Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

MAJOR HOUSING PROJECT OPENS – A participant in the construction of Boreal Commons in Whistle Bend is describing it as the largest residential development built in the city in the past 30 years.

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Photo by Whitehorse Star

Yukon MP Brendan Hanley

New 87-unit rental development opens in Whistle Bend

Boreal Commons, a new 87-unit rental development in Whistle Bend, has been completed, it was announced Monday.

By Whitehorse Star on January 31, 2023

Boreal Commons, a new 87-unit rental development in Whistle Bend, has been completed, it was announced Monday.

It’s being described as the largest residential development built in the city in the past three decades.

Boreal Commons consists of three multi-residential rental buildings, each with four bachelor suites, four one-bedroom units and 21 two-bedroom units, for a total of 87 homes.

A total of 18 units are affordable, which means they have below-market rents.

Ten of these affordable units will be prioritized for young adults (18 to 25 years of age) and newcomers to Canada.

The project also includes 12 accessible units, which will support seniors and people with mobility challenges.

Boreal Commons was supported by the Yukon and federal governments, the City of Whitehorse, and other partners.

“The large-scale housing project will help address the need for more rental housing in the Yukon, including for more affordable and accessible units,” the participants said in a statement.

“It is an example of how collaborative efforts across governments and the private sector can make significant progress in addressing gaps in the Yukon’s housing continuum and improve the affordability and accessibility of housing for all Yukoners.”

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. provided $22 million through the Rental Construction Financing Initiative (RCFI) to Boreal Commons.

The city contributed development incentives of up to $500,000 over 10 years.

The Yukon Housing Corp. chipped in $500,000 through the third intake of the Housing Initiatives Fund (HIF 3) and $500,000 under the Municipal Matching Rental Construction Grant program (MMRCP).

“I am thrilled to see another housing developer complete their project with support from the Yukon Housing Corporation through the Government of Yukon’s Housing Initiatives Fund and the Municipal Matching Rental Construction Program,” said Premier Ranj Pillai, who doubles as the minister responsible for the corporation.

“Boreal Commons addresses a much-needed demand for rental housing for young adults, newcomers to Canada as well as seniors.

“Our government is committed to continuing to invest aggressively in housing, and we know we need to work together with all partners across sectors to help ease pressure in the territory,” the premier added.

“I encourage developers who have housing projects ready to take advantage of the options and apply for the Housing Initiatives Fund sixth intake.”

The sixth intake opened Nov. 14, 2022, and will close this Friday.

“Our government is making investments to create more housing options right across the country, and Boreal Commons is just one example of those investments,” said Ahmed Hussen, the federal minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion.

“These 87 new homes are already making a real difference in the community and will provide more residents of Whitehorse with a home that meets their needs.

“We remain committed to working with our partners to develop and implement solutions to housing both in Whitehorse and across Canada,” Hussen added.

“This is another example of our government’s National Housing Strategy at work.”

Yukon MP Brendan Hanley also lauded the housing development.

“Our government is providing Canadians not only with safe, affordable housing, but also with the jobs and opportunities they need, so they can strengthen and contribute to our communities,” he said.

“We are proud to support the creation of these new affordable housing units, which will contribute to improving the overall well-being of Yukoners.”

Mayor Laura Cabott said housing “continues to be a key priority for our city.

“We know that rental units are a key part of the housing continuum and provide a home for so many in our community.

“Through strong partnerships and collaboration along with the city’s housing development incentive program, we have helped add another 87 units to the market, including affordable and accessible units for those in need.”

The Right On Property Group was also involved in constructing the project.

“We are very proud to be able to provide new affordable rental apartments in Whitehorse,” said Dr. Sammy Hachem, the group’s president.

“There has not been such a large residential project constructed in the community for more than 30 years.

“We realize it is only a small part of what needs to be done to meet the significant housing needs, and we hope that collaboration between different levels of government can be facilitated in the future so that we can all work together to improve housing options in northern Canada,” Hachem added.

“Building in the North presents significant challenges, and we want to thank our experienced team at Kobayashi and Zedda Architects, Blackrock Construction, and all their employees who helped make this project a reality.”

The project supports the goals of the Housing Action Plan for Yukon and the Aging in Place Action Plan to help Yukoners find housing that meets their needs, the territorial government noted.

Its Housing Initiatives Fund provides capital grants to incentivize the development of long-term, affordable rental and homeownership housing in the territory and encourages partnership solutions to address the territory’s housing pressures.

Comments (21)

Up 13 Down 2

@Charlie's Aunt on Feb 4, 2023 at 9:22 pm

That style of roof is called "Butterfly Roof" feel free to google it, along with the word "snow"... not the best idea for our location here.

Up 12 Down 2

Charlie's Aunt on Feb 3, 2023 at 4:20 pm

Maybe there is a contractor, builder or better yet an architect, who can explain that 'pretty' roof design. I noticed from Super Store parking lot that the new condo/appt block that is being built close to river has same roof design.

Up 28 Down 3

Sarah Davison on Feb 2, 2023 at 9:57 pm

Who thinks Whitehorse is a better place to live now than it was 10 years ago?
There's been a 25 percent population increase over 10 years in Whitehorse, pretty much all of it foreign immigration from the developing world. The place has completely changed. Have Yukoners experienced the changes this territory has seen over ten years as positive? Housing remains unaffordable for far too many, fentanyl and drug use are out of control, and the RCMP detachments have doubled in size and yet are still understaffed.

Up 24 Down 3

North_of_60 on Feb 2, 2023 at 7:14 pm

Matthew, Charlie's Aunt, & Tradesguy are all 100% correct. That roof design should never be used where it freezes. The roof will start leaking within a decade. This is what happens when they hire architects who don't know what they're doing.

Up 11 Down 3

Juniper Jackson on Feb 2, 2023 at 5:44 pm

Groucho: Your intention is quite correct. However, one small correction. These people are NOT immigrants. An immigrant has to put up a cash security that they will not receive government funding for at least 5 years, they have to speak English or French and have a trade, or a green card that they have secured a job before they come here.

The people you are talking about are migrants, people that have no fixed address. We have a big migrant population that moves out of Mexico, Jamaica etc, that work the fields and farms in the US, move up through Canada and work our fields and farms. Some stay, some head back home after the seasons end. They are a kind of gypsy, but we need them. The rest are TFWs, refugees, illegal entries, or more word smithing, irregular entries. (who are welcome in Canada. When we encourage a gun runner, or other criminal to cross over at Roxham, Trudeau yells, Yeah, we thumbed our nose at the US, the US yells..Yeah, we got rid of another one!)

The Feds have taken to calling all entries an 'immigrant' to attempt to remove comments like this one. Word smithing is so powerful. When you change "there were a bunch of dead bodies" to 'Several victims' you paint a different picture of that event. If it's one thing the Liberal peoplekind if good at, its deception and misleading. Word smithing is a bit of both. ( I think, not sure, but Trudeau isn't that bright, that this propensity to word smith to put themselves in a halo is Bill Morneau, who is very bright.)

Bill Morneau is in private industry, and knows how to market his products. McCain frozen foods and fruits. (Although his company also owns Deloitte & Touche and dozens of others.) No one can word smith like business conglomerates. (Read his book.. its says nothing and he is still loyal to Trudeau.)

Up 16 Down 5

Groucho d'North on Feb 2, 2023 at 1:33 pm

When you import thousands and thousands of imigrants to live here in Canada, they will need places to live. Metropolitin centers across the country are saying enough as their housing inventories are overwhelmed in both the natural growth of the sector and is further encumbered with the addition of all the people the government has brought to live here.
About a year ago the federal minister of housing and imigration was here to meet with our minister of housing who is now the premier. Read all about it: https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/media-newsroom/news-releases/2022/canada-support-rapid-housing-whitehorse

Up 13 Down 4

bonanzajoe on Feb 1, 2023 at 7:36 pm

@Hobo on Jan 31, 2023: It's reconciliation dough.

Up 18 Down 3

ned nickerson on Feb 1, 2023 at 7:13 pm

No mention of how to apply or what the rents actually are in dollar terms. Maybe they are all already spoken for by employees of the 'partners' who built the place with a lot of subsidies from taxpayers.

Up 24 Down 6

Richard on Feb 1, 2023 at 11:18 am

I'm still going to be home less at the end of the month.

Up 40 Down 21

Dallas on Feb 1, 2023 at 8:14 am

Liberal NDP alliance is screwing this country, to many immigrants, crime through the roof, housing through the roof, gas/diesel through the roof, food prices through the roof, the cost of everything is through the roof, government interference in private business is through the roof…..can’t wait for Kate and Ranj to get voted out but they are just feathering their nest now with a big fat pension, they will probably move to Alberta when they are done where the cost of everything is more reasonable.

Up 38 Down 4

Tradesguy on Feb 1, 2023 at 8:07 am

Matthew on Jan 31, 2023 at 1:55 pm

“Going to be interesting to see how that roof holds up... I predict problems for years to come.”

Same design team and same roof design that was used on the women’s facility at Whitehorse Correctional.
Perpetual ice damming in the trough between the two roofs caused the roof to leak and fail prematurely.
Oh well.

Up 43 Down 8

AdmiralA$$ on Feb 1, 2023 at 6:33 am

More cradle to grave government care. We all know this is social housing. Below market value means whoever has social assistance because they won't stop drinking and smoking. I love paying for the habits of the losers around here. Amazing all the 30 year old men here wandering the street drunk and high at 11 am. These are the people this is going to cater to, with no evictions, hahaha, this will be awesome. I suppose the better title here would be how to destroy a multi million dollar building in 365 days? Like this. This is where 75% of people putting out bail plans say they are going. Hope your family loves it.

Up 24 Down 5

Jack on Jan 31, 2023 at 10:31 pm

Prioritization is outrageous and unacceptable especially during housing crisis.

Up 40 Down 12

bonanzajoe on Jan 31, 2023 at 7:35 pm

18 to 25 years of age: Let me give you their profile - welfare recipients - not in the labour force, drinkers, druggers, and all night partiers. I want to see the price of upkeep and damage repairs at the end of every year. To the working taxpayers of course. Ah, the governments always have such great ideas on how to spend the taxes of the workers. By the way, are they going to have Police only parking spots and parking slots for ambulances as well, like they do at some of the other places in town?

Up 24 Down 2

Hobo on Jan 31, 2023 at 5:01 pm

it says in the text: "Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. provided $22 million"; was it a loan?, a gif?, or bridge financing? Would be nice to know

Up 23 Down 2

Charlie's Aunt on Jan 31, 2023 at 4:28 pm

@ Matthew; I also wondered about those roof lines when I saw them being built. How are they going to work if we have another snow dump like we had last winter? Any shovelling needs to be uphill and could be interesting when it melts and runs to centre. Perhaps they will add a downspout at each end, lol

Up 182 Down 38

Me Facts on Jan 31, 2023 at 2:59 pm

Cool, housing for new Canadians? So brave and inspiring. Screw the Canadians who have paid taxes all their lives and need housing though. Diversity is our strength.

Up 95 Down 20

Bill on Jan 31, 2023 at 2:25 pm

I wish the Star would give advance notice of these articles so we can have our barf bags at the ready.

Up 19 Down 14

Christina Magun on Jan 31, 2023 at 1:59 pm

Is there housing applications?

Up 106 Down 14

Matthew on Jan 31, 2023 at 1:55 pm

Going to be interesting to see how that roof holds up... I predict problems for years to come. If you want to build, build for people who want to work.. more skilled people we have in this town, the faster it will flourish! Why not dedicate entire building to the trades.. imagine, making $30+hr, and still needing a roommate at 25-30 years old just to make ends meet. No wonder it's only new immigrants that flock here (fastest in Canada to approve), once they get citizenship, they leave. Rise and repeat..

Up 65 Down 9

Politico on Jan 31, 2023 at 1:55 pm

Nice to see the addition of some affordable housing units included. However, what does "below market rents" mean in dollars. No one mentioned what markets rent are so how are we to judge. I guess we'll just have to leave it to those kind and generous landlords to do the right thing!

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