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.

Set back from the street and surrounded with a low chain-link fence, the substation operated for nearly 88 years until SaskPower, the owner of the property, changed the way electricity was delivered to the community. Substation No. 2 was no longer needed. It was decommissioned and by mid-December 2018, the building was gone.

The substation did not have a provincial or municipal heritage designation, and it was not included on the City’s Heritage Holding Bylaw list. But it did have heritage value. For Frank Korvemaker, a local construction historian and retired archivist, Substation No. 2 represented “an integral part of the story of how Regina developed its own various utility systems and buildings in the 20th century.” Architectural elements like an overhang made of Spanish tile, the dark brick details framing the entrance, the Romanesque arch above the door, and the keystone displaying the City of Regina Coat of Arms reflected the popular design styles of the late 1920s. A heritage designation for the substation was merited, Korvemaker believes, “purely from a design perspective.”

SaskPower Substation No. 2

Photo by Frank Korvemaker, July 2017

Generally, the heritage value of a property can extend beyond its architecture and its physical connection to a community’s past. In many cases, it provides an economic benefit. The process of conserving a building can create jobs in a number of fields, including construction, architecture, engineering and design. Older buildings with character details, like Substation No.2, can open up opportunities for small businesses, increasing the value of the property. The former substation on the northeast corner of Broad Street and Dewdney Avenue, currently home to a photography studio and a non-profit organization, is evidence that conservation can bring new life to an old utility structure.

There is also an environmental benefit to protecting built heritage. The volume of materials that end up in the City’s landfill is significantly less with conservation than with demolition. Greenhouse gas emissions are also limited when buildings are conserved. According to “Environmental Benefits of Heritage Conservation,” a brochure produced by the provincial government’s Heritage Resources Branch, “Even when a house is replaced with a new, energy-efficient one, it can take 35-50 years of efficient operation to compensate for the CO2 that was emitted during new construction.”

What can you do?
In a December 20, 2018 CBC Saskatchewan interview about the demolition of Substation No. 2, Korvemaker noted, “We’re not giving anything to our future generations about the past. We’re supposed to be stewards of our environment, stewards of our city, stewards of our built heritage and we’re not good stewards.”

Fortunately, there are a number of ways people can change this situation. Becoming informed about heritage properties and conservation issues in the community is a good first step. The Prairie History Room at the Regina Public Library, the City of Regina Archives and the Saskatchewan Archives offer a wealth of heritage information.

Many heritage organizations in the city, including museums, provide interesting opportunities for learning. Throughout the summer, our own Heritage Regina guided walking tours explore Regina’s most historic locations. During the winter months, our lecture series presents the stories of the city’s history and its cultural development.

People can become more directly involved in advocating for conservation by attending information sessions or forums where heritage issues are on the agenda, by writing to their city councillor in support of heritage property designations, or by promoting heritage awareness among family members, friends and co-workers.

It is too late for Substation No. 2, but by recognizing the important role built heritage plays in the life and work of the community and by actively supporting its protection and conservation, the loss of local heritage can finally become a thing of the past.

 

Written by Heritage Regina, this article was first printed in the Cathedral Village Voice, May-June 2019 edition.

 

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.

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 Heritage Regina Winter Lecture Series

 

AND THE BAND PLAYED ON: 110 YEARS OF THE REGINA SYMPHONY

Monday, January 28, 2019

2 Lectures: 6:30pm and 8pm

A night of stories and performance with Dave Hedlund and Regina Symphony Chamber Players

Advanced Tickets Only through the RSO Box Office 306-586-9555

Buy Tickets at Artesian

Buy Tickets at RSO Box Office

 

THREADS THAT BIND: THE CONNECTIONS BETWEEN SOCIETY, ART & ARCHITECTURE

Thursday February 7, 2019 7pm

A night of reflections and stories with James Youck

 

AIRBORNE OVER REGINA: THE STORY OF REGINA’S FOUR AIRPORTS

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 7pm

A riveting glimpse into aviation history and its colourful characters with Will Chabun

 

REGINA IN 1912: THE MAWSON PLAN AND ITS CULTURAL CONTEXT

Thursday, March 14, 2019 7pm

An evening of music and commentary with Alex MacDonald

 

A WEEKEND WITH FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT

Lecture: Frank Lloyd Wright, The Art of Home

Friday, April 26, 2019  6:30pm & 8pm

The Artesian, 2627 13th Avenue

Immerse yourself in architecture, stories and design with John Robinson

Tickets are $10 and may be purchased in advance or at the door

Stained Glass Workshops

Saturday, April 27, 2019  9am & 1pm  |  Sunday, April 28, 2019  9am & 1pm

*These workshops are now sold out*

Reception and Conversation

Saturday, April 27, 2019  7pm

Crave Kitchen & Wine Bar 1925 Victoria Avenue

Tickets are $20 and may be purchased in advance or at the door

Buy Tickets

Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan

Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan Announcement

The Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan wishes to inform the archives community that our offices are consolidating into one location in Regina, and that our office in Saskatoon will be closing effective December 21, 2018.

In the coming months, while certain services will continue, other services may only be available in a limited capacity due to staff involvement in coordinating the move.  Regular public reference service hours in Regina will continue until further notice.

The Archives has pursued consolidation to bring together staff and records from five sites, to improve service delivery of our mandate, as well as to ensure the long-term preservation of our Permanent Collection in a more favourable records storage environment.  We are optimistic that our new location in Regina will lead to growth and development in our role as a custodian of the Province’s documentary history.

We look forward to offering 5 days per week public reference services at our new location by August 2019.

For inquiries, please contact info@archives.gov.sk.ca or 306-787-4068.

A thank you from Heritage Regina

Heritage Regina’s College Avenue Campus Salvage Sale – Respecting and Recycling Our Heritage 

Heritage Regina would like to extend our warm thanks to those who contributed to the success of the College Avenue Campus Salvage Sale including: 

  • the University of Regina College Avenue Renewal Project team for facilitating the collection, storing and moving of the auctioned materials; 
  • Harvard Developments Inc. for the generous donation of a facility in which the auction materials were displayed and the auctioned held; 
  • the University of Regina Rams Football Team who donated the much needed manpower to move the auction materials from storage into the auction facility; 
  • McDougall Auctioneers Ltd. for facilitating the auction; and 
  • the Regina and surrounding communities for your support of this project and your continued interest in restoring heritage. 

 The College Avenue Campus (CAC) has a rich history in Regina. Tracing the University of Regina’s roots back to College Avenue, these heritage buildings are an early and exceptional example of Collegiate Gothic architecture in our community.  After more than 100 years of use, these historical buildings were deteriorating and their lack of accessibility made it difficult for all students to access programming. To preserve this historic gem, in 2011, the University of Regina undertook the College Avenue Campus Renewal Project.  All of the work undertaken has been focused on preserving the historic features of the College Building. Where possible, historical items have been salvaged and reused within the revitalized College Building and its new additions. 

To ensure that the materials that could not be repurposed did not end up wasted, the University of Regina and Heritage Regina partnered in a recycle and redistribution project in which these historical items were auctioned off to be reused within the community.  We are happy to report that the auction was very successful in that all materials removed from the CAC were repurposed by the community.  This success would not have been possible without the support of many. 

Proceeds of the auction will help Heritage Regina to continue to offer advocacy and educational programs within the community. 

Heritage Saskatchewan Summer Photo Contest

Heritage Saskatchewan Summer Photo Contest

This summer, Heritage Saskatchewan is calling all amateur photographers to send us their snaps, showcasing Living Heritage around the province!

Saskatchewan’s rich and diverse Living Heritage is home to many a great story and we want you to help us tell these stories through your photos.

Photos will qualify under one of two categories:

  1. Physical Heritage – This might include cultural landscapes, archaeological sites, buildings, or any engineering works
  2. Intangible Cultural Heritage – Examples could include festivals, community events, traditions and skills (rug hooking, beading, etc.), rituals or foods that support the passing of knowledge between generations

The contest is open from Monday July 23rd to midnight on September 3rd (Labour Day), 2018.  Winners will be announced September 10th, 2018.

First and second place winners will be chosen in each category:

  • First prize – $200 (cheque)
  • Second prize – $100 (cheque)

Those images that most effectively represent the heritage of our wonderful province may be used by Heritage Saskatchewan for promotional purposes.


HOW TO ENTER    


CONTEST RULES

This contest is open to amateur photographers. No entry fee or purchase is required. Entries must be submitted in one of two categories:

  1. Physical Heritage
  2. Intangible Cultural Heritage

PRIZES

First and second place winners will be chosen in each of the two categories – Physical Heritage and Intangible Cultural Heritage:

  • First prize – $200 (cheque)
  • Second prize – $100 (cheque)

Regina Indian Industrial School Cemetery Plaque Unveiling

Please join the Honourable Gene Makowsky, Minister of Parks, Culture and Sport, in unveiling the Provincial Heritage Property Plaque of the Regina Indian Industrial School Cemetery.

The unveiling will occur August 14th at 11:30 a.m. at the cemetery site, which is located at 701 Pinkie Road in Regina (approximately 1.5km north of Dewdney Avenue). For any questions about the event, please contact Mr. Gareth Evans, Heritage Designations Adviser, Heritage Conservation Branch, at 306-787-8519 or by email at gareth.evans@gov.sk.ca.

Saturdays Night was a Good Night for Car Enthusiasts

July 14 saw over 60 people join tour guide Dale Edward Johnson on a fascinating tour of Regina’s Downtown Car Dealerships. Dale’s knowledge of Regina’s car dealership history illustrated the rich history of the car business and its association with some of Regina’s Heritage buildings. Dale shared many interesting stories of the businessmen, the auto makers and the different car models that have been sold in our downtown since 1913.

Thanks to everyone who came out and a big thanks to Dale for sharing his passion with he citizens of Regina.

Hope to see many of you at our next tour: Saturday July 21 @ 6:00 pm join guide Warren James at the Central Fire Hall on 11 Avenue.

Image is of tour guide Dale Edward Johnson standing in front of the sign for Neil Motors. This sign is on the back of the Vintage Vinyl building on 11 Avenue.