Children, Youth, Young Adults and Seniors

Chapter 8

What it’s about

Identifying vulnerable or unique segments of the local population and supporting their well-being.

Whistler is a community of diverse age groups. The health and well-being of Whistler’s children, youth, young adults and seniors are supported by a variety of programs, facilities and services facilitated by the municipality and resort community partnerships. These groups are healthy, proud of where they live and actively engaged in the future of the resort community. They are also valued members of the community, who contribute to its vibrancy, history and culture. The resort community has been able to keep young families living and working in Whistler as a result of employee housing, childcare programs, services for working parents and other initiatives.

As a resort community, Whistler has a higher than average proportion of young people. Over 25 per cent of permanent residents are under the age of 25 with many more seasonal employees, temporary residents and visitors adding to the number of youth in the community. The resort community strives to keep young families living and working in Whistler. This has in turn resulted in high demand for childcare programs and services for working parents. Similarly, demands on youth support services in areas such as mental health and housing are high. The municipality and the resort community work collaboratively to address child and youth care needs, but it is acknowledged that needs have outpaced the available services.

Despite its high proportion of children and youth, like the rest of Canada, Whistler is expected to see an increase in the number of seniors residing in the community as the baby boomer generation ages. Currently, approximately seven per cent of Whistler’s permanent residents are over the age of 65. As Whistler has matured as a community, so have its original residents. Many residents, who settled in Whistler during its early growth years in the 1980s, are seeking to retire here and will require age-friendly housing, health services and recreational programs.

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) and a network of non-profit and non-governmental organizations provide health and social support services for children, youth and seniors. A variety of services such as licensed childcare facilities, private home care and recreational programs are available for children, youth and seniors. These programs often reflect Whistler’s mountain culture, focusing on outdoor leadership, mountain sports, arts and culture. They also provide employment, mentoring and volunteering opportunities. The municipality seeks input from parents, youth and seniors by engaging these groups in resort community planning and other policy initiatives.

Click the ‘Objectives & Policies’ to display additional content.

8.9. Goal Support a variety of childcare opportunities for Whistler’s children.

8.9.1. Objective

Improve access to preschool and childcare facilities and services. Policy

Encourage the availability of licensed childcare facilities, including facilities providing infant care. Policy

Support licensed childcare programs within municipal facilities. Policy

Consider neighbourhood multi-use facilities with space for childcare programs. Policy

Encourage development of a network of in-home family childcare with appropriate licensing, throughout the community. Policy

Encourage new development and redevelopment to provide appropriately scaled space that may be leased at affordable rates to licensed childcare operators. Policy

Explore opportunities to partner with School Districts No. 48 and No. 93 to provide services and incorporate childcare facilities into the design of new schools.

8.10. Goal Support the health and well-being of Whistler’s youth, young adults and seniors, as well as their active participation in the resort community.

8.10.1. Objective

Promote initiatives for youth and young adults that support their developmental needs, health, well-being and social connections. Policy

Encourage services, programs and facilities in Whistler that support the health and social needs of youth and young adults, including programs with a focus on mental health and education about substance use and abuse. Policy

Encourage opportunities for youth and young adults to remain in the community, including opportunities for stable and affordable housing, and career development and advancement. Policy

Support ongoing provision of facilities and programs for youth.

8.10.2. Objective

Promote initiatives for seniors that support their health, well-being and ability to be a valued part of the community. Policy

Encourage services, programs and facilities that support the health and social needs of seniors, with a focus on cultural and recreational opportunities and social programs tailored to the needs of Whistler’s seniors.

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