When we started planning our Canada Excursion our main interests were Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto. Since we were based in Toronto we decided to add two more places and Regina was one of them. Everyone told us not to visit Regina as there is nothing much to do there. We still decided to travel through here to get to Calgary.
However later the locals in Regina told us it grows on you in time, I guess our two days was not enough for it.
Regina has its own unique charm to the place. We did meet some friendly people during our stay. They were always willing to help us whenever they saw us walking on the streets, which was different to the other places we visited.
TIME TO VISIT REGINA
July would be the ideal time to visit Regina as it is said to be the warmest time. I would recommend from May to September a good time to visit due to its pleasant weather.
It is said sometimes the weather can get very confusing, you will see snow in May or have a beautiful summer in November.
Our visit was during August and we were really very happy with the choice. Due to the good weather we were able to do lots of activities on foot.
TRAVELING AROUND REGINA
Since we were travelling from Winnipeg we had chosen plane as a mode of transport to reach here.
After travelling around Canada I found Regina to have the worst transport system from the lot. Regina Transit is the main transport company. There are mostly buses running throughout the region. It is said to have total 21 routes in weekdays and during weekend the interval drops.
The fares were very simple, either you buy individual tickets or buy 10 rides. Should you complete the transfer within 90 minutes then you don’t get charged. If you pay in cash then you need to ask for the paper transfer for your next trip.
There are number of other cards available to choose from i.e. R-card, Employer Pass, U-Pass, Discounted 31 day pass. However for tourists I feel the cash fare or 10 rides fares works best.
I personally found the bus intervals not great at all. Most of the time we decided to walk as the bus wait time would actually get us to the destination.
One thing which really stood out for me was the locals in the cars stopping to offer us a ride. We never really took the offer but loved the gesture. The locals would usually tell us everyone has their own car or have friend who owns one. That explains why the frequency is less.
WHERE WE STAYED
We had booked our 2 nights stay at Travelodge Hotel & Conference Centre Regina. This hotel has changed its named to Hotel Atlas now. The reason we choose this hotel is because it was easily accessible from the airport and to most of the tourist attraction. The hotel is on the number 1 highway and has many restaurants, shopping and entertainment nearby.
The rooms were nice, big and clean with comfortable beds. Should you have kids they have a nice pool area for enjoying as there are nice water slides. We had chosen the breakfast option and found it ok with limited variety. The front desk were really very friendly and we were overall very happy with our stay here. Would definitely recommend it.
THINGS TO DO IN REGINA
ROYAL SASKATCHEWAN MUSEUM
A museum which preserves natural history specimens and objects of ethnological and historical interest. There are many galleries inside namely, First Nation Gallery, Earth Science Gallery, Life Science Gallery and T. Rex Gallery. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the exhibits and especially enjoyed the T-Rex.
There is said to be 3.5 million collection which supports research of the Saskatchewan’s natural history, culture, biology and wildlife ecology, Aboriginal studies, environmental sustainability and palaeontology.
I would also recommend seeing the Royal Saskatchewan Museum’s Native Plant Garden. This is located by the entrance and for a garden lover like myself I got to see some unique plants which I had never seen before.
The money collected is given as donation, hence I feel there is a good cause in visiting the museum.
Urban park which is built around Wascana Lake and Saskatchewan Legislative Building. The name ‘Wascana’ means ‘pile of bones’ and is in reference to the bison bones found around the Wascana creek before the area was populated by the non-indigenous people.
There is also the Wascana Bandstand which is used as a unique setting for live musical and theatrical performances for wedding ceremonies.
In May there is usually Geese which also visit the shores as Wascana Centre lies in the migratory path. The Authority usually practice goose management to keep everything under control.
I loved the beautiful scenery and found it to be very clean. A nice place to enjoy a family time during the weekends with fun picnic and BBQ. I have also noticed people have walks during the day along with few people cycle around. It is said the walk around the lake is 5 km along with nice benches along the way to rest. Since we visited the place in summer we were also lucky to enjoy the gardens that were made from different colourful plants- all very inviting.
Of all the places we visited in Regina this was my favourite spot. I would highly recommend doing this.
SASKATCHEWAN LEGISLATIVE BUILDING
House of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan. It is said the grounds were designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 2005. We did book a tour and enjoyed knowing more details on the place.
The tour also included the history and the present operations taking place. It started at the stairs and then took us through various parts inside the building. I have to especially mention seeing the architecture of the place, one does feel royal inside the building.
Queen Elizabeth II statue is seen in front of the legislative building. The reason it’s in black is cause she was born at the police horse breeding farm and had also started her career in Royal Canadian Mounted Police under the name of Blackie.
There is also the Queen Elizabeth II gardens which is said to have different pattern of flowers each year.
The fountain is said to be brought from London’s Trafalgar Square whereas another is said to have been taken from Ottawa.
Special mention here to the Lantern, which is sitting inside the dome and lit every time the assembly is on.
Some of the other things to lookout for is The Pediment, The Cornerstone, The Tyndall Stone, Provincial Heritage Status and Woodrow Lloyd Memorial.
THE SASKATCHEWAN WAR MEMORIAL
Memorial of the Saskatchewan people who died during World Wars, The Korean wars and during military training and peacetime operations. It is in the Legislative ground.
ALBERT MEMORIAL BRIDGE
Along the Albert Street in Regina across the north and south banks of Wascana Creek you will see the beam bridge. It was built during Great Depression for draining and dreading the adjacent Wascana Lake and building two islands in the lake.
We did have a stroll in the downtown to explore more of Regina. As compared to other cities it’s small but it has its own uniqueness to it. I would suggest doing this to know the neighbourhood more. There were activities happening as we had visited in the summer like Regina Farmers Market, Salsa on the Plaza, Cinema under the stars and even concerts in the market.
In the heart of downtown which we were told is a popular shopping place for the people of Regina. There is said to be over 90 stores and services. We only spent a brief moment here to check out shopping in Regina.
REGINA FOLK FESTIVAL
A popular festival which we had the privilege of enjoying as it was there during our visit. There were cultural influences with some international talents. We especially enjoyed the international food court. There was also fun activities for children along with an artist market.
KIWANIS WATERFALL PARK
We did manage to enjoy Kiwanis Park in Regina. We were on the lookout for Kiwanis Waterfall and walked along the park to reach it.
This is developed around the edge of Wascana Creek. It is said to have been developed by a retired Regina florist and Kiwanis member which started development in 1951.
I personally found the place very well maintained and also very peaceful. Since we went in the afternoon, we didn’t experience much crowd and hence enjoyed clicking photos along the way.
SASKATCHEWAN SCIENCE CENTRE
Here is a fun place to try your hands on some experiments. There were nice interactive exhibits along with shows where you can easily relive your school days. Many say if you have kids then definitely try this place, I feel it’s a place for adults also. I also found the staff to be polite which added on to being more personally interactive.
KRAMER IMAX THEATRE
Since its opening in 1991 they have had travel, science and nature-oriented films. The IMAX 3D however got completed in October 2010 and hence we had the privilege to enjoy it. Do the tour of the projection room as it is interesting.
RCMP HERITAGE CENTRE
Upon arrival you are welcomed with the stone, glass and concrete building. RCMP is said to be tell a story of how a Cadet is trained and how his story begins.
There are various exhibits, multimedia technologies and engaging programming and tours. We didn’t have a dull moment and I feel even kids would enjoy especially in the crime solving section.
We never really got this but it’s fun to catch the cadets during the drill. There is also said to Sargent and Majors parade, check the timings and plan accordingly.
Besides the above there are also lots of parks throughout northern, central and southern parts. Unfortunately since we were only here for two days we couldn’t dedicate time for this.
OUR ITINERARY IN REGINA
Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Wascana Centre, The Saskatchewan War Memorial, Albert Memorial Bridge, Saskatchewan Legislative Building, downtown, Cornwall Centre, Regina folk festival, Kiwanis park, Kiwanis waterfall
- To reach Royal Saskatchewan Museum from our hotel you have to walk to the nearest bus station. Then catch either Bus no 4 and get off at Albert St @ 19th Ave. Or Bus 9 and get off at Albert St @ College Ave (NB). Or Bus no. 40 and get off at Albert St @ College Ave (NB)
- From Royal Saskatchewan Museum we had walked to Wascana Centre (1.7 km). You can also take bus no. 9 and get off at 11th Ave @ Scarth St (EB). Or Bus No.3 and get off at Broad St @ Quinn Dr (SB)
- From Wascana Centre we actually walked across to Saskatchewan Legislative Building and did our tour. Along the way we also saw Saskatchewan War Memorial and Albert Memorial Bridge.
- We then decided to walk downtown to reach Cornwall Centre. This way we also got to enjoy downtown, the walk was roughly 30 mins. You can also take bus no. 4. Or Bus no. 9 and get off at 11th Ave @ Hamilton St (EB). Or Bus no 15/ bus no. 7 and get off at 11th Ave @ Hamilton St (EB)
- We had then walked across to enjoy Regina Folk festival
- Later we decided to walk to Kiwanis Park which is roughly 2.6 km and took us 30 mins. You can also take bus no.9, Bus no. 8, Bus no. 3 and Bus no.30 and get off at Elphinstone St @ 17th Ave (SB)
- to get back to our hotel we took Bus no.9 and got off at Parliament Ave@ Rae St (WB)
Saskatchewan Science Centre, Kramer Imax watched movie, Regina Folk Festival and RCMP Museum
- You have to use a combination of bus to reach Saskatchewan Science Centre. Following are the various options available from our hotels nearby bus station.
- 1. Take Bus No4 get off at 11th Ave @ Cornwall St and then catch Bus no.15 and get off at Powerhouse Dr @ Wascana Dr (NB)
- 2. Take Bus no. 9 get off at 12th Ave @ Smith St (EB) and then catch Bus no. 15 and get off at Powerhouse Dr @ Wascana Dr (NB)
- 3. Take bus no 40 get off at Albert St @ Victoria Ave (NB) and then catch Bus no.15 and get off at Powerhouse Dr @ Wascana Dr (NB)
- From Saskatchewan Science Centre we walked to Kramer IMAX Theatre
- From Kramer IMAX Theatre there are a number of buses which takes you to Regina Folk Festival. Bus no.15, bus no. 12, Bus no. 2, Bus no. 3 can be taken and you have to get off at 11th Ave @ Hamilton St (WB). We decided to have our lunch here.
- From Regina Forks Festival we decided to take bus to RCMP Heritage Centre. The direct bus from here would be Bus no. 1 in which you have to get off at Dewdney Ave @ Bonner St (WB). There are other bus options also available but then you have to change buses and ultimately take Bus no.1 in the interchange. Advisable to wait for Bus no.1
- From here to get back to the hotel we had to use a combination of bus. We took bus no. 1 and got off at Albert St @ 11th Ave (SB). Then from here you can either take bus no. 40 and get off at Albert St @ Parliament Av (SB) or take bus no.7 and get off at Parliament Ave @ Albert St (EB)
THINGS TO NOTE IN REGINA
- Since the transport system is not so great most of the places we walked. The wait time for the bus ended up making is actually reach the destination.
- Regina’s cab rates are said to be expensive. I personally never used one as I enjoyed the walks.
- check bus timings and bus number before leaving. At times there maybe more options available from the ones I have mentioned.
- Regina is mostly have people who love living in small towns. Hence most of the downtown neighbourhood closes after 8 p.m.