Two Things To Do In Regina That Date Back To The 1880’s


When I say Regina, Saskatchewan what comes to mind? For me, there are two things. First up is the RCMP Academy “Depot” Divison and second is Wascana Lake. Both date their formation to the early to mid-1880s and both are still in full operation today. Wascana Lake is the “Stanley Park” of Regina drawing attracting thousands of locals and visitors to its trails and water activities every day. The RCMP Academy is still in operation today and the RCMP Heritage Centre has been added allowing visitors to explore the history of Canada and the men and women that have played a part in protecting the laws of our country. It is said the “RCMP always get their man” and Regina is where they learn how to do it.

Saskatchewan Legistlative building as seen from Wascana Lake

Saskatchewan Legistlative building as seen from Wascana Lake

RCMP Heritage Centre – RCMP Members are born all over the world, but they are made in Regina, Saskatchewan. The “Depot Division” opened in 1885 and trained the Northwest Mounted Police until in 1920 they merged with the national Dominion Police to become what we know today, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Transportation methods may have changed but defending the laws of Canada are still number 1.

There is something for everyone at the RCMP Heritage Centre. Visitors young and old will enjoy themselves just like I did. I recommend starting with a walk through the exhibitions. The main gallery features six exhibitions starting with Creating a Mounted Police and ending with Cracking the Case. These follow the formation and history of the NWP and the RCMP and include the actual tools and techniques used by them to “get their man“.

Some of the exhibitions like the Driving Simulator let you get into a police car replica and try your hand behind the wheel in a police chase. I think I’d better let the professionals do the chasing as I hit an awful lot of lamp posts in my try at the wheel.

Taking part in a car chase simulator at the RCMP Heritage Centre

Taking part in a car chase simulator at the RCMP Heritage Centre

There are also experiences at hand included in your admissions like the Seargent Major’s Parade and the Driving Tour of Depot Divison. I missed the parade as you need to have pre-registered at the Heritage Centre before noon. Instead, I hopped on the driving tour and we toured the grounds.

Some things we saw I can’t show for privacy reasons. I can show you a photo of police dogs and their handlers at work though. Even the canine divisions are trained here.

RCMP canine unit at work at the RCMP Heritage Centre

RCMP canine unit at work at the RCMP Heritage Centre

The tour includes a stop at the RCMP Chapel which is the oldest building in Regina and started out as a mess hall until it was converted into a chapel in 1895. It still is in use today.

Wascana Centre – Wascana Lake was created in 1883 by damming the Wascana Creek between Angus and Rae Streets. Today it is a hub of activity attracting cyclists, walkers and even sailing enthusiasts.

Wascana Lake has over 10 km of trails to enjoy and many attractions including the MacKenzie Art GalleryRoyal Saskatchewan Museum and the provincial Legislative building.

The Saskatchewan Legistlative building near Wascana Centre

The Saskatchewan Legislative building near Wascana Centre

I stopped into the MacKenzie Art Gallery during one of my visits to Wascana Lake and picked up a bracelet made by a local artist from the gift shop. My kind of shopping and a perfect birthday gift to myself.

If you find yourself getting hungry when you are at Wascana Lake make sure your walk/run/cycle takes you by The Willow on Wascana. A perfect spot to refuel for lunch or sit and sip a glass of wine while watching the sunset.

For a modern city, it is great to explore attractions that have “history” and to find two that date back to the 1880s is a rare and unique experience in Canada.



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Disclosure: General

Thanks to tourism Saskatchewan for inviting and hosting me during my visit to Regina. All views and opinions are 100% my own.

About Author

Marc Smith is a former event planner turned vagabond adventurer. He loves strong Americano's, great wine, cold beer and zip lining over tree tops. Formerly of Vancouver, most of Marc's time when not travelling is in Canada's largest city, Toronto. Follow along on his nomad adventures and discover places to stay, things to do and where to eat & drink as he explores the world one city and region at a time.

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