I spent the day wandering around Regina, seeing the city by foot.
I walked downtown for breakfast, stopping at Victoria Park and City Hall on the way. I was impressed by Regina’s tree planting program. The boulevards have trees of various size, planted decades apart—a sign the city is proactively preparing for the older trees to die, ensuring they’ll have ones ready to replace them in the canopy. Too often cities have a monoculture of trees all planted at the same time, and when one dies it can be devastating for the neighbourhood as it will be decades before that shade is restored.
I wandered over to the Cathedral Village neighbourhood in search of a recommended donut shop that makes Saskatoon-berry donuts. Sadly the shop was closed, but there was lots of public art and independent shops that made the journey worthwhile.
Later I walked over to the warehouse district where there were a few craft breweries to try: District and Rebellion. The surprise highlight was the Rebellion’s Michelada, a spiced shandy mixing their Cerveza lager with a locally-made vegan clamato. The taproom at Rebellion was fun, with great music (lots of Smiths and R.E.M. deep cuts) and a couple iconic pinball machines.
Regina has a lot going for it, but the experience is frequently marred by poor pedestrian treatment: mandatory beg buttons to cross (even downtown during the day), occluded and broken sidewalks, and being generally SOL whereever construction happens.
There are still nice touches while walking if you look for them.
I stopped at 241 Pizza for a slice to balance out the beer, and the gentleman working the cash gave me a free slice. I can’t figure out if it was because I was patient, polite, or friendly to the patron asking for money, but it was a nice gesture all the same.
I took a tour of the legislature, which is a real beauty. Apparatnly designed for a much-higher-populated Saskatchewan that has happened yet, it has a spacious design beautiful marble everywhere. In a nice touch, there are three busts of iconic premiers in the lobby with an empty fourth pedestal waiting for the first woman or indigenous leader.
There was a small art gallery in the basement that had captivating paintings of immigrant women by Madhu Kumar. I wish I could have spent more time as their stories and portraits were fascinating, but I arrived just before closing and had to leave.
The park around the legislature and Wascana Lake was gorgeous. Lots of well-used pathways and gardens.
Tony and I went to Ruby’s Kitchen for dinner, a small Pakistani restaurant housed in a community centre of some some sort. The food was wonderful. I’m still thinking about that okra dish. Tony’s a triathlete, does a lot of backcountry camping, and has spent vacations bicycling around Cuba. There was no shortage of good conversation to be had. It was a great day.
Today’s Distance: 0 km
Cumulative Distance: 2324 km