OK, spoiler alert: I’m no longer a local to Function Junction, but I was for two glorious years. Although I no longer live in Canada, I figured it was about time I gave it some love. So if you’re planning a visit, or you’re new to the area, here are a few reasons to jump in the car or on the bus and head down to ‘Function’.
Where is Function Junction?
It’s a small suburb of the mountain resort of Whistler in British Columbia, Canada. What began as a centre for the logging industry in the 20th Century is now an eclectic mix of workshops, commercial retailers, second-hand shops, cafes and breweries.
Hop on the bus from Whistler Village, or stop by from the Sea to Sky Highway for a quieter Whistler experience.
I have one word for you: Purebread. If that sounds like a little shop full of floury goodies and a place where sweet and sticky go hand in hand, you’d be right. It’s an incredible bakery that sells freshly-baked bread, toasties and sandwiches. But most importantly Purebread sells some of the best cakes to be found in Whistler. You’ll find everything from gluten-free brownies to muffins, cookies and heavenly carrot cake and sponges. It also does alright coffee, or so I’ve heard (I’m a tea gal – British through and through!)
If you’re looking for something a little stronger than morning brews, Function Junction is the place for you. Here you’ll find Whistler Brewing Company and the still fairly new, Coast Mountain Brewery. I’m a huge fan of Coast Mountain beer – the guys there really know what they’re doing. It’s also got a cool little vibe going on. Whistler Brewing Co is still pretty good but is much bigger and I’d say, much more commercialized than Coast.
The best thing about Coast Mountain though brings me on to my next reason to visit Function Junction….
Sitting pretty next door to Coast Mountain Brewery is Forged Axe Throwing. Yup, that’s right, it’s a place you go to throw axes. It is not only a genius (or stupid) idea putting it next to a brewery, but it’s also arguably the most Canadian thing ever. It’s not cheap but it’s a helluva lot of fun. When in Canada, eh?
PLAY SOME MORE:
Head up the road to SK8 Cave, Whistler’s only core skate shop with a mini indoor ramp. As well as stocking the latest skate clothing, they also offer lessons for all ages.
If you’re visiting Whistler, you’ve probably got plenty of $$ to throw around. If you’re one of the lucky Whistler locals through (or unlucky, however, you see it), you’ll be strapped for cash and will probably revel in the chance to find a bargain using your last $20.
That’s where the Re-Use It Centre comes in. It’s got most things that second-hand shops have, plus old ski gear and boards. I got a $10 rock board here at the beginning of my first season. No joke!
If new things are more your style head over to Camp Lifestyle and Coffee Co, a coffee-cum-retail store. It sells unique stuff from cool, local brands and artists. I especially love the ceramic and steel camping mugs, eco-friendly wooden watches, and Wish You Were Northwest slogan t-shirts and sweatshirts.
Function Junction is also a great place to get out into nature. If you’re after a short hike, try the Train Wreck Hike. Winding past the rushing Cheakamus River, it leads you to a clearing in the forest next to the train tracks. Seven old train carriages lay abandoned – the result of a crash back in the 50s. They’ve been turned into pieces of semi-urban art by locals artists and their awesome graffiti skills.
Over the road, the Cheakamus River continues and a trail leads to Logger’s Lake, one of the lesser known hikes in the area. Perfect for a quick dip in the summer, or to get away from the noise for a couple of hours.
So there you have it. Function Junction isn’t just a funny name, there are some really great local vendors that are worth checking out on a rainy afternoon in Whistler.