Regina - CanadaRegina (/rɪˈdʒaɪnə/) is the capital city of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. The city is the second-largest in the province, after Saskatoon, and a cultural and commercial centre for southern Saskatchewan. It is governed by Regina City Council. The city is surrounded by the Rural Municipality of Sherwood No. 159.
Regina was previously the seat of government of the North-West Territories, of which the current provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta originally formed part, and of the District of Assiniboia. The site was previously called Wascana ("Buffalo Bones" in Cree), but was renamed to Regina (Latin for "Queen") in 1882 in honour of Queen Victoria. This decision was made by Queen Victoria's daughter Princess Louise, who was the wife of the Governor General of Canada, the Marquess of Lorne.
Unlike other planned cities in the Canadian West, on its treeless flat plain Regina has few topographical features other than the small spring run-off, Wascana Creek. Early planners took advantage of such opportunity by damming the creek to create a decorative lake to the south of the central business district with a dam a block and a half west of the later elaborate 260-metre (850 ft) long Albert Street Bridge across the new lake. Regina's importance was further secured when the new province of Saskatchewan designated the city its capital in 1906. Wascana Centre, created around the focal point of Wascana Lake, remains one of Regina's attractions and contains the Provincial Legislative Building, both campuses of the University of Regina, First Nations University of Canada, the provincial museum of natural history, the Regina Conservatory (in the original Regina College buildings), the Saskatchewan Science Centre, the MacKenzie Art Gallery and the Saskatchewan Centre of the Arts.
Residential neighbourhoods include precincts beyond the historic city centre are historically or socially noteworthy neighbourhoods – namely Lakeview and The Crescents, both of which lie directly south of downtown. Immediately to the north of the central business district is the old warehouse district, increasingly the focus of shopping, nightclubs and residential development; as in other western cities of North America, the periphery contains shopping malls and big box stores.
In 1912, the Regina Cyclone destroyed much of the town; in the 1930s, the Regina Riot brought further attention and, in the midst of the 1930s drought and Great Depression, which hit the Canadian Prairies particularly hard with their economic focus on dry land grain farming. The CCF (now the NDP, a major left-wing political party in Canada), formulated its foundation Regina Manifesto of 1933 in Regina. In recent years, Saskatchewan's agricultural and mineral resources have come into new demand, and it has entered a new period of strong economic growth.
The population of the Regina CMA as of 2016, was 236,481, growing 12% since 2011 according to Statistics Canada.
Regina was established in 1882 when it became clear that Edgar Dewdney, the lieutenant-governor of the North-West Territories, eschewed the previously established and considered Battleford, Troy and Fort Qu'Appelle (the latter some 30 mi (48 km) to the east, one on rolling plains and the other in the Qu'Appelle Valley between two lakes), as the territorial seat of government. These communities were widely considered more amiable locations for what was anticipated would be a far more major metropole for the Canadian plains than actually eventuated, situated as they were in amply watered and treed rolling parklands whereas "Pile-of-Bones," as the site was then called, was in the midst of arid and featureless grassland.
Lieutenant-Governor Dewdney had acquired land adjacent to the route of the future CPR line at Pile-of-Bones, which was distinguished only by collections of bison bones near a small spring run-off creek, some few kilometres downstream from its origin in the midst of what are now wheat fields. There was an "obvious conflict of interest" in Dewdney's choosing the site of Pile-of-Bones as the territorial seat of government and it was a national scandal at the time. But until 1897, when responsible government was accomplished in the Territories, the lieutenant-governor and council governed by fiat and there was little legitimate means of challenging such decisions outside the federal capital of Ottawa. There, the Territories were remote and of little concern. Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, wife of the then Governor General of Canada, named the new community Regina, in honour of her mother, Queen Victoria.
There is an abundance of parks and greenspaces: all of its trees — some 300,000 — shrubs and other plants were hand-planted. As in other prairie cities, American elms were planted in front yards in residential neighbourhoods and on boulevards along major traffic arteries and are the dominant species in the urban forest.
In recent years the pattern of primary and high school grounds being acreages of prairie sports grounds has been re-thought and such grounds have been landscaped with artificial hills and parks. Newer residential subdivisions in the northwest and southeast have, instead of spring runoff storm sewers, decorative landscaped lagoons.
The streetscape is now endangered by Dutch elm disease, which has spread through North America from the eastern seaboard and has now reached the Canadian prairies; for the time being it is controlled by pest management programs and species not susceptible to the disease are being planted; the disease has the potential to wipe out Regina's elm population.
From its first founding, particularly once motorcars were common, Reginans have repaired to the nearby Qu'Appelle Valley on weekends, for summer and winter holidays and indeed as a place to live permanently and commute from. Since the 1940s, many of the towns near Regina have steadily lost population as western Canada's agrarian economy re-organised itself from small family farm landholdings of a quarter-section (160 acres, the original standard land grant to homesteaders ) to the multi-section (a "section" being 640 acres (2.6 km2), one square mile) landholdings that are increasingly necessary for economic viability.
Some of these towns have enjoyed somewhat of a renaissance as a result of the excellent roads that for many decades seemed likely to doom them; they – and to some extent the nearby city of Moose Jaw – are now undergoing a mild resurgence as commuter satellites for Regina. Qu'Appelle, at one time intended to be the metropole for the original District of Assiniboia in the North-West Territories (as they then were), saw during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s Regina cottagers pass through en route to the Qu'Appelle Valley; Highway 10, which bypassed Qu'Appelle, running directly from Balgonie to Fort Qu'Appelle off Highway Number 1, quickly ended this. Qu'Appelle has recently seen more interest taken in it as a place to live. Fort Qu'Appelle and its neighbouring resort villages on the Fishing Lakes remain a summer vacation venue of choice; Indian Head is far enough from Regina to have an autonomous identity but close enough that its charm and vitality attract commuters – it "has a range of professional services and tradespeople, financial institutions, and a number of retail establishments." It was the scene of outdoor filming sequences in the CBC television series "Little Mosque on the Prairie." White City and Emerald Park are quasi-suburbs of Regina, as have become Balgonie, Pense, Grand Coulee, Pilot Butte and Lumsden in the Qu'Appelle Valley, some ten miles (16 km) to the north of Regina. Regina Beach — situated on Last Mountain Lake (known locally as Long Lake) and a 30-minute drive from Regina – has been a summer favourite of Reginans from its first establishment and since the 1970s has also become a commuter satellite; Rouleau (also known as the town of Dog River in the CTV television sitcom Corner Gas) is 45 km (28 mi) southwest of Regina and in the summer months used to "bustle with film crews."
The Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League, play their home games at Mosaic Stadium in Regina. Formed in 1910 as the Regina Rugby Club and renamed the Regina Roughriders in 1924 and the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1950, the "Riders" are a community-owned team with a loyal fan support base; every game in the 2008 season was sold out; out-of-town season ticket holders often travel 300–400 kilometres (190–250 mi) or more to attend home games. The team has won the Grey Cup on four occasions, in 1966, 1989, 2007 and 2013.
Other sports teams in Regina include the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League, the Regina Thunder of the Canadian Junior Football League, the Prairie Fire of the Rugby Canada Super League, the Regina Red Sox of the Western Major Baseball League, and the University of Regina's Regina Cougars/Regina Rams of the CIS. Regina is also where all Water Polo players from Saskatchewan centralize, Regina's team being Water Polo Armada.
Regina's curling teams have distinguished the city for many decades. Richardson Crescent commemorates the Richardson curling team of the 1950s. In recent years Olympic Gold medal winner Sandra Schmirler and her rink occasioned vast civic pride; the Sandra Schmirler Leisure Centre in east Regina commemorates her.
North-east of the city lies Kings Park Speedway, a ⅓-mile paved oval used for stock car racing since the late 1960s. Regina hosted the Western Canada Summer Games in 1975, and again in 1987, as well as being the host city for the 2005 Canada Summer Games.
Oil and natural gas, potash, kaolin, sodium sulphite and bentonite contribute a great part of Regina and area's economy. The completion of the train link between eastern Canada and the then-District of Assiniboia in 1885, the development of the high-yielding and early-maturing Marquis strain of wheat and the opening of new grain markets in the United Kingdom established the first impetus for economic development and substantial population settlement. The farm and agricultural component is still a significant part of the economy – the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool (now Viterra Inc., ), "the world's largest grain-handling co-operative" has its headquarters in Regina — but it is no longer the major driver; provincially it has slipped to eighth overall, well behind the natural resources sectors.
Modern transport has obviated the development of a significant manufacturing sector and local petroleum refining facilities: the General Motors assembly plant north on Winnipeg Street, built in 1927 – when Saskatchewan's agricultural economy was booming and briefly made it the third province of Canada after Ontario and Quebec in both population (at just under one million people, roughly the same population as today ) and GDP – ceased production during the depression of the 1930s. It was resumed by the federal crown during World War II and housed Regina Wartime Industries Ltd., where 1,000 people were engaged in armaments manufacture. It was not returned to private automotive manufacture after the war and became derelict.