Local advisory councils push for street numbers

Yukon's unincorporated communities could be closer to getting standard street addresses.

Yukon’s unincorporated communities could be closer to getting standard street addresses.

The need for standard addresses was brought up at a recent meeting with members of the local advisory councils and the Department of Community Services.

Currently, unincorporated properties use numbers in the land registry. They aren’t in order, and there may be duplicates of a number in one community, said Paul Dabbs, chairman for Tagish’s advisory council.

Without street addresses, emergency responders have a hard time finding homes. Callers can only give descriptions of homes, or say who lives there.

And that may not mean much to new recruits, said Peter Percival, a councillor with the Mt. Lorne council.

“Many of the firefighters have been around for a long time and they know the area reasonably well,” he said. But younger firefighters don’t. “They don’t know where Fred lives with the two orange barrels down on Annie Lake Road.”

A few years ago, he needed an ambulance to take him to the hospital. His home is on a 60-acre property and isn’t visible from the road. A neighbour had to flag the ambulance down for him.

“The lot number doesn’t mean anything to anybody,” he said. And some people don’t even know their number, he said.

He’s been wanting standard addresses for a number of years, he said.

Each unincorporated community is at a different stage in getting standard addresses, said Christine Smith, the territory’s director of community affairs.

Civic addressing is being considered in Ibex Valley, Mt. Lorne, Marsh Lake, Tagish and the South Klondike. Community Services hopes to have a draft plan for each community made in January. But actually getting standard addresses could take years, because each council has to work with its citizens, she said. Marsh Lake is the closest to having standard addresses, she said.