The Whistler Timeline

  • 10,000 B.C. – 1000 B.C. – The Coast Salish First Nations settles in the area. The valley itself is an isolated wilderness, frequented by the Lil'wat and Squamish Nations.
  • 1877 – A trail linking Pemberton to the Pacific Ocean is opened in 1877, attracting prospectors and trappers.


  • 1913 – Myrtle and Alex Philip began to build the successful Rainbow Lodge on the north shore of Alta Lake. It becomes the most popular honeymoon spot west of Jasper by the 1940s.  
  • 1960 – A group of Vancouver businessmen skiing Squaw Valley, host of that year's winter Olympics, have an idea. Vancouver, and the mountains north of it, would be a perfect place to hold the 1968 Games.
  • 1961 – With no infrastructure, lifts or even a passable road, the first Olympic bid is prepared. The bid is unsuccessful.
  • 1965 – Despite the unsuccessful attempt, lift construction begins in Whistler
  • 1965 – The road from Squamish to Whistler is improved
  • 1966 – The Garibaldi Lift Company opens on the west side of Whistler Mountain with a gondola, the Red Chair and two t-bars


  • 1972 – The second Olympic bid is prepared, and defeated.
  • 1975 – The first Whistler World Cup is held, bringing the world’s attention to Whistler. Curiously, the races are cancelled due to fog. 
  • 1975 – The creation of the Resort Municipality of Whistler happens. A town center is envisioned, where Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains converge.
  • 1978 – Construction begins on what is now known as Whistler Village.
  • 1980 – Aspen Skiing Company opens the second Whistler ski area of Blackcomb Mountain.
  • 1989 – Whistler local and downhill ski racer Rob Boyd wins the 1989 World Cup downhill on Canadian snow, the first and only in history to do so.


  • 1996 – After 17 years of rivalry as two of the biggest and best ski areas in North America, Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains merge under the umbrella of Intrawest Corporation.
  • 2003 – The International Olympic Committee votes Vancouver host the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
  • 2006 – Construction begins on Olympic venues and Cheakamus Crossing neighbourhood

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* Photos courtesy of Whistler Museum and Archives.