Regina has long been known for being different and that certainly hasn’t changed. A mix of good ol’ small town atmosphere, modern advancements and the finest in Canadian arts/culture make this city one of the most diverse cities in the Canadian Prairies. If you’re looking to mix history with the latest and greatest in city-type activities, be sure to add Regina to your Saskatchewan travel plans.
History of Regina, Saskatchewan
Named after Queen Victoria in 1882, Regina is the second largest province in Saskatchewan and the province’s capital city. Of course, it wasn’t much more than a shanty town built around a small area set aside for a future CPR railway station, but it quickly grew. And not always for the right reasons.
Ottawa had little interest in what happened in the territories for many years. That is until Louis Riel and his rebels started to show the government what the territories were capable of. He’d eventually be captured, tried and hung. The situation was one of the country’s biggest scandals, and thanks to the local media spreading the latest news, Ottawa was finally forced to sit up and take notice of this new little city.
Photo Credit : Will Beckett
Regina continued to grow. In fact, it was one of the fastest growing cities until the Great Depression. The economic hardships of the time eventually led to the famous Regina Riot of 1935. And from that point onward, the city became known for its outward thinking, ability to create controversy and outspokenness.
Interesting Facts About Regina
- The area now known as Regina was once called Pile-of-Bones because of a pile of bison bones that had once been piled along the bank of the creek.
- The area created huge controversy when Lieutenant-Governor Edgar Dewdney named the city as the seat of government for the North-West Territories.
- The first house in the city is believed to be that of Donald C. McDougall. The shack once stood on what is now downtown on Cornwall Street.
- Louis Riel was tried and hung here after the North-West (Saskatchewan) Rebellion. Reporting of the incident made the newspaper now known as The Leader Post famous.
- The city’s first house was believed to be erected in 1886, but it didn’t become a city until 1903. It became the capital after Saskatchewan became a province in 1905.
- The Regina Cyclone hit the city in 1912 killing 28 people and cutting the city in half. It remains Canada’s deadliest tornado.
Regina is surrounded by a perfectly flat, treeless, waterless, boring plain, but the city is far from boring. The city has done much to change its landscape. For instance, the city has planted 350 thousand trees by hand and the lake is manmade. The city has also done much to show off its tendency to be different and outspoken. You simply have to look at what the city has to offer to see how different and special it really is.
Arts & Culture
- Art Gallery of Regina
- Creative City Centre
- Globe Theatre
- Kramer IMAX Theatre
- Regina Downtown Concert Series
- Regina Symphony Orchestra
- Traditions Handcraft Gallery
- Regina Plains Museum
- Canadian Western Agribition
- Grey Cup and the Grey Cup Festival
- Regina Folk Festival
- Queen City Ex
- Regina Dragon Boat Festival
- Government House
- RCMP Heritage Centre
- Legislative Building
- Assiniboia Club
- Prince Edward Building
- Victoria Park
- Walking Tours
- Hot Air Balloon Rides
- Multi-Use Pathways and Bicycle Routes
- Saskatchewan Science Centre
- Wascana Centre
- Beaver Creek Horse and Ranch Centre
- Lajord Hutterite Colony
Restaurants & Bars
- Memories Fine Dining
- Willow on Wascana
- Good Earth Coffee House & Bakery
- Kneaded Gluten Free Bake Shop
- Whiskey Saloon
- Habano’s Martini & Cocktail Club
- Lazy Owl
- Creekside Terrace Bed and Breakfast
- Dragon’s Nest Bed and Breakfast
- Hostelling International Regina & Turgeon International House
- Buffalo Lookout
- Chateau Regina Hotel & Suites