Project Profiles in Yukon

Learn more about some of the projects in Yukon by selecting a community name:

Investments in northern tourist area also benefiting Yukon community's residents

Carcross waterfront revitalization project

Project location: Carcross

Originally named Caribou Crossing, the small town of Carcross is located close to an hour's drive south of Whitehorse on the Klondike Highway. It is a popular tourist destination, with an abundance of mountain, forest and river scenery, making it one of the most picturesque areas of the Yukon.

Many of Carcross' original buildings, some of which date back to the 1890s and reflect its long, rich history, are still in use but have begun to deteriorate, particularly along the waterfront. Much work was needed to restore the area to the glory it held during the Gold Rush.

Thanks to work that began under a long-term redevelopment plan in 2008, a major waterfront beautification and renewal project is now complete. The Government of Canada supported the project through the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund.

A new Gateway Pavilion with a visitor information centre, along with a carving facility, pedestrian bridge, viewing platform, boat launch and dock are just some of the project's components that will help draw more tourists to the area. Other aspects of the project that will also benefit residents year-round, and for years to come, included new waste management facilities, a shore cleanup, new landscaping and road improvements.

Carcross is now enjoying a renewed draw as a prime tourist destination in Yukon, helping ensure continued prosperity and quality of life for area residents.

Federal contribution: $3,400,000

Freegold Road upgrades

Improvements to Roads in Carmacks

Project location: Carmacks

Thanks to funding from the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund and Yukon's Resource Access Road Program, the Territory has made substantial improvements to several remote roads leading to remote industrial sites.

On Freegold Road, workers widened the road and added new truck pull-outs to allow slower mine-related traffic to get off the road and public traffic to pass. Selective brush clearing on corners also improved the sightlines and safety for all road users.

The completed work has improved access to some of Canada's most important mineral deposits. It is also making driving safer for residents and tourists who use this road to access Yukon's remote backcountry.

"Through this investment, we are enhancing Yukon's competitiveness and our ability to access the global market," said Dennis Fentie, former Yukon Premier.

Federal contribution: $34,586

Northern strategy in motion

The new Nordenskiold Bridge can now easily accommodate the frequent heavy vehicles that pass through the region in Carmacks.

Project location: Carmacks

Freegold Road is a primary supply route to and from many northern mining projects. It connects these important economic drivers to the Klondike Highway through the mining-friendly town of Carmacks.

A single-lane, bailey bridge across the Nordenskiold River was a traffic bottleneck on Freegold Road. Constructed with wooden decking that had never undergone major maintenance, it had inadequate space to allow pedestrians to cross the bridge safely, especially when used by heavy-laden mining trucks. The crossing was well due for replacement.

Thanks to a contribution from the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, a new steel bridge has been built. It is large enough to handle two lanes of traffic, and includes a separated sidewalk for pedestrians. By constructing new concrete pylons further back from the river, the new structure will also help limit the impact on fish migration.

The new Nordenskiold Bridge can now easily accommodate the frequent heavy vehicles that pass through the region, which will improve the overall efficiency of the Yukon transportation system and support continued resource development in the region.

Federal contribution: $1,150,000

Facilitating economic development

Local contractors are rebuilding the sub-grade of the gravel South McQuesten Road, refinishing its surface, clearing out ditches and brush bordering the road, and installing new culverts

Project location: Mayo

When Jack McQuesten and his wife, Kate, arrived in the area in the late 1800s to set up a trading post, Mayo was about to become the latest gold and silver boom town in North America. Always an astute businessman, McQuesten provided prospectors with just about everything they needed to look for precious metals in the region.

Now, interest in resource exploration and production in the area is once again bringing renewed vitality to Mayo.

To facilitate the movement of vehicles and equipment for the companies working in the area, South McQuesten Road out of Mayo needed work. The Yukon Department of Highways and Public Works agreed and applied to the federal Infrastructure Stimulus Fund. Improving infrastructure conditions for companies that could bring another wave of prosperity to the area made good economic sense.

Local contractors rebuilt the sub-grade of the gravel road, refinished its surface, cleared out ditches and brush bordering the road, and installed new culverts.

Exploration crews using Jack McQuesten's namesake road now have a greatly improved travel corridor that has reduced their transportation costs and improved their efficiency in getting to sites of interest.

Federal contribution: $49,335

New recycling centre

Investing in sustainable communities

The village used their federal Gas Tax Fund allocation to replace a 40-year-old recycling centre with a more sustainable, purpose-built facility in Mayo

Project location: Mayo

The Village of Mayo is located where the Mayo and Stewart Rivers meet in the heart of the Yukon. It lies within the traditional First Nation territory of the Nacho Nyak Dun and can be reached via the Silver Trail, which connects with the North Klondike Highway at Stewart Crossing.

Mayo is a family-oriented community dedicated to nurturing its multicultural roots and pursuing responsible development that helps preserve its rich natural surroundings. Inspired by this vision and the goals of their Integrated Community Sustainability Plan, the village used their federal Gas Tax Fund allocation to replace a 40-year-old recycling centre with a more sustainable, purpose-built facility.

Features of the new centre include a hazardous waste collection point and a "free store" where people can drop off household items and clothing for re-use. It is also more centrally located, accessible to wheelchairs, and incorporates energy-efficient lighting, insulation and heating mechanisms.

The new centre will help the community divert even more waste from landfills. The project also encourages community engagement. "The original Recycling Centre was started by volunteers," says Mayo Mayor Scott Bolton. "The Village of Mayo was proud to take over operations ... and through the Gas Tax Fund, was able to build upon the success of the original volunteers."

Getting Yukon's ore to market

Investment in Yukon access roads

Range Road in Watson Lake

Project location: Nahanni Range Road, Watson Lake

Canada's Yukon has one of the largest tungsten deposits in the world. Tungsten is a hard metal used in products from wedding rings to electrical uses. Getting this valuable mineral to market is critical to growing Canada's share of the world tungsten market.

In Yukon, tungsten and other ores move by truck over hundreds of kilometres of access roads. One of these is the Nahanni Range Road, which connects Watson Lake to a tungsten mine 200 kilometres away.

The Yukon Government helps resource companies develop or upgrade these access roads. During 2009-10, eight roads were slated for improvement, thanks in part to a federal contribution of almost $45,000 through the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund.

The Nahanni project improved the road's safety and reliability by strengthening the roadbed, improving drainage and surfacing with suitable grading material.

The improvements also provide better access for residents, mine workers and other companies seeking to develop Yukon's abundant natural resources.

Federal contribution: $44,280

Federal Gas Tax Fund contributes to protecting Whitehorse's environment

Compost bin being emptied in Whitehorse
Multi-use paths under construction in Whitehorse

Project location: Whitehorse

As Canada's "Wilderness City," Whitehorse is known for its natural beauty and pristine environment. With financial support from the federal Gas Tax Fund, the City is investing in a series of infrastructure projects that will help ensure residents can continue to take pride in those natural surroundings for years to come.

One project involves upgrading the City's composting facility. With the addition of new processing equipment, the facility will be able to accept more organic material, including from the commercial sector. Composting organic material produces less methane than letting it decompose in a landfill, so helps reduce the production of greenhouse gases.

Whitehorse is also working to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions by expanding local multi-use paths and improving connections among existing ones.

With the recent completion of the Hillcrest Connector Path, Centennial Path, Lower Escarpment Path, and Centennial Quartz sidewalks, Whitehorse residents have more opportunities to use active forms of transportation while enjoying the city's beautiful scenery. Providing more options for people to take their feet or bikes, rollerblades or even skis to get around may encourage more residents to leave their cars at home, thereby helping reduce pollution.

These projects are great examples of how the federal Gas Tax Fund works at the local level to produce both short- and long-term results for communities while contributing to a greener Canada.

Celebrating Aboriginal culture in Whitehorse

Completed Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre

Project location: Whitehorse

The new Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre celebrates the heritage and contemporary way of life of local Aboriginal groups as well as diverse events and activities.

Situated on the banks of the Yukon River where the Kwanlin Dün originally lived, it highlights the historic importance of the City's inland waterway and forms a key part of the City's broader initiative to revive the waterfront. This initiative includes extensive landscaping, the construction of a new wharf, restoring heritage buildings, and upgrading underlying water and sewer infrastructure.

The Centre, also home to the new Whitehorse Library, houses a gallery of Aboriginal artifacts and artwork showcasing Whitehorse's rich history that also plays host to regular temporary exhibits. With an elders' lounge, sacred space, classrooms and workshop studios, the Centre offers extensive cultural programming including language classes, story-sharing, musical and dance performances, and traditional community feasts. Rounding out the facilities is a large hall overlooking the river equipped to host a wide variety of activities and occasions from conventions to weddings.

This new cultural hub blends heritage preservation with contemporary function to provide a highly welcoming environment for people of all backgrounds. Made possible by financial support from the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund, the Yukon Territory and the Kwanlin Dün First Nation, it is also a shining example of successful inter-governmental collaboration.

Federal contribution: $7,400,000

Cultural improvements for northern communities

The newly renovated Guild Hall in Whitehorse

Project location: Whitehorse

The Guild Hall is the premier venue for community theatre in Whitehorse and hosts three to four Guild Society performances per season. Other community groups, such as the Northern Lights School of Dance also use the facility for rehearsals and shows.

After 30 years of use and no major upgrades, the building had deteriorated considerably and required extensive renovations. These are now complete thanks, in part, to a federal government contribution through the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund.

The renovation has ensured the building is up to code and accessible to everyone. New windows, siding, insulation, and heating and ventilation systems were added to improve energy efficiency. The project also included renovating the kitchen and bathrooms.

The more modern look and upgraded amenities will help attract a wider audience to the hall. The improvements are also freeing up the Guild Society and other community groups to focus their resources on performances rather than the challenges of maintaining an aging building.

Federal contribution: $324,000

Gentian Lane reconstruction

Gentian Lane reconstruction in Whitehorse

Project location: Whitehorse

Communities across Yukon are benefitting from road reconstruction, highway upgrades and bridge rehabilitation carried out with contributions from the federal Infrastructure Stimulus Fund.

For example, Whitehorse, Yukon's capital and the territory's business and supply centre, benefitted from the Gentian Lane reconstruction project.

This project, made possible in part by an almost $85,000 joint federal-territorial contribution, transformed a non-standard road into an integral part of the local transportation network.

The work, completed in October 2009, involved clearing, ditching, building the sub-grade and finishing with suitable grading material.

The upgrading brings the road up to current safety standards and reduces maintenance requirements.

"This project provided economic benefits for all the contractors involved," says Archie Lang, former Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources, Government of Yukon. "Residents served by the road were also very pleased with the upgrades."

Federal contribution: $42,882

Keeping up with infrastructure priorities in Yukon's capital

Black Street in Whitehorse

Project location: Whitehorse

Long distances, isolation and a harsh climate contribute to Yukon's character, but also elevate construction costs and shorten the lifespans of Whitehorse's assets like roads. Growing demand for new development must be balanced with the need to replace aging infrastructure.

In recent years, parts of Black Street in the downtown core had deteriorated to the point of needing significant repairs. Using a portion of the financial support provided through the federal Provincial-Territorial Base Fund, the City now has one less infrastructure project on its plate.

Work crews repaired the underground water infrastructure, wastewater and electrical utilities, and replaced the road base. They also upgraded an intersection and added new sidewalks along with much-needed street lighting.

Improving the curb appeal of the neighbourhood is great for local businesses and residents, but making the area safer to navigate for motorists and pedestrians benefits everyone in the community.

Federal contribution: Yukon is receiving $182.91 million through the Provincial-Territorial Base Fund for initiatives across the Territory.

Kusawa Lake Road reconstruction

Kusawa Lake Road reconstruction in Whitehorse

Project location: Whitehorse

Narrow, winding roads can be dangerous to navigate over long, dark Yukon winters.

Thanks to an investment from the federal government's Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, a project to upgrade Kusawa Lake Road in Whitehorse has improved driving conditions and created a new local artery.

The work included road resurfacing, ditching and culvert installation. These improvements will ensure the road remains an integral part of the local transportation network year-round.

"The widened road can now accommodate a snow plough and there is better drainage following the installation of culverts," commented Dan Profeit, Project Manager for the Government of Yukon. "Improved access and better traction on this road have made it safer for residents and tourists."

Federal contribution: $21,000

Public safety in the North going green

A new, energy-efficient municipal building in Whitehorse

Project location: Whitehorse

The City of Whitehorse has a new, energy-efficient municipal building thanks to financial support from the federal Gas Tax Fund.

The multi-purpose public safety building is the new home of the City's primary fire station, computer data warehouse and bylaw services department. It will also serve as an emergency operations centre in the event of a major disaster.

Following current seismic-protection standards and incorporating alternate energy sources were important considerations in its construction. It features numerous energy-saving devices, such as solar-assisted heating, low-energy lighting and high-level thermal insulation.

These technologies provide more light and better temperature control using less electricity. Consolidating these municipal services into one building has also reduced the energy consumption of other municipal buildings.

The Gas Tax Fund provides stable, predictable financial support for environmentally sustainable municipal infrastructure projects. This new facility is not only providing Whitehorse residents with better emergency services, it represents a major step forward in reducing energy costs for taxpayers and protecting the environment.

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