Sea to Sky Gondola Corporation is building a major tourist attraction in Squamish. From a base between the Stawamus Chief and Shannon Falls, the sightseeing gondola rises 848 metres to the wooded ridge northwest of Mount Habrich. The company initially hoped to open the gondola on July 1, 2013, but has pushed the date back to May 16, 2014.
Sea to Sky’s project has obtained multiple government approvals. For instance, Sea to Sky applied successfully to the province to remove 2.36 hectares of land from Stawamus Chief Provincial Park for the gondola corridor.
What follows is a timeline of significant events relating to the project. Below the timeline is a list of all the articles we've written on this subject. We’ll update this page as the story progresses.
(Last updated on April 10, 2014)
Sea to Sky Gondola timeline
June 29, 2011
Vancouver-based GroundEffects Development Inc., owned by former Intrawest executives David Greenfield and Trevor Dunn, launches the Sea to Sky Gondola project.
September 21, 2011
Squamish-based Sea to Sky Gondola Corporation is incorporated to manage the project.
October 18, 2011
District of Squamish council gives first reading and second reading to rezoning and official-community-plan-amendment bylaws for the gondola base.
B.C. Parks receives a formal application from Sea to Sky for a park-use permit in Stawamus Chief Provincial Park.
November 8, 2011
District of Squamish council holds a public hearing in council chambers on bylaws for the gondola base. About 40 speakers—the overwhelming majority of them in favour of the project—address the meeting.
November 15, 2011
District of Squamish council gives third reading to bylaws for the gondola base.
B.C. Parks receives a formal application from Sea to Sky to change the boundaries of the Chief park.
December 14, 2011
Squamish Nation council reviews a memorandum of understanding setting out the draft terms under which the First Nation will support Sea to Sky's project.
January 31, 2012
Sea to Sky applies to the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations for a water licence pertaining to the use of an unnamed stream (later referred to as Gondola Creek) for the upper-terminal area.
February 7, 2012
District of Squamish council unanimously grants final approval to bylaws for the gondola base.
February 8, 2012
The Land Conservancy of B.C. sells the 2.5-hectare base property, a former gravel pit, to 0930756 B.C. Ltd. for $2 million, making Sea to Sky the beneficial owner of the land. A covenant prohibits the use of the land for an “aerial tramway” that goes up the Chief or terminates in either the Chief or Shannon Falls provincial park.
February 15, 2012
Sea to Sky finishes putting together its Stage 2 park-adjustment application for submission to B.C. Parks. The company applies to the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations for Crown land tenure over 85.76 hectares for the upper-terminal area.
February 27, 2012
Squamish-Lillooet Regional District board of directors gives first reading to rezoning and official-community-plan-amendment bylaws for the gondola’s upper-terminal area.
B.C. Parks provides its recommendation on Sea to Sky’s park-adjustment application to Environment Minister Terry Lake.
March 15, 2012
The Georgia Straight reports that Sea to Sky has applied to remove 2.36 hectares of land from the Chief park. In response to the story, Sea to Sky posts information about the park-boundary-adjustment application on its website for the first time.
March 26, 2012
SLRD board gives second reading to bylaws for the gondola’s upper-terminal area.
April 2, 2012
Friends of the Squamish Chief, an ad hoc group, forms to fight Sea to Sky’s gondola project and park-adjustment application.
April 5, 2012
The Land Conservancy issues a public statement in opposition to Sea to Sky’s park-adjustment application. The land trust states: “It appears that the gondola project has found a way to avoid the covenant.”
April 16, 2012
B.C. Parks posts a notice of Sea to Sky’s park-adjustment application on the Chief park’s website.
April 19, 2012
SLRD board holds a public hearing on bylaws for the gondola’s upper-terminal area. Around 60 speakers—most of them in favour of the project—address the meeting.
May 7, 2012
B.C. Liberal government introduces Bill 49 (Protected Areas of British Columbia Amendment Act, 2012), which would change the boundaries of the Chief park, for first reading.
May 28, 2012
SLRD board gives third reading to bylaws for the gondola’s upper-terminal area.
May 30, 2012
Bill 49 receives second reading in the B.C. legislature. The B.C. Liberal government limits debate on the legislation to 30 minutes.
May 31, 2012
Bill 49 receives third reading in the B.C. legislature and gains royal assent.
June 5, 2012
Sea to Sky announces that Whistler councillor Jayson Faulkner will join the company as its general manager and founding partner on July 15.
June 11, 2012
B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations approves Sea to Sky's application for Crown land tenure over 81.60 hectares for the upper-terminal area.
June 22, 2012
B.C. Liberal government approves Order in Council 430, bringing into force Section 4 of Bill 49 and formally changing the boundaries of the Chief park. With Order in Council 429, the government establishes the Stawamus Chief Protected Area on the land removed from the park.
June 25, 2012
SLRD board unanimously grants final approval to bylaws for the gondola’s upper-terminal area.
August 9, 2012
Friends of the Squamish Chief files a complaint with the B.C. ombudsperson, claiming that the Ministry of Environment handled the park-adjustment process unfairly.
September 27, 2012
B.C. Ministry of Environment places advertisements in Squamish and Whistler newspapers, advising the public of its intention to issue a park-use permit allowing “commercial gondola” activity in the Stawamus Chief Protected Area.
October 25, 2012
B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations issues a water licence allowing Sea to Sky to use Gondola Creek for "enterprise" and "fire protection" purposes relating to the upper-terminal area.
November 1, 2012
Sea to Sky announces that it has received the "final signed" park-use permit from the B.C. Ministry of Environment. In an update posted on its website, the company says its project has been approved by "all levels of government".
March 5, 2013
District of Squamish council unanimously approves a development permit for the gondola base. Sea to Sky starts construction soon afterward.
November 28, 2013
Sea to Sky begins selling a limited number of annual passes.
February 4, 2014
A gondola cabin falls off the lift line during testing. No one is injured.
April 10, 2014
Sea to Sky starts selling summer season passes.
Sea to Sky Gondola coverage
Sea to Sky Gondola selling summer passes ahead of May opening (April 10, 2014)
Sea to Sky Gondola opens up hiking in Stawamus Chief area (March 5, 2014)
Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish starts selling annual passes (November 28, 2013)
Park-use permit for Squamish’s Sea to Sky Gondola in “final stages” (October 19, 2012)
Sea to Sky Gondola proposal riles former B.C. environment minister (April 19, 2012)
Squamish residents speak out against Sea to Sky Gondola proposal (April 17, 2012)
Friends of the Squamish Chief fights Sea to Sky Gondola (April 5, 2012)
SLRD expected to hold Sea to Sky Gondola public hearing in April (March 23, 2012)