Regina is the home of the RCMP, and the birthplace of Canada’s public healthcare system. The city has a very modern downtown and a great parks system, including the Wascana Lake in the southeast, with the Legislature, a museum, and an IMAX theatre situated around it.
Regina, the capital of Saskatchewan, is a city that was built to shelter its residents from the sometimes harsh and bleak environment. In its early days, the city fathers built a dam across Wascana Creek creating the Wascana Centre parkland around which many of Regina’s features are built, including the Legislature, an Arts Centre, the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, and the Science Centre. The early residents also planted lots of trees to provide green shade in summer, to create a literal oasis on the yellow-coloured wheat-growing prairie landscape of southern Saskatchewan.
Regina has become one of Canada´s most modern cities, with stunning downtown architecture and great access to parks and recreation. The city’s low costs are attracting some large businesses to the city, which is also known for its short commutes (even the airport is 5 kilometres from downtown). The city is known for its casual business environment, built on the neighbourlines of the community.
Whether it’s a visit to a park, an art gallery or the area’s history, Regina offers its visitors and residents lots to do every day of the week.
The plains region of southern Saskatchewan was home to large numbers of buffalo, and many thousands of native Indians who lived off them. The natives accumulated the piled-up bones, which accumulated to 2 metres high and 13 metres in diameter.
When Colonel Palliser arrived in 1857, he heard the Cree name, and called the creek Wascana. In the early days, the settlement was called Pile-o-Bones. In 1868, the Canadian government bought Rupert’s Land from the Hudson’s Bay Company, to keep the territory from being annexed by the United States.
The North West Mounted Police moved into the area to monitor the First Nations, and set up barracks in Regina in 1882. about the same times as. Pile-O-Bones was renamed Regina, in honour of Queen Victoria. In 1886 the transcontinental railroad began carrying passengers and freight to the Pacific Ocean, and the city grew as a jumping off point for new settlers, especially those persecuted for their religious beliefs including the Mennonites and Hutterites from Germany, and Doukhobours from Russia.
On September 4, 1905, Saskatchewan became a province, and Regina became the provincial capital. The city was heavily damaged by a 1912 tornado that required the new downtown to be completely rebuilt. After grain prices dropped after the Great War and in 1923, farmers began organized into producers co-operative or “pool,” to give them some control over the commodity they produced. During the 1930s the Great Depression and the Great Dustbowl, led to the creation of the socialist Canadian Commonwealth Federation (the “CCF”) under the leadership of Tommy Douglas, who introduced the Old Age Pension, Universal Health Care and other reforms now part of the “fabric of Canadian Society”.
After World War II, significant reserves of oil were found in Saskatchewan, broadening the resource base of the province away from agriculture and potash. Regina also doubled in size in the post-war era, from the of European immigrants after the War
The Trans Canada Highway passes to the south and east of most of Regina. The landscape around the city is largely flat (the joke is “I sat on the porch when my dog ran away from home, and its was three days before his tail disappeared over the horizon”). The downtown detour passes a lot of hotels & motels and malls on Albert Street (which is also close to the city’s airport), and the downtown has some stunning architecture for a relatively small city and is worth a detour.
There is significant construction underway fora new interchange at Highway 1 and Lewvan Drive, connecting to Regina’s airport. There is also road widening construction along Victoria Avenue in the city’s east side.
Look for what to see & do, and where to stay in thw city of Regina and the nearby communities along the #1 Trans Canada Highway. First click on the LOCALE to search, then use the CATEGORY filter on the left side for the feature of interest!