Living in Whistler

Living in Whistler


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Living in Whistler
A relaxing moment at Scandinave Spa in Whistler. Photo: Chad Chomlack

Simmone Lyons (34) from Portland in country Victoria went to Canada with the intention of living in Whistler for 12 months. But (in her own words) “got stuck” for eight years.

As an advanced snowboarder and keen intermediate skier, there are worse places than Whistler Blackcomb to get “stuck”.

Actually, with so many things to do in Whistler, you could say that being stuck living in Whistler is a bit like winning the lottery!

Being a fabulous holiday destination in Canada, visiting Whistler is not merely one of the top things to do in British Columbia but it’s also easily one of the top places to visit in Canada too.  

Living in Whistler
Living in Whistler is like winning the lottery. Scandinave Spa in Whistler is an enchanting experience. Photo: Chad Chomlack.

After reading this interview, you’re going to be envious of her workplace too! Simmone is the Marketing Manager at Scandinave Spa Whistler.

The downside is vegemite is pretty expensive in Whistler but like most enterprising Aussies in Canada, Simmone manages to get a continuous supply from family and friends.

What’s it like living in Whistler?

Most of my workday is spent at my desk dealing with emails, working on graphic design projects for marketing pieces and video projects.

I live in a year-round resort, lunch breaks can be spent in the spa, on the ski hill or on the mountain bike trails right outside my office door.

Living in Whistler
Living in Whistler means lots of time on the slopes. Here’s Simmone Lyons snowboarding in Whistler Blackcomb.

What are some of the challenges of living in Whistler?

The hardest part is finding a solid friendship group.

Whistler is such a transient town with people coming and going your always saying goodbye.

What’s it like at Scandinave?

Scandinave is a little hidden gem in Whistler.

Yes I know I’m a little biased but even before I worked at Scandinave I was a massive fan and regularly purchased one month passes.

There is no shortage of adventure-based activities in Whistler but life balance is important.

Whether you’re on holidays or a local, taking time out to relax and rejuvenate from mountain activities is essential for muscle recovery and managing stress levels just to maintain a few reasons.

Living in Whistler
Scandinave Spa. Photo: Chad Chomlack

My first impression of Whistler

At first, it comes across as a hive of activity and parties filled with transient people.

Now after eight years here, it is still an action-packed lifestyle but you realise there is an amazing tight-knit community that is really supportive.

What’s the difference between skiing in Canada vs Australia?

I worked at Mt Hotham back in 2004 and I’ve snowboarded in several resorts in Australia and New Zealand.

The terrain just doesn’t compare to what we have to offer in Whistler. The runs seem endless in comparison and the snow quality is unbelievable.

Powder days take on a new meaning in Canada. True white fluffy powder days are unbelievable.

Living in Whistler
Living in Whistler gives you the change to improve your skills on your day off. Photo: Tourism Whistler & Mike Crane

Three things I love about living in Whistler

1- The people with their endless enthusiasm to participate in activities.

Living in Whistler
The Ambassador Guided Tour – Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre. Photo: Canadian Tourism Commission

2- The mountains and everything they have to offer.

Living in Whistler
Living in Whistler – Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub. Photo: Tourism Whistler & Robin O’Neill

3- The endless free activities on offer, lake hikes, frolf (frisbee golf), whiffle golf, hiking, snowshoeing…..

Living in Whistler is never boring
Living in Whistler is fun. Here’s the Callaghan Valley. Photo: Tourism Whistler & Mike Crane

Whistler offers one of the longest ski seasons in North America.

There are endless activities and you have world-class facilities in a small community.

Living in Whistler
Peak to Peak Alpine Experience – Whistler Blackcomb. Photo: Whistler Blackcomb & Mike Crane

How do you handle the cold?

In Whistler we’re pretty lucky it doesn’t get as cold as the interior resorts in the Rockies.

Yes, there is some – 20 days but only a handful of these.

As long as you prepare yourself with quality gear the weather isn’t a problem.

Has your family visited?

I’m pretty lucky I actually have two of my brothers living here as well and the rest of my family come out every year so we’ve ticked off all the sites over the years from the Peak 2 Peak to Scandinave Spa.

What do you do in your free time?

Snowboarding and a lot of mountain biking when the weather permits. 

I’d also recommend cross-country skiing, zip lining and snowmobiling.

They are all pretty unique cool experiences.

Living in Whistler
Fancy snowmobiling? It’s one of the cool activities you’ll get to do while living in Whistler. Photo: Tourism Whistler & Mike Crane

How to get the best out of a Whistler holiday?

Plan ahead to make sure you can take in all that the area has to offer.

Whistler isn’t just a ski resort there are lots of things to do so do your research.

There’s so much to do in Whistler that you don’t need to be a skier or snowboarder. 

In fact, even if you are a skier or snowboarder I’d encourage you to take a day or two off the slopes to experience everything else Whistler has to offer.

Living in Whistler
Tree Top Adventures. Photo: Canadian Tourism Commission
Living in Whistler
Enter Foodie Heaven on the Finer Things Dinner Tour – Whistler Tasting Tours. Photo: Canadian Tourism Commission
Whistler blackcomb
Enter Foodie Heaven on the Finer Things Dinner Tour – Whistler Tasting Tours. Photo: Canadian Tourism Commission

What are your favourite places to hang out?  

Stonesedge is one of my favourite lunch spots. I also love Brickworks for a catch-up and beers with friends.

What’s on your bucket list?

I would love to get up to the Yukon and see the Yukon Northern Lights as well as head over to the East Coast and check out some things to do in Prince Edward Island and more fun things to do in Nova Scotia.

Ideal family road trip?

Kick it off in Vancouver and make sure to check out Gastown and Flyover Canada.

Head up to Whistler for at least four days but I’d recommend staying longer if you can.

Then head for the ski resorts in Alberta, Banff, Lake Louise and the Icefields Parkway.

What are three things you’ll miss most about Canada?

I don’t think I’m coming home but I do thoroughly miss the Australian beaches. If only I could transplant one of those to Whistler I would be in my dream hometown.

My dream job would be a home-based marketing job so that I can still live in Whistler and enjoy this amazing lifestyle.

Simmone Lyons is the Marketing Manager at Scandinave Spa in Whistler. She is from Portland, Victoria.

Discover Canada

Simmone’s Tips

1- The best time of year for snow is March. It’s a little warmer and more suitable for Aussies but the snow is usually the best and there are plenty of powder days.

2- Plan a day-trip to Pemberton if you can as the views of Mount Currie are spectacular.

For more things to do in winter in Canada see Best of Canada.



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