Move over Vancouver — you’re no longer Canada’s craziest property market.
Benchmark property prices in Whistler, the ski town two hours north, have now surpassed those in the Pacific Coast city. Businesses are buying million-dollar properties to house employees as living costs drive out workers. The cost of visiting has also spiralled, with overnight rates during the winter peak topping anywhere else in the nation.
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Phil Bonham, a 31-year-old ski patroller, has been living out of a 1984 Dodge camper van for four years, unable to afford the surging cost of housing.
Styrofoam cut-outs are wedged into his windows to keep out the chill during cold snaps, when temperatures can plummet to minus – 25C. He doesn’t bother with the propane-fired refrigerator in the tiny kitchen between the driver’s seat and bed — nothing thaws anyway in winter, and he eats fruits and vegetables immediately before they freeze.