Make The 98 Hotel A Whitehorse Municipal Heritage Site!

Make The 98 Hotel A Whitehorse Municipal Heritage Site!

5,088 have signed. Let’s get to 7,500!

Why this petition matters

Started by Ryan West

Downtown Whitehorse is rapidly changing before our eyes… while change is good, it’s important we think to preserve some of the places that make us who we are!

The 98 Hotel is a staple of Yukon and Whitehorse’s cultural identity. It is one of the two last remaining authentic hotel saloons in the territory, the other being The Westminster Hotel in Dawson City. Both places are considered a “home away from home” to many Yukon residents.

Holding the second oldest saloon license west of Winnipeg, The ‘98 Hotel first opened its doors as The ‘98 Ballroom in 1943. At the end of WWII, it converted to The ‘98 Hotel and in June of 1951 a cocktail lounge opened on the premises. It was also home to Yukon’s iconic “Fiddler On The Loose,” the late Joe Loutchan. The ‘98 Hotel hosted a weekly fiddle night since 1982, welcoming Yukon residents and tourists alike to take to the dance floor and two-step, waltz, and jig the night away to the sounds that would’ve been heard in local saloons throughout Yukon history since the Gold Rush. Today, The ‘98 Hotel preserves this legacy by continuing to host weekly fiddle nights every Thursday.

The ‘98 Hotel is a tourist attraction that serves to provide a glimpse into Yukon’s heritage. Tourists travel from all over the world to visit the Yukon, and not simply for its pristine geography and landscape. They visit with the expectation of immersing themselves in the territory’s unique culture, history, and community still alive today.

One review of The ‘98 Hotel on Trip Advisor reads:  “This is Whitehorse as it was and should be, pure Yukon gold.” Another review reads, “Unfortunately, the historic 98 Hotel is not listed as an attraction in the Yukon and Whitehorse tourist guides. Yet, a visitor to Whitehorse who does not visit the 98 Hotel misses experiencing a venue unchanged in the past 60 years.” 

Though The ‘98 Hotel was fully renovated in 2019, it was done so with care, patience, and with the utmost respect to Yukon’s culture and history. The hotel has preserved the aesthetic of a Gold Rush era saloon and has been curated with local First Nations craft work, furs, and an antique rifle collection. All of which were gifted to the establishment. The ‘98 Hotel is a living, breathing, icon of Yukon and Whitehorse’s heritage and culture.

Since 2016, the Yukon has been Canada’s fastest growing population demographic. With such growth comes the gentrification of our communities as well as development from outside and foreign developers looking to turn a profit by turning such important businesses, buildings, landmarks, and locations into investment opportunities. 

Designating The ‘98 Hotel as a municipal heritage site would protect the establishment from potential destruction and preserve one of the last remaining businesses and buildings that makes our territory truly unique and would allow our residents and tourists to continue to enjoy a piece of Yukon culture and history for years to come.

The ‘98 Hotel is a cornerstone of Yukon and Whitehorse’s historical and cultural fabric. Thank you for supporting this endeavour to protect the historic ‘98 Hotel.

Tradition lives at The ‘98 Hotel!


5,088 have signed. Let’s get to 7,500!