and resort events (like Labatt’s World Cup Freestyle this week in 1980) while others demonstrate a community similar to many other small towns (think an Easter egg hunt and the completion of a new playground).


Scott Brooksbank shows fine form in the men’s ski ballet portion of Labatt’s World Cup Freestyle event.

Stephanie Sloan shows her ballet style on a socked-in Saturday competition.

Combined champion Hedy Garhammer thanks the crowd while runners-up Janice Reid and Lauralee Bowie stand by.

A competitor flips over the aerials portion of the event.


Getting ready for a toast to the newlyweds! (Can anyone identify the newlyweds?)

New smiling face at the Whistler Post Office – Barbara Jennings sorts the mail.

Kristi King and Garth Leyshon head out from Whistler on their way to Squamish.

Man and dog pose at the Whistler Vale Hotel.

 Pat and Kay Carleton enjoy a toast from the goblets given to them at a surprise party on April 3 to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary.

The new snow on Blackcomb provides a pleasing backdrop to the Whistler Village plaza.


The Walk-A-Thon from Mt. Currie to Vancouver in support of a Youth Centre passes through Whistler.

Hundreds of kids showed up for special treats courtesy of E. Bunny on Blackcomb Sunday. despite heavy snowfall.

Whistler Mountain Ski School instructors hand out certificates and prizes following an Easter race.

Yummy in the tummy! Alyssa Wilson, 3, enjoys Easter treats the bunny brought to the schoolyard Easter morning.

Not even a blizzard on Easter Sunday kept kids from using the new Adventures Playground, recently completed at a total cost of $3,624.11.


A sure sign of spring – Connie Kutyn decks out Whistler Village in its finest banners designed by Suzanne Wilson and Penny Domries. Banners tell the story of Whistler’s theme “Summer Side of the Mountain”.

A brand new surrey with a fringe on top is the latest addition to Mountain Carriage Tour Co. Visitors may enjoy an old-fashioned ride through town.

Ears to you, said this creative skier – one of the many who paraded on the mountains in Easter finery, or funnery.

This strange aquatic being was pulled from the depths of Green Lake on Saturday, April 2. Mons Towing driver Denver Snider hooks up the stolen van that the RCMP frogman discovered. The van had been stolen from Burnaby, stripped and pushed into the lake.

Only place a man can get away from it all… Trevor Weakley, originally from Christchurch, New Zealand, took a three-day tour of Whistler with friends and unfurled the kiwi colours in the full Easter sun.

E. Bunny delighted hundreds of kids in the annual egg hunt at Myrtle Philip School.

Patricia Fennell turned up Sunday in her finest Easter bonnet.


You know spring is definitely here when Tapley’s A’s start their annual tryouts.

With the Whistler Valley Housing Society’s 20-unit project at the gondola base near completion, potential renters had a chance Thursday and Friday to see what they’ll get. Another open house is set for this Saturday afternoon.

Whistler’s Gourmet Club met for yet another Epicurean celebration Saturday. Members of the five-year-old club were treated to a six-course (not to mention many rounds of hot saki) Japanese meal prepared by this month’s hosts Ted Nebbeling and Jan Holbery. The club tucks in together once a month, and has sampled the cuisine of just about every country on the globe. Left to right are: Ted Nebbeling, Judy Grant, Doug Schull, Laurie Vance, Jan Holberg, Lance Fletcher, Buffy and Nigel Woods, Drew Meredith, Judy Fletcher, Mike Vance, Jan Simpson, Peter Grand and Wendy Meredith.

Creative Solutions to Whistler Living: The People Who Lived in Walls

Living in Whistler has always come with unique challenges, whether its’s a lack of housing, money, employment or easily accessible transit (walking three days from Squamish with a packhorse at the beginning of the 20th century was not for the fainthearted).  Despite these challenges, however, thousands of people have chosen to call this valley home.

Though many stories of unorthodox living arrangements have become well known (think Toad Hall or Lot 4 in the mid-to-late ’90s), there is one story that surprisingly few people have heard: the people who lived in wall.  (Please note that the Whistler Museum neither condones nor encourages such practices as follow.)

Adapting accommodations to fit your own needs is common practice - the Jardine-Neiland family built additions to the original cabin of Ol' Mac.

Adapting accommodations to fit your own needs is common practice – the Jardine-Neiland family built additions to the original cabin of Ol’ Mac in the 1920s.

It happened in the early 1990s, in an unnamed Whistler hotel, in the four feet of space between the fifth and sixth guest floors.  A small service hatch in the stairwell meant to provide access to the plumbing and electrical wiring in the space instead provided two very determined young men access to a crawlspace-like room kept warm and cozy by the hot water pipes.

As the entry was located in a little-used firewall stairwell the staff at the hotel had no knowledge of their new residents.  The pair lived somewhat comfortable, if a little bent over, until a search for a water leak led maintenance workers to discover their living quarters.  This discovery explained some odd footage on a recently installed security camera that caught one of these unsuspected tenants stealing the cushions off of a couch in a hallway.

In the 1970s accommodations could be found in Whistler by building your own or taking over an abandoned cabin.

In the 1970s accommodations could be found in Whistler by building your own or taking over an abandoned cabin.

Unfortunately for the young men living in the wall, their identities were easily discovered from the Hard Rock Café pay stubs that had been left sitting in the open.  It was soon revealed that they had been making full use of hotel amenities; they slept on clean sheets taken from housekeeping carts, ate in the staff cafeteria where they were such a common sight that it had been assumed that they were hotel employees, and showered in the hotel health club where a monthly payment provided access to the pool and gym for far less than the cost of rent.

Needless to say, once discovered the two were quickly evicted from the premises and forced to find lodging elsewhere.