After 30 years as one of Whistler’s most popular destination parks, a refresh of Rainbow Park is underway for 2023. The Province of British Columbia is investing Resort Municipality Initiative funds to upgrade the space for a wider variety of needs, activities and people.
We are about to begin Phase 2 of the Rainbow Park Rejuvenation. The construction schedule will be shared once confirmed.
January 24, 2023: Rainbow Rejuvenation Project Overview presentation to Council.
Upgrades will benefit the increasing number of people visiting Rainbow Park. In summer 2021, Whistler’s destination parks—Lost Lake, Rainbow, Lakeside and Alpha Lake parks—were visited a total of 176,000 times: 77 per cent more than in 2019. These numbers show how important it is that our parks are well cared for and ready to meet the future.
The upcoming work will include:
- Larger beach area with log and rock seating
- More trees for shade on the lawn
- An additional dock with a hammock and accessible lift
- Improvements to north dock, including a paved path and SUP launch
- A food truck plaza
- Making sections of the Valley Trail wider
- Repositioning of beach volleyball area
- New, expanded and improved gathering places, picnic areas and seating opportunities
- Habitat improvements, such as adding trees along the creek and wetland, to support the area’s ecosystem
- Drainage and irrigation improvements
The dog-off-leash area, heritage cabins and event lawn area will remain unaltered.
This project is designed to improve the experience for all visitors and provide space for growth, so more people can enjoy the lakefront harmoniously for many years to come.
The rejuvenation project is comprised of three construction phases:
- Phase 1 – commenced in April 2022, fully complete summer 2023.
- Phase 2 – to begin soon. Construction schedule will be shared once confirmed.
- Phase 3 – integrated with and following Phase 2 construction.
Closures during construction
Rainbow Park will need to be closed to the public for safety while the park is an active construction zone. The dates of the closure are still being determined and details will be shared when confirmed.
The design for the rejuvenated park was informed by the following:
- Recreation and Leisure Master Plan (2015)
- Official Community Plan (2018)
- Parks Master Plan “Outside Voice” community engagement process (2018/19)
- Climate Action Big Moves Strategy (2020)
- Whistler Summer Experience Plan (2021)
- Lived and observed experiences
The entire cost of construction for all three phases of the Rainbow Park Rejuvenation project is being covered by the Province of British Columbia’s Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) program, which invests in growing tourism. It will not impact local property tax bills.
The Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) program is managed by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. The program is intended to support small, tourism-based municipalities to build and diversify their tourism infrastructure, deliver exceptional visitor experiences and incorporate sustainable tourism practices and products.
Frequently asked questions
Will the park, or portions of the park be open, during construction?
For the safety of residents and visitors, it's important we close this active construction zone and provide room for the work to be completed. We know it is a popular spot and we will communicate early and often on ways you can access the lakes and enjoy your summer.
When will it be closed?
Timing will be shared as soon as we have the information. We know Rainbow Park and the Valley Trail are really important parts of summer for most residents and visitors. Right now, we are working to find alternatives for many of the park’s activities, like the volleyball courts, and we will share how we're working to accommodate those needs throughout the summer.
Is anything being changed with the dog off-leash area?
The off-leash dog area will remain untouched. We received a lot of feedback during our engagement phase. Some want it to stay the same and some wanted the area moved, since it is in a prime waterfront location.
In 2021, a new dock was added away from the dog off-leash area, and the rejuvenation project will improve access to this dock, and add another dock to the lakefront, in an effort to meet both asks.
How will the community access Alta Lake?
The RMOW is working on a plan to temporarily relocate some park elements to other locations and encourage visitors and residents to make use of the full park system. Wayside Park and Lakeside Park will be open, along with docks at Blueberry and Alta Lake Park. There are also a number of other parks around Whistler, including Lost Lake Park, with free shuttle access.
As a reminder, all parks can be accessed by the Valley Trail.
A more definitive construction timeline detailing park, lake and Valley Trail closures, as well as a closure plan, will be shared as the project advances toward the construction phase. We know this is important information and will make every effort to be timely. In the meantime, we thank everyone for their patience. This is a big undertaking and we want to do our best job.
Email feedback and questions to email@example.com.