Check out this list of 72 facts that you may or may not know about #YQR. From well-known history to some old stories you may not have heard about.
1. The land where Regina is currently located was temporarily called "Pile O' Bones" for the piles of buffalo bones kept in the area before shipping them East for fertilizer. Some of the piles of bones were over 6 feet high! -source
2. The name was chosen to honour Queen Victoria, the reigning monarch at the time. Princess Louise, daughter of Queen Victoria and wife of Governor General Marquis of Lorne suggested the name "Regina." -source
3. Regina became a city on June 19, 1903, with a population of 3,000. Two years later, on September 4, 1905, Saskatchewan became a province and on May 23, 1906, Regina became its capital.-source
4. A fire in 1976 gutted the interior of the Holy Rosary Cathedral (3125 13th Ave.) -source
5. The Holy Rosary Cathedral measures 200 x 90 feet and features two towers that flank the impressive front entrance facade. It features a 1930 Casavant pipe organ that was fully restored in 1993, and 33 stained-glass windows designed in 1951 by the French artist André Rault. -source
6. In 1911, the 13th avenue streetcar line was developed in the Cathedral neighbourhood. -source
7. The first house was erected in May 1883. It is believed to have been located around what is now Cornwall Street. -source
8. Connaught Library branch was built in 1930 and designed by Joseph Warburton in the Classical Romanesque Revival style, who also designed the Albert Library in the same style. It was built by Poole Construction at a cost of $22,000. -source
9. The residential area known today as "Transitional" between Victoria avenue and College avenue was once the city's most prestigious neighbourhood prior to the development of the Crescents and Lakeview areas, and for years accommodated some of Regina's most prominent citizens. -source
10. In 1913 the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway began construction of the Chateau Qu'Appelle, a luxury hotel that was to be ten stories tall. World War I broke out a year later and due to a labor and materials shortage, the project was halted. Grand Trunk would later go bankrupt and the building was left incomplete on the site where the Royal Saskatchewan Museum now sits. The Canadian Pacific Railway would later savage the "pile of scraps" left behind from the Chateau Qu'Appelle and create the Hotel Saskatchewan on the land they purchased from Francis Darke .Upon excavating the Hotel Saskatchewan, the CPR moved the dirt to the site of the Chateau Qu'Appelle, swapping building materials for soil. -source
11. The Hotel Saskatchewan housed the official residence and office of the Saskatchewan lieutenant-governor from 1945 to 1984. -source
12. The Saskatchewan Museum opened in 1955 as the government of Saskatchewan's commemorative project for the province's 50th anniversary. The museum was dedicated by Governor General Vincent Massey as a monument to the pioneers of the province and a symbol of their appreciation of the natural environment within which they settled. The museum received its royal designation in 1993. -source
13. Darke Hall - This 1928 building was constructed by businessman and philanthropist Francis Darke, as a gift to Regina College. It was originally known as the Music & Arts Building. It served as the city's principal performing arts centre for 40 years, until the completion of the Saskatchewan Centre of the Arts, renamed the Conexus Arts Centre in 2005. -source
14. Trafalgar Fountain sits just east of the Leg, and was a gift from London, England. It stood in Trafalgar Square from 1845 to 1939. The Fountain has a twin that sits in Ottawa. -source
15. Development in the Crescents Area started before the First World War and continued for 30 years. The Crescents area has always maintained a prestigious character, based not only on its architectural merits, but also on its elm-shaded streets, the gentle slope of its topography, and its proximity to downtown, Wascana Centre, and the parklands along Wascana Creek. -source
16. The interior of the Legislative Building is finished with materials from all over the world, including 34 varieties of marble. The total expenditure on the building from 1907 to 1913 was approximately $3 million -source
17. Wascana Centre is three times bigger than New York's Central Park, and two and a half times bigger than Vancouver's Stanley Park.
18. Regina was struck hard by the Great Depression, and many people lost their jobs. In an effort to employ more people, Wascana Lake was dammed, widened and deepened all by hand so it would take as long as possible and employ the highest number of people as possible. -source
19. The Regina Symphony Orchestra is Canada’s longest continuously operating orchestra, and it’s constantly reinventing itself. -source
20. Regina-born-and-raised Tatiana Maslany won an Emmy for best lead actress in a drama at the 2016 awards. That was for her role in Orphan Black, but Maslany got her start at Globe Theatre in Regina, performing in plays like The Secret Garden, George Dandin, and A Christmas Carol. Globe is also notable for being the home of the first professional theatre company in the province and is the only theatre in the round in Western Canada. -source
21. The new Mosaic Stadium — completed in 2017 and now twice its original size — is home field for the Saskatchewan Roughriders CFL (Canadian Football League) team, and its fans are zealous. Expect to see supporters of the “Green Bay Packers of Canada” trussed up in watermelon helmets (yes, real watermelon rinds carved into makeshift helmets) and pilsner beer capes, cheering loudly at the stadium, in every city bar, or at the neighbor’s backyard barbecue. -source
22. Although not every season can match the excitement of 2013’s Grey Cup win at home in Regina, Rider fans are limitless in their passion for the team. There’s a saying that the people of Saskatchewan “bleed green” — during the recession of the 1980s, the franchise allowed fans to pay for tickets with wheat, to ensure people could attend the games. -source
23. The Union Station served both the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Canadian Northern Railway (CNR), later the Canadian National Railway. When the main terminal portion of the building was closed in the late 1980s, VIA Rail operated out of the east wing until passenger service to Regina was eliminated in January 1990. The building was purchased by SaskGaming Corp in 1994 and went through extensive renovations to become the Casino Regina. -source
24. Every Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officer in Canada has undergone police training at Depot Division in Regina. -source
25. While the 1930s were a hard time for Regina, the 1920s were the opposite. Seen as Regina's "Golden Years", the booming population brought in a plethora of new people and sparked the dream of Regina becoming another motor city, coined the "Detroit of the West". The General Motors Company opened an assembly line in the city and began producing 150 cars a day, or about one car every four minutes. -source
26. Wascana Centre is internationally known as a beautifully landscaped park surrounding a 120-hectare lake located in the heart of Regina. It was established in 1962 to be a place for recreation and beauty. -source
27. Wascana Centre includes 2,300 acres of urban land that provides countless functions and services to tenants, landowners and community resulting in an area of immeasurable value as a place of work, education, recreation and natural preservation. -source
28. Wascana Lake was drained and deepened in the 1930s as part of a government relief project. 2,107 men widened and dredged the lakebed and created two islands using only hand tools and horse-drawn wagons. -source
29. The Wascana Lake Urban Revitalization Project, known locally as the Big Dig, was an $18 million project to deepen Wascana Lake. During the fall and winter of 2003-2004, Wascana Lake was again drained and dredged to deepen it by an average of about 5 metres (16 ft). The Big Dig, was primarily to decrease aquatic weed growth, improve water quality, and allow more competitive and recreational rowing, canoeing and paddling. -source
30. During the Big Dig, the lake was dredged to an overall depth of 5.5 metres with a deeper section of 7.5 metres serving as a fish habitat. Over 1.3 million cubic metres of soil was removed from the lake bottom between 6 January and 21 March with crews working 24 hours a day. -source
31. The Lake is divided into two zones separated by the Broad Street Bridge. In the lower or western lake, the emphasis is on water-based recreation. In the upper or eastern lake, the emphasis is on wildlife habitat and education. -source
32. East Wascana Lake houses an impressive marsh ecosystem that many species of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, insects and plants call home. -source
33. Royal Saskatchewan Museum which was designed by Mr. E.J. McCudden. The 137-metre-long frieze along the top of the building was carved in Tyndall stone by Mr. B. Garnier and shows more than 300 animals native to Saskatchewan. -source
34. 2019 with the unveiling of Scotty the T-Rex at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum. Scotty is the largest known Tyrannosaurus rex in the world, estimated to weigh in at a whopping 19,555 lbs.! -source
35. Completed in 1912, the Legislative Building was designed by Edward and William Sutherland Maxwell of Montreal. When the site was chosen in 1906, flat prairie grasslands were all that could be seen in any direction. -source
36. In the mid 1990's the CanSask Soundstage was redesigned so that it has 4 sound stages which have the capacity to film feature length movies, television sitcoms or fulfill any other needs of the media industry. -source
37. The deepest area of Wascana Lake is directly west of Pine Island. It was excavated in 2004 to a depth of 9m. The average depth of Wascana Lake is 5m. -source
38. The Legislative Building interior features thirty-four types of marble brought from around the world to build the interior pillars and floor. -source
39. The Legislative Building is approximately 165 metres in length and 84 metres in width, occupying 67 hectares of land. -source
40. Regina was established on a treeless grass prairie. Today, our urban forest is lush in green spaces and has over 500,000 hand planted trees maintained by the City as well as residents for all to enjoy. -source
41. In 1912 the Regina Cyclone tore through the city, killing 28 people, injuring hundreds, destroying more than 400 buildings, and leaving 2,500 people homeless; it took the city two years to repair the damage, evaluated at over $5 million. -source
42. The Albert Street Memorial Bridge is the longest bridge over the shortest span of water in the world. It stretches 840 feet long yet spans across a measly trickle of water approximately 3 feet wide. -source
43. In spring of 1920, Ronald Groome was issued Canadian commercial pilot's license No. 1. Groome's business partner, Robert McCombie, received aero engineer's license No. 1; their airfield (in Regina's Lakeview district) became Canada's first licensed “air harbour”; and their Canadian-built JN-4 (Can) Canuck was registered G-CAAA - the first licensed aircraft in Canada. -source
44. Cadets are placed in a troop of 32 Cadets and undergo an extensive 26-week training program at Depot. -source
45. Weston Bakery - The original portion of this 1929 building was built for Crown Bakery Ltd. The bakery produced 75,000 loaves of bread each week and used 22 horse drawn wagons and two trucks for their daily deliveries. The north side of the property accommodated a 100-foot-long wagon yard and garage, and enough stables to house 30 horses. -source
46. On June 12, 1912, Downtown Regina and area were devastated by what is today known as the Regina Cyclone. The cyclone killed 28 people, injured hundreds and destroyed more than 400 building. The event is still known today as one of the deadliest tornado events in Canada’s history. Damage was pegged at $5 million and took two years to repair. -source
47. Originally set aside as public green space in 1883, Victoria Park (then called Victoria Square), did not take shape until 1907 when Montreal-based landscape architect Frederick Todd was hired to design the new park. In its early days, local farmers brought produce and sold it in a market located in Victoria Park. In 1895, the park was the site of Regina’s first Territorial Exhibition and Fair, which later moved to its present location due to size. -source
48. The first official Regina Farmers’ Market on August 9, 1975 at Regina’s Exhibition Grounds. Farmer-driven from the start, the inaugural Regina Farmers’ Market season was attended by 22 producers and took place over a short fall harvest season. -source
49. in 1906, once Regina became the capital of SK, the residents worked on making Regina look less like a flat moonscape by planting trees, building the legislative building and town hall and landscaping Victoria Park. -source
50. On June 30, 1912, Regina became the site of Canada’s deadliest tornado, when twin funnel clouds tore down two of the most populous streets in the city. Twenty-eight people were killed, hundreds injured, and 2500 people were left homeless. Within a year, most of the city was rebuilt, but it took about 40 years to pay off the debt. -source
51. In the 1930s, Regina suffered the consequences of the Great Depression, which collapsed the economy and led to massive unemployment. Regina hosted two make-work projects, the deepening of Wascana Lake, and the construction of the Albert Memorial Bridge. -source
52. In 1970, Regina completed construction on the Centre of the Arts, now known as the Conexus Arts Centre. It gained the nickname “the largest monkey bars in the world” due to construction delays. -source
53. Home to over 3,500 works of art, the MacKenzie Art Gallery can trace its origins back to 1936, when Norman MacKenzie bequeathed a portion of his collection and estate to the University of Saskatchewan for use at Regina College. -source
54. Regina's visual arts community includes well known artists Joe Fafard, Bob Boyer, The Regina Five and Wilf Perrault. -source
55. Regina has deep sporting roots. It was a recruiting ground for the All-American Girls’ Professional Baseball League, including Daisy Junor and Mary “Bonnie” Baker. -source
56. The Regina Pats are the oldest major junior hockey franchise in the world, operating from their original location under the same name. -source
57. The four-time Grey Cup-winning Canadian Football League franchise (Saskatchewan Roughrider's) started in Regina in 1910 and has been going strong ever since. -source
58. Scotty, the most massive Tyrannosaurus rex in the world, is on display at Royal Saskatchewan Museum. Discovered right here in Saskatchewan, an academic paper published in The Anatomical Record confirmed Scotty's new status as the world's largest and oldest T. rex, outsizing the Chicago Field Museum's SUE by 400 kg and more than 50 cm in length. -source
59. Regina is the sunniest capital city in Canada, and one of the chillies. -source
60. In July 1959, the Saskatchewan Museum of Natural History (renamed the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in 1993) had a Royal visit from Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. An estimated 4,000 people gathered outside the museum early in the morning to get a good view of the Royal procession. -RSM Archives
61. On the night of February 16, 1990 a fire started in the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in the First Nations Gallery which was under construction. The blaze was confined to a relatively small area in the basement’s south east corner where the winter camp scene was being built. Only a small area was destroyed by the actual flames, but the greatest damage was caused by the smoke which permeated the entire building. The Museum was closed to the public for about four months for clean-up and restoration. -RSM Archives
62. In 1905 the settled portion of the North-West Territories was given provincial status. As the date of the inauguration of the new province of Saskatchewan approached, all eyes centered on Regina, and the celebrations which would take place there on September 4. Special excursion trains brought hundreds of visitors, and the city was decorated with flags, bunting and displays of agricultural products for which Saskatchewan was to become so famous. Source- Brennan, William. Regina Before Yesterday a Visual History 1882 to 1945, Page 74. Centax of Canada Limited, Regina. 1978.
63. " No province in Canada need fear the future, and Saskatchewan above any of them has a future bright with promise. No other province has an equal area of cultivable land; Saskatchewan is bound to lead in grain products, and to become at least second only to Alberta as a meat producer" - Regina Leader, September 6, 1905 Source- Brennan, William. Regina Before Yesterday a Visual History 1882 to 1945, Page 74. Centax of Canada Limited, Regina. 1978.
64. "The Regina of today is the product of the agricultural abundance of its surrounding countryside. When it was founded it was named the Queen of the Prairie; today it is the Queen of the Wheat-Country" - Wilhelm Cohnstaedt, 1909 Source- Brennan, William. Regina Before Yesterday a Visual History 1882 to 1945, Page 74. Centax of Canada Limited, Regina. 1978.
65. "Crops [in Regina] look uniformly lush and one ends up being nearly intoxicated by them" - Wilhelm Cohnstaedt, 1909 Source- Brennan, William. Regina Before Yesterday a Visual History 1882 to 1945, Page 74. Centax of Canada Limited, Regina. 1978.
66. Wheat and railways were the dominant influences in the growth of Regina after the turn of the century. Source- Brennan, William. Regina Before Yesterday a Visual History 1882 to 1945, Page 74. Centax of Canada Limited, Regina. 1978.
67. "When I was Mayor in 1906, I sponsored this system which is unique on this continent. We established a wholesale district and laid trackage and ground facilities to accommodate any wholesaler who wished to establish himself. This arrangement brought Regina into prominence as a great distributing center and almost every agricultural implement concern doing business in the west had a branch here." - Peter McAra, Jr. 1906 Source- Brennan, William. Regina Before Yesterday a Visual History 1882 to 1945, Page 74. Centax of Canada Limited, Regina. 1978.
68. Regina distributes more implements and has more warehouses because it is the center of Saskatchewan, the greatest grain producing area in the world. No other city in Western Canada has a location so suitable for handling this class of trade. - 1000 Facts About Regina, 1913 Source- Brennan, William. Regina Before Yesterday a Visual History 1882 to 1945, Page 74. Centax of Canada Limited, Regina. 1978.
69. The transformation in Regina's physical appearance was due as well to the far-sighted decision of Premier Walter Scott to locate the new provincial Legislative building on a 168-acre tract of land south of the reservoir that had been created by the damming of Wascana Creek. It provided the opportunity to set the building in spacious grounds, thereby laying the basis for one of the most attractive urban parks in Canada. Source- Brennan, William. Regina Before Yesterday a Visual History 1882 to 1945, Page 74. Centax of Canada Limited, Regina. 1978.
70. "The largest of the parks already laid out is Wascana Park, which contains 45 acres. Situated on the shore of Wascana Lake, it is largely patronized by the residents of the city who take full advantage of the boating and bathing facilities." - Henry J. Boam, 1914 Source- Brennan, William. Regina Before Yesterday a Visual History 1882 to 1945, Page 74. Centax of Canada Limited, Regina. 1978.
71. "Nothing - mark the word, nothing - can check Regina's progress. The Regina of the future is to be far greater than the Regina of the past. There are no men of little faith among Regina's civic leaders. They are men of strong faith and broad vision. They know that the Greater Regina is as certain as the rising of the sun." - Morning Leader (Regina), July 3, 1912 Source- Brennan, William. Regina Before Yesterday a Visual History 1882 to 1945, Page 74. Centax of Canada Limited, Regina. 1978.
72. "The City of Regina…has much to offer that is of interest to the visitor. It is a city of splendid public buildings and beautiful homes, fine paved streets lined with smooth boulevards and shady trees. The provincial Parliament Buildings stand in park-like grounds that are a source of pleasure to the visitor and pride to the people of the city. Of particular interest are the Barracks of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police." - Regina, Center of the World's Hard Wheat Area, 1926 Source- Brennan, William. Regina Before Yesterday a Visual History 1882 to 1945, Page 74. Centax of Canada Limited, Regina. 1978.
Do you know of any facts we missed? Share them below!