A travel journal
to Regina by girlfromals
Quote: Regina, latin for queen, was named after Queen Victoria. The capital of the province of Saskatchewan, the city of 200,000 has a lot to offer to people of all ages and interests.
The Science Center and Imax Theater is a destination for the young and the young at heart. It is a hands on center with demonstrations throughout the day including the Fire Show! You can also take in an Imax film.
The Royal Saskatchewan Museum is a favourite for kids and school groups. This museum tells the story of how Saskatchewan's land, plants, animals, and resources came to be. There are great displays portraying native wildlife. And the hightlight is Mega Munch, the animated and very noisy dinosaur. Kids love this one!
The RCMP training academy and museum is also a great place to visit. If you call ahead you can get an arranged tour of the grounds. If not, you can still check out the Mounted Police museum which has a lot of great artifacts. Displays are in French and English.
If you like sports, check out a Saskatchewan Roughrider football game during the summer months. Saskatchewan fans love their team so you need to get your tickets early!
The Diefenbaker Homestead, located in Wascana Park, near the Legislative Buildings, is the actual home of former Prime Minister Diefenbaker. Check this out to see how settlers on the prairies actually lived. It will surprise you.
The MacKenzie Art Gallery is a great place. Free admission will get you in to the permanent collections and the visiting exhibits. It also has a great gift shop.
Regina has a lot of great sculpture around town. Look for it wherever you go.
There are a lot of festivals - music, crafts, art, and culture to name a few. There is always something going on.
If you like to take the bus, this is a good option but it will take a while to get around to all the sites and attractions. Check out the Regina Transit website for more information.
Regina is easy to get to. It has an international airport and is located on a few major highways, the TransCanada, #11 to Saskatoon, and #6 to the United States. You can also take the bus to Regina. Greyhound and the Saskatchewan Transporation Company operate bus service to Regina.
Hotel | "Quality Inn"
It is very convenient if you need a central location. It is within walking distance of the Cornwall Center (shopping mall) and Victoria Park. A good place to stay if you are sightseeing.
The hotel offers different rates for AAA/CAA members and a special rate for those who book over the Internet. The price of the room includes a good continental breakfast in a common room. Free newspapers are also offered to the guests. Don't be surprised to see one outside your room door in the morning! Rooms include beds, a TV with cable and pay per view movies, their own bathroom with sink, toilet, bathtub/shower and plenty of counter space. The more expensive the room, of course, the more extras you get.
Check in is 3pm and check out is 12pm. If you will be arriving after 3pm just call and they will reserve the room for you.
Parking is a little difficult to come by as the parking lot behind the hotel is very small. In summer this is not a problem. If you stay in the winter, however, this presents some difficulties.
Overall, this is a good hotel but not for the budget conscious.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 12, 2002
Quality Hotel Regina
1717 VICTORIA AVE
Regina, Saskatchewan S4P0P9
This is a popular restaurant. You generally don''t need reservations, but if there is a big event in town you might want to call ahead.
There are a number of great and delicious choices on the menu. I recommend the black bean enchilada which comes with a delicious salad. The special of the day is always different. I haven''t ever tried that yet but maybe next time.
Everything is organic including the coffee, tea, and special juice blends. I recommend the very tasty chai.
People of all ages eat here. Not all of them are vegetarians - some just looking for great tasting food!
They are open Tuesday to Saturday from 11am-3pm and 5pm-9pm. In summer you can sit on their deck in a neighbourhood of old houses, most of which have been turned into offices for professionals, creating a nice atmosphere for patio dining.
A great dining experience which will keep you coming back.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 12, 2002
Attraction | "More Legislative Building Info"
The major site on the tour of the building is the legislative chamber where our Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA'S) debate and pass bills. The MLA's sit in spring, usually from March to late June or July. It is unusual for the house to sit in fall but it does happen. During these times you are allowed to go in to watch the government at work. You cannot however take your camera. An usher will store your camera in a secure area for you until you leave. Some of these ushers are former Mounties so there is no problem with trust.
If the house is not sitting, the tour will include the legislative chamber. You will also be allowed to take pictures. The lighting is not very bright so your pictures may turn out to be kind of dark. The chamber is decorated in warm wood and red carpet. There are three public galleries and one for the media. If you get a chance to see the house in session, you might get a laugh as the two sides like to tease each other.
Outside the legislative chamber is the massive rotunda area. This is a very imposing sight. Covered in marble, framed with marble columns, the over two story rotunda is quite the sight. It is also very echoey. When there is no special occasion, you can look down into one of the basement galleries. On a special day, like budget day, this is filled with flowers. On the second floor of this area is a huge painting "Before the White Man Came" depicting life in the prairies before the Europeans arrived. It is well worth a look.
The galleries are located in the basement and are part of the tour. The Premier's Gallery exhibits portraits of the premiers of the province. Two of these are very interesting as their eyes follow you as you move around the room! Try it! Also in this room are some of the symbols of the province, including our provincial bird, the prairie chicken. When we went on our tour, we were together with a school group. The tour guide asked if anybody knew what a prairie chicken was. One sour little boy piped up and said, "We kill them." This caused enormous laughter and became a joke between my Danish host parents and I.
A second interesting gallery in the basement is the First Nations Gallery. It contains portraits of a number of First Nations Chiefs in their traditional outfits and headdresses.
A great place to take pictures is on the steps leading up to the rotunda area from the security guard's desk. The marble steps are covered with a bright red carpet. It feels very regal!
Just off Albert Street
When Saskatchewan became a province in 1905, Regina was chosen as its capital. It needed a proper house for government. The resulting building is the Legislative Building which stands today. It took years to build and cost about $12 million dollars. If it were to burn down, it would be absolutely impossible to replace as it would be far too expensive. Imported stone and marble adorns the interior of the building. Numerous pieces of artwork hang in galleries. When it was built, no one realized that the soil was really silt. As such, the building has been sinking slowly over time. Recently, a renovation project began to correct this problem and to fix up the inside of the building.
The Legislative Building is located just off Albert Street, one of Regina's two main north-south streets. Parking in front of the building can be hard to find. You are allowed to park in parking lots behind the building. Some of the roads around the park allow parking on one side. Just look for the signs.
When you enter the building you must go to the front and up the steps. If you are in a wheelchair or are otherwise mobility challenged, you can use the Prince of Wales entrance just to the right of the front steps. Prince Charles visited in 2001 to open this special entrance.
In the lobby area, you will see a security guard at the desk. You must sign in here as a visitor. Something new since 9/11 is that visitors must wear visitor identification. Let the guard know that you want to go on a tour. He'll let you know when the next tour starts. Tours are conducted in French or English.
If you have to wait, check out some of the displays in the lobby area. There is information on the renovation project on the left side of the lobby. There is also a cartoon Speaker of the House which you can put your head into and have your picture taken. My host dad from Denmark did this and I have a very funny picture!
Saskatchewan Legislative Buildings
Albert Street on the bank of Wascana Lake
Attraction | "Do you enjoy professional football?"
Canadian Football is a little different than that played by the Americans in the NFL. We have a different sized field, the goal posts are located in a different spot, and we have 3 downs, not 4. I grew up with a father who is a football official so I know the rules of the game well. The rules are not difficult to learn. If you don't know anything, chances are the person sitting next to you most certainly will. Just ask them!
As Roughrider fans are absolutely crazy about football, it is best to call ahead to get tickets. I recommend sitting somewhere on the west side as it is sheltered in case of rain or blazing sun. There is a special university section which only the crazy partiers want to sit in. To figure out where to sit, visit the official website. There you will find a map of the stadium and ticket prices. To order tickets phone (306) 525-2181 or toll free 1-888-474-3377. You can also get tickets by going down to the office at Taylor Field, located on the west side.
The busiest and best game of the year is the Labor Day Classic when we play our rivals, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, usually a sell-out.
Get to the game early! Parking in the area around the stadium is difficult to find. Local residents allow you to park in their driveways for a few dollars. Leaving the stadium area is difficult so parking a few blocks away and walking is a better choice.
On your way to the stadium you will hear the rowdy fans and the music from the stadium. As you get closer you can sense the excitement! Pick up a program from one of the men selling them. The money goes to charity! The program will give you all the roster info as well as help out those who don't know much about the game.
Two highlights have to be the mascot and the $10,000 prize. Our mascot is Gainer the gopher. Yes, a gopher! He is the ultimate cheerleader. When we score a touchdown, he hops in his car and drives around the stadium waving the flag! He now has a cousin, Leonard, who helps out.
Every game, ticket holders have a chance to win $10,000. If the Riders score a touchdown off the first play deep in their own end, a seat will be drawn for the big prize.
People of all ages love Riders football so be sure to take the kids!
Located in the south end of town, the Gallery exhibits works from its permanent collection and special, travelling shows. The permanent collection is large, so exhibits are always changing. From the Group of Seven to up and coming artists, there is always something new to see.
The Gallery provides free parking which you can access by turning on to 23rd Avenue off Albert Street. It is also easily accessible by bus. Go out to the Albert Street sidewalk and check out the sculptures of the three cows. One of the best things about the Gallery is that admission is free.
Probably one of the best collections of Inuit sculpture in Canada is currently exhibited in the Schumiatcher Gallery. The carvings, stone and whale bone, have either been donated or are on permanent loan to the Gallery. This particular exhibit will remain open to the public until the end of March 2003. It will then give way to a new exhibit of First Nations works. I saw an exhibit of beautiful hand woven baskets in this gallery in 2000 - fantastic. The works will amaze you no matter which exhibit it is.
In the Francis B. Sim Gallery you will see various visiting exhibits. In the summer of 2000, I saw a show of various tartan paintings. They were used in very interesting ways. Until August 25, 2002, you can see "Have a Nice Day" by William Eakin. It explores society's fascination and obsession with UFOs and aliens.
The Kenderdine Gallery (to your left when you come up the main stairs) is reserved for the big shows. Until September 15, 2002, you can see "Canvas of War". This exhibit is travelling Canada until 2005. The works are on loan from the War Musueum in Ottawa, the nation's capital. The images are both moving and disturbing. Many of the images were recorded by soldiers who just happened to have some artistic talent. I feel very privileged to have seen this exhibit. Less than 25% of the War Musueum's artifacts are shown as the museum is just too small. These paintings are just a small fraction of what the national museum has in its collection but it gives you a very small idea of what it was like to be on the front lines. A very powerful and sad exhibition.
There is also a gallery shop and gift store. They offer everything from kitchen ware to jewelry, kids stuff to pottery. It tends to be on the expensive side but if you look you can find a few things under $5.00.
The Gallery is open daily, 10am-5:30pm and until 10pm Thursdays and Fridays. For more information, please check the website or phone (306) 584-4250. You won't be disappointed if you make a stop here!
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 16, 2002
MacKenzie Art Gallery
3475 Albert Street
The 45 minute ceremony begins with the entrance of the cadet band playing the Canadian national anthem. During my visit, the national anthem was unceremoniously interrupted by the engines of an antique plane at the nearby Regina airport practicing for the upcoming air show in Saskatoon. And I mean unceremoniously – imagine singing to the national anthem while hearing the engines of a plane dive-bombing and performing tricks (sounding a lot like indigestion).
The RCMP invites guest bands to play during the Sunset Retreat. The band, which played during our visit, was the City Police Pipes and Drums. Now, if you don’t like bagpipes, this is definitely not your kind of thing. But for those who have been exposed to bagpipes, their strange and unique sounds can be kind of comforting. I have not one drop of British blood in me, but when I lived in Europe, I discovered that I missed bagpipes - wierd! The music was very moving, particularly the playing of Amazing Grace. The last time I heard this song performed by a piper was during the memorial service for 4 Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan during a friendly fire incident involving American pilots.
Next, we were treated to a cannon demonstration. Cadets dressed in period costume came running out with one of the cannons used by Inspector Sam Steele to keep the peace in the Yukon gold rush of 1896. When you see exactly what had to be done to get off a single shot, you’ll wonder how these cannons were ever a useful tool of warfare.
The main event is the parade of cadets. The patterns in which they march are based on the RCMP musical ride (horse and rider parade). The musical ride is the only part of the RCMP training regimen which is not currently located in Saskatchewan as it was moved to Ottawa a few decades ago. One company of cadets performs to the instructions of the drill instructor, accompanied by the cadet band. The finale of the parade is the lowering of the Canadian flag atop the very high flagpole in the training yard.
The training academy has a very open attitude towards the public. When the parade is finished, the cadets in their red serge, are free to visit and pose for pictures with the public. The RCMP museum is also open late on Tuesdays, until 8:45pm, for those who wish to visit after the sunset retreat. If it rains, the ceremony will be cancelled; this will be announced on local radio stations. To get there, take #8 bus (RCMP) or drive along Dewdney Ave West - you can''t miss the signs. As the Sunset Retreat is not performed very often, I highly recommend you attend if you have the opportunity to visit Regina during July or August.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 20, 2002
RCMP Sunset Retreat
Dewdney Avenue West
Attraction | "RCMP Museum and Training Academy"
When you arrive at the academy grounds you will be stopped by an RCMP officer. Just let him know that you are headed to the museum and he'll give you directions to get to the museum. Just follow the yellow lines! As you drive you will see the academy and some of the houses they use for training.
There is ample parking as this is a major tourist site. Follow the signs to the museum. You can go directly into the museum from the lobby. The first thing you will see is a massive buffalo head! This is a great spot for the photographers! All of the signage is in English and French as the RCMP is a bilingual institution.
The museum chronicles the history of the RCMP so you will see a lot of old uniforms, guns, documents, and photos. The greatest number of artifacts deals with the Riel Rebellion at Batoche and relations with the First Nations peoples of the prairies. You can spend a lot of time looking at everything and learn a lot in the process.
Something fun for the kids is the jail. Maybe they'll put their parents in it, maybe their brother or sister. It is an old style log jail - not very comfortable I suppose. But another great opportunity for a picture!
You can even watch films in the small theatre just as you are about to exit the museum. Hollywood's idea of the Mounties is very strange indeed. There is a movie about the Mounties in Saskatchewan but the poster features mountains. What's the problem? We have no mountains here!
The gift shop is worth a look. There are a lot of good books on the RCMP and its history. You can pick up any number of things from the expensive to the affordable. There are t-shirts, pens, magnets, ties ... you name it, they've got it.
There are guided tours of the Training Academy and Chapel daily at 1:30pm Monday-Friday except on Statutory Holidays. On this tour you can see where recruits from all across Canada train and where they graduate. You might even be able to see some participate in martial arts exercises. No tour is complete without a visit to the historic Chapel. It is very dark inside with a sombre mood as many of the adornments commemorate officers killed in the line of duty.
Museum hours in the summer (from the Saturday of Victoria Day weekend to Monday of Labour Day weekend in September) are 8am-6:45pm daily. Winter hours are 10am-4:45pm daily including weekends. Admission is free.
To get there drive down Dewdney west. You can also take bus #8 - RCMP. For more information please visit the RCMP Museum Website.
RCMP Centennial Museum
Start your journey in the bottom half of the museum. You begin your journey with the creation of the solar system and follow the creation of the continents. Next, you move into the era of the dinosaur. At one time, believe it or not, Saskatchewan was a lush tropical land. While Alberta receives more attention as a treasure trove for fossils, Saskatchewan has a huge number as well. Models of dinosaurs and giant mammals which once lived here are displayed in this section. The last area in the basement is the First Nations Galleries. These displays feature the first peoples to inhabit the land. There are fantastic exhibits of clothing, pottery, films, and examples of how the coming of the Europeans affected the First Nations.
Upstairs you will find the displays which were most heavily damaged during the fire of the mid-1990s. There are, however, no traces of the fire; the exhibits are absolutely amazing, first-class! You will feel as if you have stepped out into the wilderness! If you have no time to travel to areas of the province where wildlife is abundant, you can check out all the animals and plants in their native habitat. I was particularly amazed by the beaver exhibit - the ''water'' looks real! All exhibits have information posted to tell you all sorts of interesting facts.
A new area which was added after the fire is an Environmental Awareness area. This area stands in sharp contrast to the nature sections of the museum: recycled ''garbage'' covered in a light coating of cement shocks the visitor. There are a lot of interactive computer screens in this area - the kids I saw were thrilled with the things they could play with here. One of the more sobering exhibits was a world population clock which also included the amount of arable land and the number of species which consistently fall as our population rises.
MegaMunch is located in a small area near the auditorium. Kids are fascinated by this animated T-Rex. When I last visited, it was difficult to get in the area as it was filled with kids including one who thought it was his job to protect us from this beast!
The opening hours are as follows:
9am to 5:30pm daily - May 1 through Labour Day
9am to 4:30pm daily - Tuesday following Labour Day to April 30
Closed Christmas Day
Free parking can be accessed off College Avenue. Bring the kids for hours of fun and educational entertainment!
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 26, 2002
Royal Saskatchewan Museum
2445 Albert Street