At 112 years old, Regina has seen its fair share of changes.
While exploring the city for my piece on Tourism Regina and my 8 Places to Visit in Regina, I stumbled upon the Civic Museum of Regina. The CMR will be featured in my upcoming blog where I will talk about its many fascinating treasures from our city's past, but in this article I will discuss one very unique artifact I found in their museum: an old map of the original plan of Regina.
While I don't have a date for this map, I estimate it to be created somewhere between the 1900s and 1910s, which means it was probably created early into the city's history. The map shows what the city was proposed to look like, and while they are some locations that remained the same, much of the map has changed.
(Hover your mouse over the below picture to see both maps.)
So, what has changed in the past 100 years? Well, there's been a lot!
1. Wascana Park
Regina's crown jewel, Wascana Park, is much different. This can easily be seen if you look at the shoreline. During the 1930s the lake was dug up in an attempt to create and sustain jobs. Much of the dirt was then used to create the islands. You can see just how narrow the lake used to be, especially at the southern mouth of it.
The park is also very different, especially across from the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan. To the north of the Leg., on the old map, is the location where the Royal Saskatchewan Museum currently sits. However, the RSM wasn't there until after 1945. Instead, this is where Government House was supposed to be. However, Government House is located several kilometers away to the west (near the corner of Lewvan and Dewdney), so this shows its proposed re-position. This also fits with records at the Leg., which talk about having the Government House directly across the water from it.
Downtown Regina is where Regina started, so it's interesting to see how much of it never came to be. The most drastic change is the triangle from Casino Regina (formally Union Station) to RSM to Balfour Collegiate and Miller Comprehensive High School. Neither of these schools would be built for the next few decades, but because Darke Hall and the former University are in the proximity, it would make sense that this would be an extension to them. This would have connected the train station, government buildings and the university together, all very easily. (Unlike the current set up, where Government House is located on the far west end, the train station is closed and the university is on the far south/east end).
Albert Street also wasn't expected to be the major street like it is today, and although the map doesn't show it, the beautiful Albert Street Bridge would not have existed at this time either. Instead, the bridge would have had flowery arches at the entrance and exit (which I think we should bring back).
Also, the current Regina General Hospital isn't on the map, and is instead replaced by a park, with several nearby parks never coming to be (except Central Park, which was moved a block north).
One of the reasons why this area is so different could be because of the 1912 cyclone, which flattened the area and probably forced the city to reconsider building parts of it.
3. Regina International Airport
The airport doesn't exist on the old map, as that whole area is covered with residential neighborhoods. It also appears there was a proposed train station or railway stop where Lewvan currently is, curling into College Ave. If this map was made in the early 1900s, this would make sense as the primary form of transportation was by rail. In fact, the first airport wouldn't be built until 1930, long after this map was made.
4. Ring Road
Although neither the Ring Road nor Lewvan Drive exist on the old map, Lewvan Drive doesn't appear too out of place. Similar streets in the area can be seen, so it almost seems natural to have it built. Ring Road, on the other hand, stands out between the maps as it wasn't even considered. I'm too young to remember the year it was constructed, but you can see on the map there was no plan for a high-speed road to be placed there, as several parks and railway crossings are throughout the area.
See any other locations that seem odd to you? Let me know in the comments! And share this if you find it interesting like I did!
And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.
Are you looking to explore Saskatchewan? I recommend:
Last summer my family and I tried fishing up in Northern Saskatchewan. We had a great weekend, but we caught nothing. I wasn't too disappointed though, as I have never actually caught a fish. After 25 years of fishing and failing, I have officially given up on the sport.
That is until I was invited to visit Medicine Hat, Alberta and go sturgeon fishing on the South Saskatchewan River. I was hesitant, but I said yes. I really didn't want to spend eight hours out on the water just to come home empty-handed, but I figured to give it one more shot.
My guide for the day, Brent Thorimbert, picked me up at my hotel around 8:30 a.m. and drove us to a valley located just outside of Medicine Hat. We got out on the water about 9 a.m. and arrived at our fishing spot twenty minutes later. Brent explained that sturgeon fish are "bottom feeders" so they swim along the bottom of the riverbed and eat up bugs and small fish. Our fishing lines were weighted for this very reason. The bait should sit on the riverbed and would get sucked up by an unsuspecting sturgeon.
150 years ago, Canada became a country, albeit a much smaller one. Since then, Canada has grown much in size, reputation and as a favorite for travellers from around the world. Lonely Planet recognized these accomplishments last year and ranked Canada as the #1 travel destination in 2017. With the addition of free National Parks all year long, 2017 is the perfect time to visit the Great White North!
I am always interested in Canadian adventures, so I thought I'd check out G Adventure's website to see what tours they have planned this year. Since G Adventures is a Canadian based travel company, I figured they would have something going on this year to celebrate our sesquicentennial. Instead, all I saw were the same eight tours as last year, and the year before. Thinking maybe there was some big announcement coming for 2017, I emailed G Adventures asking about it, hoping, praying, that maybe there was something, something, anything at all… but I received no response.
Now, don't get me wrong. G Adventures has eight great Canadian tours, and they all look really awesome, but they only show off a small sliver of what Canada has to offer. In fact, four of the tours are almost exactly the same:
Stonehenge, Saskatchewan, is just a little over two hours southwest of Regina, just past the town of Assiniboia. I've explored this area of the province before on previous trips, but I've never been to Stonehenge. In fact, my journey started out as a trip to Castle Butte, but after seeing a nearby marker for Stonehenge on a map, that quickly became my primary destination.
I've driven this area a few times looking for abandoned buildings. Normally I'd keep an eye out for them, but I knew most of them were a little further south. Before I got that far, I took the turn off to Ogema.