Whitehorse is a Canadian city, the territorial capital of the Yukon. Its population is approximately 19,000.
Whitehorse is at kilometre 1489 of the Alaska Highway and was the terminus of the White Pass and Yukon Route Railway from Skagway, Alaska. At the head of navigation on the Yukon River, the city was an important supply and stage center during the Klondike Gold Rush. It has been the territorial capital since 1952, when the seat was moved from Dawson City after the construction of the Klondike Highway.
The city gets its name from the Whitehorse rapids, which were said to look like the mane of a white horse. The rapids have disappeared under Schwatka Lake behind a hydroelectric dam.
Nowdays Whitehorse is a government town, with excellent facilities for visitors and locals to enjoy. A CAN$20 million Multiplex centre is being built for the Canada Winter Games in 2007.
Some of the tourist attractions in Whitehorse include Miles Canyon, the S.S. Klondike sternwheeler, the MacBride Museum, the Beringia Centre, Yukon Gardens, "Log Skyscrapers," the Whitehorse fish ladder, the Yukon Wildlife Preserve and the Takhini Hot Springs.
Whitehorse is served by an international airport and has scheduled service to Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Fairbanks and Frankfurt (summer months). During the September 11, 2001 attacks, 3 aircraft approaching the United States from Asia were diverted to Whitehorse as part of Operation Yellow Ribbon, including a Korean Air 747 that was feared hijacked but this was not the case--the plane was low on fuel. Many of the buildings in the downtown area below the airport were evacuated. Those who witnessed the plane's landing said that they saw the RCMP order the crew out at gunpoint.
Although he grew up mostly in Dawson City, Canadian author Pierre Berton was born in Whitehorse. As well, Robert W. Service started writing his poetry when he moved to Whitehorse.