With a Local: Regina, Saskatchewan

This With a Local supplies insider tips on things to do and see in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Regina is the provincial capital of Saskatchewan in Canada. Search the internet and you’ll see it has produced a string of talented ice hockey players who have made it into the NHL.

Yet it’s uniforms of a different type that draw many visitors to Regina. All Mounties receive their initial training in Regina and visitors can see cadets drilling in their ceremonial uniforms during the Sunset Retreat Ceremony, held on Tuesday evenings from the start of July until mid-August.

I spent a week driving around Saskatchewan with Jodi Holliday, a Media Relations Specialist, who lives in Regina and provides insights into her home city.

Why do you think people should come to Regina?

We are home to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Every RCMP cadet in Canada is trained in Regina at the ‘Depot’ Academy. There is also a museum, the RCMP Heritage Centre (5907 Dewdney Avenue), which goes through the entire history of the RCMP.

What is your favourite place in Regina?

I love Wascana Centre, an urban park that takes up a large portion of the middle of the city. Wascana Centre is a 9.3 square kilometre (2,300 acre) park around Wascana Lake.

It was designed by the Seattle architect Minoru Yamasak, who is famous for designing New York’s original World Trade Center.

It also encompasses many of my favourite places: the University of Regina, the provincial Legislative Building, Darke Hall, MacKenzie Art Gallery, CBC—the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Conexus Arts Centre, and the Science Centre.

Façade of Saskatchewan's Legislative Assembly.
Façade of Saskatchewan’s Legislative Assembly.

Where would you take a guest to dine?

I love Crave Kitchen and Wine Bar (1925 Victoria Avenue; tel. +1 306 525 8777). It’s housed in the historic home of the Assiniboia Club, features dishes made with local ingredients, including delicious beer from Rebellion Brewing, and never disappoints.

Where would you recommend for a drink in Regina?

I always love going to O’Hanlon’s (1947 Scarth Street; +1 306 566 4094). It’s right downtown, across from Victoria Park, has a great non-smoking patio and a fantastic beer selection, including many local craft beer taps. Their breakfast pizza is to die for!

Stained glass window depicting a bugling Mountie.
Stained glass window depicting a bugling Mountie. The RCMP Heritage Centre counts among the highlights of things to do and see in Regina.

What is your favourite legend or quirky bit of history associated with your town?

I am always interested in indigenous culture, in particular, the Métis population.

Saskatchewan’s Métis are descendants of First Nations women and mainly Scottish and French explorers and fur traders. The merging of two very different cultures created a vibrant new culture.

In 1885, Louis Riel led Métis and First Nations people in an armed uprising against the Canadian government. The uprising became known as the North West Resistance, and was the last military conflict on Canadian soil. Visitors can experience this fascinating and defining moment in Canadian history at Batoche National Historic Site. Louis Riel was executed for treason in Regina.

Also, Regina used to be called ‘Pile of Bones’, the English translation of the Cree place name ‘oskana kâ-asastêki’, because of the large amounts of bison bones on the banks of the Wascana Creek.

If guests can stay in the area for an extra day, what do you recommend they do and see?

Wander around downtown or in the Cathedral Village where there are many restaurants, cafés and shops. Or get out of town to Lumsden Valley and Regina Beach.

Further information

Take a look at the Tourism Regina and Tourism Saskatchewan websites to find out more about the city and the surrounding region.

The Destination Canada website also has information about the city and the province.

Thanks for visiting Go Eat Do and reading this post on things to do and see in Regina, Saskatchewan. Here’s a look at the heritage of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Photos illustrating this post are by Why Eye Photography.

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Mounties marching in the Sunset Retreat Ceremony at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Depot in Regina.
Mounties marching in the Sunset Retreat Ceremony at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Depot in Regina.

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