The clay cliffs

The Black Street stairs

This 200-step stairway is very popular with athletes who use them to train in anticipation of their next hike or to improve their cardio.

Photo credit: Lewis Rifkind

Timber hauling area

At the turn of the 20th century, Antoine Cyr used this gap in the clay cliff to haul wood off his land for sale as firewood or construction materials.

In those days, the transport of timber was associated to that of water. Cyr, who already had a means for transporting wood, used it to distribute water as well.

Photo: Antoine Cyr and his wood load
Photo credit: MacBride Museum, Laurent Cyr Collection


If you climb the Black Street stairs, you can walk between the cliff and the airport.

In 1920, the U.S. Army was looking for a site to build an airport in Whitehorse so planes could refuel on their way to Alaska. Antoine Cyr had already felled many of the trees on his land at the top of the cliff which made his lot the best place to land an airplane. So it was that Antoine’s woodlot became the Erik Nielson Whitehorse International Airport.

Photo: First airplane to land in Whitehorse
Photo credit: Yann Herry Collection

Whitehorse, then and now

If the spirit moves you, walk along the bluff, turning left at the stop of the stairs. You will have a spectacular view of Whitehorse, and see how much it has changed since this photograph was taken at the turn of the 20th century.

Photo: Whitehorse seen from the bluff at the turn of the 20th century
Photo credit: fonds Ernest Brown, Yukon Archives , #891

Extract of
Whitehorse with a French Touch

Whitehorse with a French Touch image circuit

Presented by : Association franco-yukonnaise

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