Downtown wharf done

The Yukon government's $3-million wharf is complete. Its name is a misnomer. A wharf is, strictly speaking, where ships load and unload passengers and cargo.

The Yukon government’s $3-million wharf is complete.

Its name is a misnomer. A wharf is, strictly speaking, where ships load and unload passengers and cargo. This isn’t one.

Instead, the latest project to spruce-up Whitehorse’s waterfront could more correctly be called a deck. It’s being billed as a venue for outdoor events, like concerts.

Benches are scattered around the wharf’s perimeter. Angular metal handrails have a modern vibe, in contrast to the historic wooden pilings that jut up from the water to either side of the structure.

Construction fences came down a week and a half ago. As the wharf is now covered with snow, the government will wait until the spring for an official opening ceremony.

Landscaping will also be completed near the wharf in the spring. When the cost of new trails and beautification work in the area are lumped in with the wharf, the price is slightly above $5 million.

The work’s come in on budget so far. Ottawa paid for half of the project’s cost.

The territory initially had more ambitious plans for the wharf. It would have had a floating dock attached to it, and a boat launch would have been built further down the river.

But these additions have been put on ice, at least for now, because they couldn’t be shoehorned into the budget.