Towards the vision for Klondike National Historic Sites

Parks Canada is going full steam ahead to reach our goals set out in the Klondike National Historic Sites’ 2018 management plan. Part of this work is developing a sustainable model for managing the sites’ heritage assets in and around Dawson City.

We want to see treasured places and heritage buildings protected and used in a way that contributes to a healthy and vibrant community. To do this, Parks Canada is currently involving stakeholders and partners in exploring different ownership and use models for some of our underused properties and buildings in the Klondike.

Heritage assets in the Klondike

Parks Canada protects and presents nationally significant examples of cultural and natural heritage. We share the stories of unique places and the historic values they represent. At the same time, we need to exercise responsible fiscal management and wisely invest resources.

Parks Canada is the largest single heritage asset owner in the Klondike region. Some buildings are essential to telling the story of the gold rush and its aftermath and play an active role in tours and events. Other buildings are used for housing, office space or storage of artifacts. Some are underused or sit empty.

A shared responsibility

Protecting the historic look and feel of the Klondike region is a shared responsibility. Parks Canada, Yukon government, City of Dawson, and many private entities own heritage buildings spread throughout the town and region. This heritage mosaic depends not only on Parks Canada but also other governments and asset owners.

Using a policy-based framework Parks Canada has taken a thorough look at the sites’ properties and buildings. We have come to realize that not all of our heritage assets in the Klondike must remain federally owned and administered. Others may have a chance at a new life under different ownership and use, while ensuring historic values are still protected through other means such as municipal or territorial historic site designation.

Working together to find the best outcomes

Parks Canada embraces collaboration with all governments and other key stakeholders in the region. We look forward to exploring new opportunities for visitors and community members to experience these treasured places.

Progress to date

  • In 2018, Parks Canada formed an Advisory Committee of local and regional organizations and community representatives to inform decision making related to heritage assets; the committee meets twice per year
  • All assets have been re-inventoried and heritage designations confirmed
  • Where required, property surveys have been updated
  • Detailed condition assessments for select buildings have been completed
  • In 2019, Parks Canada signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in government to work together on heritage, language, visitor experience and land use, including exploring the idea of an Indigenous-led learning centre at Bear Creek
  • Parks Canada developed a policy-based framework for evaluating assets in the Klondike region
  • Parks Canada has submitted two nominations for Municipal Historic Site designation to the City of Dawson for Billy Biggs’ Blacksmith Shop and Harrington’s Store.
For more information:

Travis Weber
Site Superintendent, Klondike National Historic Sites
P.O. Box 390, Dawson City, Yukon, Y0B 1G0
travis.weber@canada.ca / Tel: 867-993-3326