Frequently Asked Questions
As the Founder and Project Lead of Squamish Canyon, I have spent the last six years working on this project. I have lived in Squamish for over a decade and spent most of those years volunteering for Squamish SAR and four years with the Volunteer Fire Dept. I have witnessed the areas growth and problems first hand and its impact on our community and environment. In light of this, we recognize that our growing community has questions and concerns around the building of Squamish Canyon.
This page is dedicated to responding to queries and to also clarify any misconceptions. We encourage our followers to inform themselves about this project via this website, our social media and by signing up to our mailing list. If your query is not answered below, please contact us with any questions you may have.
Will the access roads be upgraded?
Yes! As a resident of the bordering neighborhood to Squamish Canyon, I was also concerned about the safety and enjoyment of the access roads in the area. We will be upgrading the access road surface, eliminating the dust and keeping it maintained.
In the future, we want to work closely with the DOS (District of Squamish), SORCA (Squamish Off-Road Cycling Assoc.), FLNRO (The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development)and other parties to start expanding a back corridor green trail network, linking Quest University bike trails to Squamish Canyon and onto the Chief/Gondola. Our aim is to promote more biking to get people (including our employees) out of thier cars and we will also be working with local and surrounding transit systems too.
Will more tourists be brought to the area?
Tourists can be a blessing to a community or a challange, depending on how a community prepares, directs and shapes its growth. The Provincial and Federal Government have been ramping up national and international funding to bring more tourists to B.C and the Sea to Sky corridor. We can all see that our community is growing at a rapid rate.
Unfortunately, we are not preparing for this growth, by failing to create engaging, environmentally conscious and safe infrastructure for the visitors that we, as a province, have invited. This in turn, is causing problems; from Joffre Lakes to the hiking trails along the Sea to Sky, for our existing Parks and our privately-owned attractions - they are being overrun.
With Squamish Canyon, we saw a great opportunity to diversify an industrial area, to offer a community space and visitor activity that would be a safe and low impact on the environment. An activity that would help alleviate the pressures for our first responders and that allows the trees to stay in place, even when Squamish grows around it. We wanted to see an area zoned residential and an area of forest designated for logging, created into something amazing for the community, its visitors and future generations.
Tourism is also a huge part of why we love Squamish. The new businesses we have seen pop up over the last few years along with the jobs and infrastructure and recreation subsequently created is largely attributed to tourism and newcomers in the area. We are thinking long term and want to be proactive about the influx of people coming to the area - what do we want our community to be and look like? Can we diversify the land use in Squamish from something other than residential and industry.
Squamish Canyon aims to be a year-round, all-weather, all-ages outdoor experience that can safely and sustainably absorb some of this demand.
Why crowd-equity raise?
A crowd-equity raise allows locals to invest and support local businesses and be part of the growth in their community. It empowers Squamish Canyon to follow it’s B-Corp values and ethics by allowing the community to benefit from any success it may have.
If a start-up company raises enough money through smaller investors, it allows it to move forward with its development without sacrificing its values, goals and ethics to larger partners that don't share those same initiatives. It also allows a community to feel more connected and proud of their town and be ambassadors for the local businesses.
What about current user access to the area?
We fully recognize that other groups use this area. The Squamish Canyon will not impact the kayak access site, swimming holes and most of the trails. We'll be working with local recreational organizations to find out how their sport can safely continue in the canyon, particularly where they would be visible from our cliff walk.
We want slacklining, kayaking and rock climbing activities to continue in the canyon and in fact, anticipate showcasing the athletes skills, without causing any ill effect to the operation or risking safety.
We anticipate the mountain biking trail network will continue to grow around this area and hope to contribute to its development. We envisage the Squamish Canyon being a destination for bikers, hikers, climbers and kayakers to stop for a coffee or snack, fill their water bottles, tune their bikes and will encourage our guests to bike to us. We would love our employees to be provided with e-bikes as an alternative mode of transport to get to work. We will work with SORCA and land use owners around us to create a green trail network that connects easy walking and biking from Quest University, to the Chief, to the top of Valleycliffe and the corridor trails.
Why not leave the area untouched and pristine?
The area is absolutely stunning however it is not untouched. Much of the 26-acre area has been logged (twice, in some sections), and there are two power lines, three roads, an old railway line and a water pipeline running through it. A one-lane concrete bridge and the B.C Hydroelectric Power Plant also borders the area above the Canyon. A large section of the property was to be logged again.
We have worked closely with the lands department and our local loggers to be able to divert the harvestable areas of this land from being logged and used for a canyon eco-tour. One of the things we want to show is how tourism and community space and industry can all coexist together, and how heavily used land can be reclaimed and turned into something that could be preserved forever.
Won't the area get trampled by tourists?
This was one of our concerns too. Over the last few years, the area has become increasingly popular. This is due to its online coverage via social media, its reference in the National Geographic and its easy access and close proximity to the highway. Furthermore, there has also been an exponential increase in visitors and residents to the Squamish area. Consequently, braided tracks have steadily formed from growing foot traffic throughout the forest. We anticpiate the impending popularity in the area is going to increase this traffic.
Squamish Canyon’s approx. 1.3 km walkway will be a one-way loop, a mixture of elevated boardwalks through the forest with a suspended walkway wrapping around the edge of the canyon. The walkway will weave its way through the area's natural features allowing visitors to immerse themselves in nature, with almost no impact to the forest floor or trees.
Will campers and squatters increase along the access roads to Squamish Canyon?
Camping is actually prohbited on the access roads in the area. In previous years the DOS has been unable to enforce this bylaw due to lack of staff and refined policy. We understand that the DOS is putting the staff and measures in place to monitor the area and address the camping problems for the coming year. If you have questions and concerns on this please contact DOS.
We consider that having a presence in the area will decreases the attraction for overnight squatters and campers. Squamish Canyon will be keepers and stewards of the land for many years to come.
Where will parking be?
Parking will use an already existent industrial space. The Hydroelectric Power Plant sits above the canyon and has power lines travelling from its building towards Squamish’s town centre. At present, the power plant regularly maintains the vegetation beneath a one-kilometre stretch of power lines through regular brush cutting and other methods. Squamish Canyon will be utilizing this area by creating its parking beneath the lines - a win-win for both parties. This will also be a space where our local recreation users will be able to park as well.
Please refer to the site plan.