Life in Whitehorse, questions for loc...

Life in Whitehorse, questions for locals.

Posted in the Whitehorse Forum


United States

#1 Mar 14, 2012
What is it like living in Whitehorse? I'm from Texas, which is very far away. But I'm going to college to become a Pharmacist, it's many years down the road but once I graduate and am able to I hope to move to Whitehorse, or somewhere up north similar in Canada.

But still just to feed my curiosity I hoped I could hear from some residents of white horse. What is it like to live there? How are the people and the community, and how are the winters? How often do the northern lights come out? Does it snow pretty regularly during the winter?

I know that Canada overall is pretty Liberal, which is one reason I want to move to Canada apart from just loving winters, clear skys full of stars, and the northern lights which has always been my dream to live among. Is the community of Whitehorse pretty open to everybody regardless of ethnicity, religion, etc?

What is the cost of living like in Whitehorse and are there plenty of fruits and vegetables in the grocery stores?

Any information you can give will be quite helpful, I've never stepped foot in Canada and I will not be moving out of the U.S until years down the line but it's never to early to learn and be educated on these types of things. Thanks in advance to everybody :)
Fond Memories

Farmington, MO

#2 Mar 18, 2012
I spent a wonderful 5+ months in Whitehorse in '02. I still keep the pulse with a few websites. You might start there.
Good luck.

Whitehorse, Canada

#3 Mar 21, 2012
Joe, I have lived in Whitehorse for about 17 years, moved here from southern Canada. Life is much more laid back here, population around 30,000. Winter starts in late October and finishes in April/May. When winter starts the snow starts falling, it rarely gets above freezing, so the snow accumulates until spring, my back yard has approx 3 to 4' by the end of winter. Northern lights usually appear on the colder clear nights they can be spectacular. Days are shorter in winter, it gets dark around 4:30pm in the middle of winter; however by March the days are longer than in southern Canada, eventually we get very little darkness (around June 21st). Whitehorse is always looking for professionals, keep that in mind. There is an expected growth of 5,000 people within the next 5-10years if infrastructure can be built to accommodate.
Grocery stores are just like the ones to the south yet a little smaller, produce is fine, not fantastic, but is good most of the time.
Housing is expensive and hard to come by, but it is expensive in most of Canada.
Whitehorse has some of most ethnic groups and religions with no big issues or concerns.
Whitehorse Guy

Whitehorse, Canada

#4 Jun 6, 2012
As Resident said. Dark cold winters. However it's only for 2.5 maybe 3 months. The cold is a very dry cold so you get used to it fairly quickly and if you dress warm it's not a big deal. There's not a lot of snow fall (at least compared to when I lived in central BC), but its there all winter. We even got a big dump (~5" in mid May this year).

Come March it starts getting light very quickly. Come May it's light out until 10:30/11. Mid June it's light all day long. According to the weather network sunset tonight is 11:35, and the sky will still be light out until 130/2ish.

I buy a lot of things online or when I make regular trips south. But we have a Walmart, Super Store and a large Canadian Tire. Between these places you can usually find the 'normal' things you're looking for.

Other than housing and gas (at least compared to you guys in the US), I don't really find much of a difference up here compared to down south. We don't have the selection, but it's not too bad. Nightlife kinda blows, but its all about what you make of it. With the right group of friends, you can still go out all night and have a blast.

Whitehorse is about 26k in size. Situated in a valley surrounded by mountains/big hills. I can be kayaking on 7-8 different lakes, or the river within 30/40 minutes of leaving my house. 20 if I go to one of the several close ones, and I live right in town. It's about 40 minutes to get to the top of 3 of the hills/mountains surrounding town. Most little cars could make it up there (well probably).

The big thing is just the housing. It's fairly pricey - even just to rent. Most 2-3 bedroom condos go for 1200-1500 plus utilities (heat,electric/tv/internet/pho ne). I own a condo that I rent and when I first listed it this winter at 1500 I had 20+ emails within 3 days. So if you do come up here, line up a place to stay before hand. Even if you're going to be in a hotel (many are full all summer long). I don't want to scare you off, but it is what it is. If you look in advance it's not a big deal to find a place... you're just going to have to pay for it.

It's also a very spread out town. End to end along the highway is probably 35+km (city limit to city limit). The transit system blows, so a vehicle is almost a must. You can make do without, but it's a major pain if you want to go outside the city center. Winters without a car would also blow.

I came up here in 2000 and hated the first year or so. Now 12 yrs later, I doubt I'll ever leave. It's very laid back, and people are very easy going.

As for Canada's political landscape, it's very Liberal (much to my dismay). The conservatives in Canada are further left than the US Democrats. Yukon is probably one of the more conservative places, yet there's still tons of hippies and Liberals. And we're all polite enough that we all still drink beer together.

The only other northern place I've been (of any size) is Yellowknife (for work). There is absolutely no comparison. I don't mind going for a short stint (a week), but would never ever live there. Housing is more expensive, and it's flat. Like perfectly flat. There's no hills, mountains or anything. Their ski hill is down into an old mine pit. Maybe that's okay with you, but it drove me nuts. It's also a very transient place. People come up, work & make money then leave. Here they tend to stay a lot longer. I also found it a dingyer town. And one that's very very compact. You can walk or bike everywhere (if you wish). Whitehorse you can... but depending on where you're going it could take a bit... Whitehorse also has the advantage of being able to drive out (north, to Alaska (Skagway is 2 hrs), east, or south). The road pretty much ends in Yellowknife. I found this to be a kind big deal. When you need a break... go for a drive to check out other places. An hour south, or 30 mins north and you're suddenly in the middle of nowhere. Nice, peaceful and quiet with tons of fresh air... just how I like it. Hope that helps. JR

Surrey, Canada

#6 Sep 4, 2012
Hi, JR
I have been reading up on life/living in Whitehorse Yukon and your comments were interesting and very helpful. I am considering a job offer based there so ...
I think the housing prices are likely to remain high for some time.
Since you have been there are while, what sort of heating/insulation systems are preferable? What would be somethings to look out for when picking out a rental place? Is electrical heating the best, and is it relatively more available?
Also any advise on preferred vehicle type/feature would be appreciated.
May see you around ...
Allen S
Bob- Newmarket

Newmarket, Canada

#7 Jan 20, 2013
I am researching a move to Whitehorse or Yellowknife because of a possible job offer. This thread has been very helpful and it solidified my choice to pick Whitehorse. Thank you everyone.

Since: Nov 11

Yellowknife, Canada

#8 Apr 8, 2013
I've been in Yellowknife just over a year and am working towards moving to Whitehorse this summer. I was fortunate to spend a week in Whitehorse last fall and there is no comparison between the two cities. Whitehorse outshines by a mile.

Stephenville, Canada

#9 Apr 22, 2013
What are food prices like? Any idea what it would cost for groceries a month compared? How much more than in place like Toronto?

Whitehorse, Canada

#10 Jul 9, 2013
Hi you can find all info you need in this new website .I am a Whitehorse local and will not change it for any place in the world.
Making the right move

Yellowknife, Canada

#11 Jan 12, 2014
Bob- Newmarket wrote:
I am researching a move to Whitehorse or Yellowknife because of a possible job offer. This thread has been very helpful and it solidified my choice to pick Whitehorse. Thank you everyone.
Yes you are better off picking Whitehorse. I live in Yellowknife and there is nothing to do here, people are very noisy and a lot of gossip and life is miserable. I am moving to whitehorse in a few weeks. People say you make more money in Yellowknife but that is because there is nothing to do and no were to go. I would rat here take the few dollars an hour difference and live in Whitehorse were life is much more better.
clayton sulymka

Kamloops, Canada

#12 Jul 2, 2014
Always wanted to move to Whitehorse, but I have some questions... Is there work opportunities up there, and hows the living cost for a single person..?there is

Calgary, Canada

#13 Oct 15, 2014
its absolute bollocks
Living in Whitehorse

Whitehorse, Canada

#14 Oct 18, 2014
Click the Welcome to Whitehorse banner link at for information about living in Whitehorse, cost of living, jobs, stats etc.

Port Coquitlam, Canada

#15 Jun 9, 2016
i work as a care aid with special needs. Are there jobs in this feild
Price Critic

Belleville, Canada

#16 Oct 24, 2016
Jonathan wrote:
What are food prices like? Any idea what it would cost for groceries a month compared? How much more than in place like Toronto?
I live in Madoc Jonathan and toronto is about 3 hours away from Madoc. Trust me the food prices AREN'T worth it. Toronto is so expensive and all the food from foodland is like 50 maybe 60 dollars. It's crap....
Carter mypoopie

Belleville, Canada

#17 Oct 24, 2016
I wanna poo in ur mouth

Richmond, Canada

#18 Oct 26, 2016
All friends,I am moving from Vancouver to white horse soon, I would like to know how about IPhone price and Mac book price comparing with Vancouver, moreover, Fido can use in white horse? I am said only bell and virgin can use in white horse.
How about the designer brand,such as Canada goose is more expensive than Vancouver?
Many thanks, if any friend can answer my question.

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