Whitehorse Inn

Building Location: 

Second Avenue & Main Street

Whitehorse, YT N/A

Location Context: 

Refer to the Burns Building. Demolished in March 1979.


Three Storey Hotel

Cultural History: 

The Whitehorse Inn was built in 1927 by Mr. Kenzaburo “King” Yoshida, who operated the hotel until WW II compelled him to return to Japan. The Inn was described as ‘the most modern hotel in the north” and was at that time, the only hotel in the Yukon with hot and cold running water in every room. It had 43 large rooms, 15 with private baths. None of the rooms had locks on the doors until 1950.

T.C. Richards, one of Whitehorse’s most well-known and colourful characters, won $20,000 from Yoshida in a poker game in the Inn’s notorious Snake Room. Richards used the money as a down payment on the hotel, and was later backed by White Pass, who boarded their employees there until the mid-1950’s.

Under Richards, the Inn flourished, requiring a large staff for its café, bakery, beauty parlour, and barber shop. During the war, it became a centre of activity in Whitehorse’s growth years with dinners in the Blue Room, dancing in the ballroom, and gambling in the Snake Room.

T.C. ran the Inn until his death in 1961. Although it was looked upon fondly, the building was allowed to deteriorate until it was torn down in March 1979. The lot is now occupied by the Bank of Commerce.

Current Use: Demolished in March 1979
Past Use: Hotel
Condition: N/A
Foundation/Floor: N/A
Walls: N/A
Windows/Doors: N/A
Roof: N/A