When automobiles were used to fight the Spanish flu in 1918

The first death from Spanish flu in Regina was reported on Oct 7, 1918.

This article was originally published by the Regina Leader-Post on March 20, 2020. It is reprinted here with permission.

By Dale Edward Johnson

At first, people in Saskatchewan showed little interest or concern about reports of a new flu in other parts of the world.

The first cases were reported in Canada in July 1918, and it would be a few more months before cases were reported in Saskatchewan. As health authorities scrambled to try to reduce the number of people stricken, owners of automobiles in Regina were asked to help out. And they did.

As the summer of 1918 turned to autumn, there were more newspaper reports of the Spanish flu in cities in the eastern U.S. and Canada.

For example, on Oct.1, 1918, Regina’s Morning Leader newspaper reported there were 460 new cases in Philadelphia in the previous 48 hours, bringing the city’s total to 2,327 cases and 14 deaths.

By Oct. 3, the Leader reported that the Spanish flu was “rapidly spreading over (the) United States” and was in 43 of the 48 states.

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gee meeyo pimawtshinawnm ( It was a Good Life)

Year 2 students at the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP) worked with Kristen Catherwood from Heritage Regina to research and publish gee meeyo pimawtshinawnm ( It was a Good Life) – A Living Heritage Project. Read more

SaskPower Substation No. 2

SaskPower Substation No. 2: Making Loss of Local Heritage a Thing of the Past

It was the end of the line for SaskPower’s Substation No. 2 on the 1900 block of Elphinstone Street. Built in 1930 by the Regina Light and Power Company, the substation made it possible to extend power services to developing neighbourhoods. The building was designed to fit in with its residential environment, a practice that was often used at the time. Read more

Heritage Regina Tour Guide Interviewed by CBC Radio

One of our Summer Walking Tour guides, Dale Edward Johnson, was recently interviewed on the CBC radio program “Saskatchewan Weekend.” During the 10-minute interview, Johnson chatted with program host Shauna Powers about some of the car dealerships that operated in Regina’s downtown over the years. The interview aired on August 10, 2019 and may be heard at https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-205-saskatchewan-weekend/clip/15731101-an-historic-walking-tour-of-downtown-regina-car-dealerships. (Note: At the link, if a “Welcome” pop-up menu appears, scroll to the bottom of the menu and click Continue. This will take you to the audio recording of the interview.)

A companion article to the interview (with photos) may be found at https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/taking-a-walk-down-regina-s-car-dealership-lane-1.5243038.

Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan

Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan Prepares for Move

In the coming months, the Provincial Archives will be consolidating its Permanent Collection—currently housed in Regina and Saskatoon—at its new location in the CBC building, 2440 Broad Street, Regina.

For updates on this major undertaking, be sure to check the News and Events page at the Provincial Archives website.

Exciting Opportunity for Prairie History Projects

From Canada’s History Society:

“Canada’s History Society is currently looking for community-based history projects for the 2019 Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Community Programming.

This award recognizes innovative projects that promote and encourage community engagement in history. Eligible projects include exhibits, preservation or restoration initiatives, oral histories, special events, or any other type of community programming.

Two recipients are awarded $2500 for their project and a trip to Ottawa to receive their award. Recipients also attend the Canada’s History Forum and the History Makers Gala, held in conjunction with the awards.”

Application deadline is July 15, 2019.

For more information, see CanadasHistory.ca/ApplyGG.

2019 Heritage Regina Summer Walking Tours


Take a walk through some of Regina’s most historic locations and discover the rich heritage of the province’s capital city. Our guided tours are offered throughout the summer, last approximately 2 hours, and are free (suggested donation of $10).

The McNab Neighbourhood
June 8 at 6 p.m.
Meet guide Gareth Evans at 6 p.m. at Government House, 4607 Dewdney Avenue. Enjoy stories of the McNab neighbourhood’s evolution and learn about historic homes, the influential people who lived in them and the conception of Luther College. There is ample parking at Government House, and the Vice Regal Coffee Bar will be open before the tour starts.

The 1912 Cyclone and Its Impact on “The Wholesale District”
July 6 at 6 p.m.
Meet guide Robin Adeney at 6 p.m. outside Brewed Awakening, 2300 Dewdney Avenue, and learn about the storm of the century and its impact on this former neighbourhood.

Wascana Lake: Sporting and Political History
July 10 at 6 p.m.
Meet guide Will Chabun at 6 p.m. in the parking lot of Wascana Marina (off Broad Street) to walk around the lake and hear about some of its intriguing tales.

Wascana Lake: Sporting and Political History
July 13 at 6 p.m.
Meet guide Will Chabun at 6 p.m. in the parking lot of Wascana Marina (off Broad Street) to walk around the lake and hear about some of its intriguing tales.

Cathedrals and Coffee Houses
July 20 at 6 p.m.
Meet guide Susan Birley at 6 p.m. at the northwest corner of the Safeway parking lot on 13th Avenue for a walk that explores historic churches and other buildings in this early 20th century neighbourhood.

Kids on Tour
July 27 at 6 p.m.
Meet guide Robin Adeney at 6 p.m. at the Victoria Park Cenotaph and discover the stories of the terrible cyclone of 1912. This tour is designed for kids aged 6 – 12 years accompanied by their parent or guardian (over 18 years of age).

Historic College Avenue Campus
August 3 at 6 p.m.
Meet guide Lauren Liebe at 6 p.m. at the University of Regina’s old campus, 2155 College Avenue, and learn about the beginnings of the college and its historical renovation.

Regina’s Downtown Car Dealerships
August 10 at 6 p.m.
Meet guide Dale Edward Johnson at 6 p.m. in front of the Viterra Building at Albert Street and Victoria Avenue. Learn about the early car dealerships in downtown Regina and how residents became hooked on their automobiles.

* Listen to Dale Edward Johnson’s interview on the CBC radio program “Saskatchewan Weekend” with host Shauna Powers. The interview aired on August 10, 2019 and may be heard at https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-205-saskatchewan-weekend/clip/15731101-an-historic-walking-tour-of-downtown-regina-car-dealerships.  (Note: At the link, if a “Welcome” pop-up menu appears, scroll to the bottom of the menu and click Continue. This will take you to the audio recording of the interview.)

A companion article to the interview (with photos) may be found at https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/taking-a-walk-down-regina-s-car-dealership-lane-1.5243038.

Secrets of Government House
August 17 at 6 p.m.
Meet Manager of Government House Monique Goffinet Miller at 6 p.m. at Government House, 4607 Dewdney Avenue. Hear behind-the-scenes stories of Government House, its secret gardens and the ongoing historical impact of this National Historic Site. There is ample parking at Government House, and the Vice Regal Coffee Bar will be open before the tour starts.

Lost Buildings in Regina
August 24 at 6 p.m.
Meet guide Melissa Clow at 6 p.m. outside the north entrance of Cornwall Centre (on Saskatchewan Drive) for a walk that will explore Regina’s earliest years and reveal the vanished roots of our city. Note: The tour will be augmented by historical photographs shared via an online slideshow. This can be accessed through your mobile/hand-held device during the tour.

Old Lakeview Neighbourhood
August 28 at 6 p.m.
Meet guide Jackie Schmidt at 6 p.m. on the steps of the Legislative Building and learn about the early development of this historic neighbourhood.

Old Lakeview Neighbourhood
August 31 at 6 p.m.
Meet guide Jackie Schmidt at 6 p.m. on the steps of the Legislative Building and learn about the early development of this historic neighbourhood.

Germantown: The Other Regina
September 4 at 6 p.m.
Meet guide Warren James at 6 p.m. at the Central Fire Hall on 11th Avenue for a walk through an area of Regina originally settled by continental Europeans.




2019 Top 10 Endangered Places List – Call For Nominations

Be part of saving a place that matters to you by nominating an endangered place for inclusion in the 2019 Top 10 Endangered Places List.

The Top 10 List shines a national spotlight on historic places at risk due to neglect, lack of funding, inappropriate development or weak legislation. Nominate a place for inclusion in the Top 10 Endangered Places List by filling out our online nomination form here.

The nomination period closes on March 29 at 11:59 p.m. (EDT) and the List will be released in May.

See the 2018 list at https://nationaltrustcanada.ca/what-we-offer/endangered-places

Local Architect Showcases Regina’s Structural and Societal History

This Thursday Heritage Regina will present the second lecture in its Winter Lecture Series titled Threads that Bind: The Connections Between Society, Art, and Architecture. Local architect and P3Architecture partner James Youck will lead attendees in a study of Regina’s cultural and societal context, as seen through the lens of the city’s ever-evolving architecture.

From the grand scale of the Saskatchewan legislative building to the intricate detail of some of Regina’s early residential homes, Youck will explore Regina’s past, present and future using some of the longest-lasting historical legacies we leave behind: the structures we build.

“Looking for connections between society, art, and architecture reminds us that our built environment does not occur in a vacuum, but it is a representation of our culture and world view,” said Youck.

Interest in Regina’s architectural roots recently gained prominence as advocates successfully fought to secure heritage designation for The Cook House. Heritage Regina hopes that Thursday’s lecture will provide interested citizens with a better understanding of the importance of designations like these, and the contextual underpinnings on which they are based.

“We want the public to learn about Regina’s amazing architectural treasures in a forum outside of City Council proceedings,” said Heritage Regina President Jackie Schmidt. “Events like Thursday’s lecture aren’t just designed to educate, but to give people a real appreciation for the world around them.”

Threads that Bind is one of five unique events which will cover topics ranging from Regina’s previous airports to famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Heritage Regina was founded with the goal of preserving historic Regina buildings, landmarks and Intangible Cultural Heritage, and offers a growing number of events and programs for the public including a summer walking tour series. The organization is proud to partner with the Artesian to deliver the 2019 Lecture Series. Sponsorship for the series is provided by the City of Regina and The Civic Museum.

More information can be found at www.heritageregina.ca, or by contacting:

Jackie Schmidt, Heritage Regina President – (306) 536-4247


Friends of Wascana Pool 2019: Future of Wascana Pool


Friends of Wascana Pool 2019: Future of Wascana Pool” (PDF)
Pools Examples” (PDF)
Wascana Pool 2012 & Beyond” (PDF)

Dear Mayor Fougere and Regina City Councillors:

Thank you for your unanimous support for the motion brought forth in August 2018 by Councillors Hawkins, Stevens, and Bresciani, to Protect Wascana Park from Commercial Development.

We are very happy and greatly relieved that Wascana Pool will retain its present and most perfect location in Wascana Park. We would like to thank you for having the courage to defend the Wascana Park Act from commercial business in Wascana Park, and for understanding the historic recreational purpose of Wascana Pool in Wascana Park, close to the city centre.

Thank you for unanimously deciding to rebuild Maple Leaf Pool. Neighbourhood pools are important for everyone – especially for the children, adults and seniors of the Heritage, Al Ritchie, and Broder’s Annex neighbourhoods. Maple Leaf Pool serves and enlivens these
neighbourhood so well. We also hope that the popular Seniors’ morning aquacize class, attended regularly by many, until it was cut last year, will be reinstated.

We also want to express our gratitude for your unanimous support for the motion to Make Regina a 100% Renewable City, brought forth by Councillors Stevens, Murray and Findura!

It makes great economic sense for a renewed Wascana Pool to embrace the best of green sustainable technology. These recent positive civic decisions give us hope, and tie directly into our five ideas that Friends of Wascana Pool, formed in 1994 when Wascana Pool was threatened with closure, proposed for the Design Regina Citizens’ Circle (Appendix 2) in 2012, outlined below.

A renewed Wascana Pool should be a Swimming Pool.

We advocate that Wascana pool be a swimming pool(as opposed to a leisure pool), offering an accessible swim experience for ages 1-100 years. We would recommend that Wascana Pool focus on swimming as an activity in and of itself.

Ideally, we imagine that a 21st century swimming pool should include:

A competitive size 50-metre swimming pool, making the pool a viable venue for competitive team swim meets, as well as for athletic training and recreational swimming, in the most beautiful part of the city. This swimming pool should be heated to a cooler water temperature that permits swim training and racing to be done without the risk of swimmers over-heating.

A second warmer pool with beach entry for children, for aquasize, and for seniors and others who suffer from arthritis, or simply cannot manage cool water.

A toddler pool, with a clear safety fence, would complete the inclusive swim package. The illustrated paddling pool, near Wascana Pool, is now a sand pit.

2. A sustainable and ‘Green’ Outdoor Pool

‘Green’ sustainable technology is now well-developed for public pools. A solar-powered hot water system would save the cost of heating the pool and shower water. Excess energy could of course be sold back to the grid, earning money to finance pool operations, and offer,
perhaps, a longer open season and an earlier opening time( 8 am does not allow those who work to swim in the morning).

Conexus CEO Eric Dillon has announced that the new water mains for Conexus will also serve Wascana Pool. If the new Conexus building is using geo-thermal heating, might this be shared with a renewed Wascana Pool as a source of heated water? (Wascana Pol and Spa!) Would
this be a possible partnership to explore, considering the gift of the civic land to the Conexus College Avenue complex?

We suggest an alternative ecological water treatment system, instead of the present chlorine, such as ozone with ultraviolet, newly installed at Sherwood Park Millennium Place Recreation Centre, or a salt water system just renewed at Kits Pool in Vancouver. A natural 1 botanical filtration system opened at Borden Park Pool in Edmonton this year, and a temporary pond was tested near Kings Cross, in London, England.

Such technological updates would make this renewed Wascana Pool a wonderful example of green technology for swimming pools around the country.

3. Heritage, History and Recreation

The heritage of Wascana Park should be respected. Wascana Lake was created for leisure, sports and recreation, and, when Wascana Lake was found to be dangerous for swimming in 1947, Wascana Pool was built.

We would encourage you to look carefully at this Portnall building – the original Wascana Pool building – as it was when it opened in 1948, with its stream-lined architecture, and its jaunty rooftop café – a great idea to bring back! Wascana Pool could reflect and respect its
own history, if rebuilt in the spirit of the Portnall original, updated with the best of green technology.

To safeguard our geographical memory and to nourish our love of place, a renewed Wascana Pool should maintain this south-facing geographical aspect, which functions so well – as a sun-catcher and wind-break, nestled in trees, with birdsong and views of the lake. So
perfect, that even on cooler windy days, the pool deck is a micro-climate of warmth and pleasure.

The recently-begun commercialization of Wascana Park is a massive threat. It threatens to destroy our cultural, recreational, and architectural heritage -as well as green space – in Wascana Park.

Gone already is the mid-century modernist white cube of the first MacKenzie Art Gallery (1953), designed by local architect Francis Portnall (long before we called an art gallery a ‘white cube), and its the Massey Award nominee artist studio, with northern light, built for the Regina 5 by Arnott Izumi and Sugiyama. Next, Portnall’s handsome yet unobtrusive two-toned brick CNIB building, designed in 1956 especially for the blind, is currently being destroyed (without a demolition permit!) for the new Brandt building.

With the loss of the Wascana Pool building (1948), all three Portnall buildings within Wascana Park will be destroyed – without any public discussion or recognition by City Council of their historic merit and architectural worth. Indeed, we are nothing short of alarmed that we need to bring to the attention of decision makers the unique and valuable heritage of these buildings.

According to Norman Henderson, adjunct professor of Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, the designation of pools as heritage or historic sites is perfectly normal, In Regina, the RCMP depot gymnasium and pool building is a designated Federal Heritage Building. Wascana Pool easily matches the heritage value and community importance of the RCMP pool.

Looking further afield, the Beatty Pool in Fergus, Ontario is a provincial heritage site.. Th following website lists various heritage pools in Canada, and is well worth viewing: https://www.historicplaces.ca/en/pages/23_pools_piscines.aspx

In our Friends of Wascana Pool Citizens Circle for Design Regina (2012, Appendix B), we mention two restored Heritage pools, Queen Elizabeth Pool in Edmonton, and the London Fields Lido, London (Hackney), UK.

Our Wascana Pool is, without question, comparable to these other heritage pools with respect to architectural, local history, and community value.

4. Health, Happiness, and Well-being: Joy + Health care

Health, officially a provincial responsibility, should not be disconnected from civic recreational facilities. These are facilities that we most definitely need if we are to remain healthy. Citizens who stay active by using city facilities – rinks, parks, tennis courts, swimming pools –
most certainly help to lower provincial health care costs. Yet ironically, civic tax dollars often go disproportionately to spectator sports venues – which do little to keep us active and healthy.

Happiness and well-being are hard to quantify, economically, but if we are happy and healthy, we are less likely to put a strain on the healthcare system. Another benefit is that we are less likely to move away from Regina.

Swimming in the beautiful location of Wascana Park is a well-spring of joy. It fires us with energy and euphoria that lasts all day. We cannot help but smile at each other when we raise our heads out of the water, grinning from ear to ear, beaming with happiness, to be in
Wascana Park amongst the trees, and to be living in Regina in summer. At Wascana Pool, we form community.

5. A Destination Pool

Wascana Pool is already a destination pool which serves the entire City of Regina as a swimming pool! As our only outdoor (50 yard) pool with dedicated lap lane times and spaces for swim training, it is well-used by triathlete and Ironman competitors, masters groups, and
recreational swimmers of all ages from across the city, as well as water polo, synchronized swimming, and diving clubs. It is a delightful unstructured play-space for children as well.

We worry that that this new concept of a “destination fun park” does not recognize or place importance on swimming as a life skill that serves us our whole life long. It is a skill that can save lives! As an all-body activity, swimming will help us age well and reduce health issues, thus lowering societal health care costs.

Water slides for a “destination pool” seem to move in another direction, with inevitably more trees destroyed, more noise, more concrete for parking lots, and most likely less time and/or space for simple lane swimming.

Being a destination pool, many swimmers from the Y come to Wascana Pool in summer, and others only swim outdoors. Because of this, many Friends of Wascana Pool swimmers did not see a sign at the Lawson which announce the invitation to participate in a Recreation Survey.

As the consultant explained at the January 24th Committee meeting, the City, with limited funds, cannot do everything. Examples given of private sector recreational businesses that already exist were a climbing wall and commercial gyms. We must draw your attention to
the fact that water slides already exist in some hotels in Regina.

Thus, we, Friends of Wascana Pool, would like to strongly suggest that you distance yourselves from a “destination pool”: a regular swimming pool is so valuable to so many, and so needed.

If we do want to save money, simplicity of concept to offer a quality experience of swimming outdoors in the sun (or rain!), in summer in a Prairie City with a harsh winter, far from the ocean, in beautiful Wascana Park would be to (re)create a swimming utopia for our citizens.

Must a renewed Wascana Pool lose a full summer swim season? Could work be done in Autumn and again in Spring? We know that construction methods have improved since 1947, when the lake was found to be dangerous for swimming, Wascana Pool opened in 1948. We do not want to be forced to move away for a summer, our best season.

Thank you for taking a strong stand on the importance of civic recreational structures such as swimming pools, curling rinks, and great public parks and spaces to our collective health and future.

Wascana Pool is crucial to the health and well-being of so many people. A renewed 50-metre Wascana Pool would be a commitment to our long-term health and happiness.

We await public consultations, and would be most happy to help to create a renewed Wascana Swimming Pool for the 21st Century. Please keep us informed and involved.

Thank you for your attention.

Jeannie Mah
Kevin Curran
Elaine Costescu
Glenys Eberle

for Friends of Wascana Pool

PS: Some swimmers of Friends of Wascana Pool have expertise in ecology and economics, swimming pools and landscape design. Many of us have swum in outdoor pools across the country and abroad, and we offer a few examples in Appendix A.