A recent survey says 94 per cent of Whitehorse residents think the city “is a great place to live.” (Ian Stewart/Yukon News)

Whitehorse residents like living here, survey finds

Trail system gets thumbs up, economy, transit system could use improvement, respondents say

The results of the 2017 City of Whitehorse citizens survey are in and apparently people like living here.

According to the survey, 94 per cent of adult Whitehorse residents feel the city “is a great place to live.” The same number would also “speak positively about the City of Whitehorse,” to their families, friends and co-workers.

“Generally, Whitehorse citizenry like living here,” said Coun. Dan Boyd said at the July 17 standing committee meeting. “People speak highly of Whitehorse.”

The Yukon Bureau of Statistics conducted the survey between April 19 and May 18, 2017. It was done primarily over the phone, although some were completed online. Of a possible 1,554 households, 1,080 respondents were selected. Of those, households with incorrect contact information were eliminated. Of the possible participants, approximately 62 per cent completed the survey.

The survey was presented to council by Edward Duru, a policy analyst for the city, and Bishnu Saha from the Yukon Bureau of Statistics.

Among the most positive responses to the survey, 89 per cent of respondents feel Whitehorse has a great multi-use trail system, 82 per cent said Whitehorse is welcoming to new residents and 73 per cent said Whitehorse is a clean city.

“I think that word ‘multi-use’ would stand out to council,” said Boyd. “Here at council, we see a lot of questions about the type of trail — not the the quality or the location, but the type of trail— and there are a lot of comments about multi-use trails.”

“A take-away is that Whitehorse residents are quite happy with our multi-use trails.”

Whitehorse residents also identified some problem areas, with only 40 per cent of respondents stating they felt Whitehorse has a diverse economy and only 66 per cent stating they felt Whitehorse was a “environmentally responsible” city. Council expressed surprise that only 31 per cent of people said “Whitehorse has a great public transit system.”

Mayor Dan Curtis asked if it was possible that the transit response might have been skewed because not all respondents take the bus. Saha said that it was possible that might have altered the responses.

“Our transit system ridership is constantly increasing, which is different from across Canada,” Curtis said.

“It does stand out that a good number of people are not satisfied with our transit system,” said Boyd.

You can see full survey results at whitehorse.ca/city-council/citizen-survey.

Contact Lori Garrison at lori.garrison@yukon-news.com

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