Written by Bob Nicholls on 03 Sep, 2000
Imagine an oasis in the middle of a city, and you have just described Wascana Centre, a huge and wonderful park in the midst of Regina, capital of Saskatchewan. Most cities are not so lucky, and perhaps this is why the park has even…Read More
Imagine an oasis in the middle of a city, and you have just described Wascana Centre, a huge and wonderful park in the midst of Regina, capital of Saskatchewan. Most cities are not so lucky, and perhaps this is why the park has even been compared to Vancouver's Stanley Park, though they are quite different.
If visiting Regina, the park is a must-see. If you wish to walk, jog or bike,or find a pleasant place for a picnic, this is the place to be, with the added bonus that it doesn't take too long to get there from anywhere in the city.
There are beautiful flowers and fountains, monuments, a swimming pool and children's play area, the Saskatchewan Science Centre and IMAX Theatre, and Saskatchewan's monumental Legislative Building.
Wascana Lake is the centerpiece of the park, where one can see rowers straining their muscles, canoes gliding across the lake, or hear music wafting across the lake from the bandshell located adjacent to the shore. Various lookouts provide great views and a walkway around the lake makes for easy walking and jogging. As the summer ends, Dragon Boat races can also be seen, and heard.
Another special end-of-summer feature is Globe Theatre's "Lanterns on the Lake," a popular (and free) night-time spectacle of home-made lanterns of all shapes and sizes. Picture the parade of shimmering lanterns, some simple and others extremely complex, moving along the lakeside,led by dancers from New Dance Horizons, and accompanied by musicians from the Regina Symphony Orchestra.
The park also contains track and field facilities, open spaces for sports of all sorts, a quality restaurant at a small marina, barbeque sites galore and even a man-made hill where children can be seen tobogganing in the winter. A wildlife sancutary provides an opportunity to view some of nature, with many birds, Canada geese and other wildfowl, some that stay here year round (just be careful where you step!).
Throw in the University of Regina, Royal Saskatchewan Museum (mainly of natural history),the Conservatory of Performing Arts, and the Centre of the Arts, and you can see why the park is such a valued part of Regina.
While visiting, keep in mind that virtually all the trees in the park (and the city in fact) have been planted by hand at some point, quite an astounding feat for an astounding park!
When one thinks of the Canadian and American prairies, what often comes to mind is one word - flat. If you are taking the Trans Canada highway, much of the same exists from Winnipeg all the way to Calgary, quite a distance! For people…Read More
When one thinks of the Canadian and American prairies, what often comes to mind is one word - flat. If you are taking the Trans Canada highway, much of the same exists from Winnipeg all the way to Calgary, quite a distance! For people who have never travelled in this area, with Regina smack in the middle, it really is quite flat, and for miles in all directions. From above,the typical description is that the land looks like a patchwork quilt. As cliche as that may be, it is true, with the many beautiful shades of gold, green, yellow, purple and other hues less expected on the Prairies. Though visitors are always astounded by the beauty of mountains, the Prairies have their special beauty too. Not only are the colours wonderful as the seasons progress, but the feeling of unending space is something to experience. And sometimes, the vistas offer wonderful surprises.
With little to 'block the view,' the sky with its floating clouds is a wonder to behold, and the night sky is a stargazer's dream. Within a few minutes, you can be outside the city and enjoying the peace, quiet and wonderful views at any time of day or night. If caught in a rain storm, views of lighting crossing the prairie skies can be illuminating and a bonus to those interested in photography. But, hope for less rain and keep in mind that Saskatchewan has the most sunlight of any province in Canada, including the winter months.
Surprisingly to some, there are valleys and hills which seemingly pop out of nowhere within a short drive from Regina and across the prairies, giving the traveller even more to explore. Try the Qu'Appelle Valley not far from Regina, with its many lakes, market gardens and scenic drives, the highly unique Sand Hills in the West of Saskatchewan, or unearthed dinosaur bones and Cypress Hills (the highest point in Canada between Ontario and the Rocky Mountains)in Saskatchewan's southwest corner.
You might even be in Regina when the appropriately-named "Flatland Music Festival" is being held. Whether you believe the world is round or flat, there is much indeed to catch your interest in the area and the hospitality of the citizens is sure to please you and make your stay enjoyable. So, don't be afriad to head a bit off the beaten tourist path - you will flat out enjoy yourself!