Explore the historic streetscapes and vibrant cultural sites of one of Regina’s oldest and most lively neighbourhoods.
Tour created in partnership with the Cathedral Area Community Association
Western Shoe Repairing Bldg
2816-13th Avenue was a shoe repair shop from the day it opened in 1930 until the mid-2000s. The first occupant was shoemaker Hann Jacob, owner of Western Shoe Repairing. Jacob handed the business over to John Kusmik in 1941. In 1952, new owner John Fritz renamed the business West End Shoemaker, and so it would remain as a familiar presence on 13th Avenue in the decades to follow, operated by John and John George Fritz.
Cameron Street Row Houses
3024-3032 13th Avenue & 2016 to 2071 Cameron Street
Designation: Regina Heritage Inventory, 1989
This is one of the few remaining examples of rowing housing in Regina. The units were constructed between 1908 and 1912 by the Regina Development Syndicate for an estimated cost of $30,000.
The firm Storey and Van Egmond designed the property in a combination of the Georgian Revival and American Craftsman styles.
Row houses were popular in Britain during the Georgian period, a time of major urban growth between the years 1714 and 1830. Throughout the United Kingdom row houses have endured the passage of time and today remain the main housing stock in major cities such as London and Dublin.
Their appearance in Regina reflects the city’s rapid population growth before the First World War. Developers built a few of them to serve a new market of middle-income buyers. However, they did not become a common housing form in Regina.
Safeway Store Number 352
3004 13th Avenue
Built in 1929, this building became one of two original sites of the Cathedral Area’s longest-standing grocery store. Safeway Grocery Store Number 352 opened in 1930, near Store 353 on Elphinstone and 13th, and remained operating at this location until 1960, when it moved to its current location on the 2900 block of 13th Avenue.
In 1961, J. Alex MacKenzie purchased this building to open a jewelry store, along with the adjoining address, 3000 13th Avenue, as a location for the head office of MacKenzie Jewellers. In addition to the 13th Avenue jewelry stories, MacKenzie Jewellers had locations on 12th Avenue and the Golden Mile Shopping Centre at the time.
The former MacKenzie’s head office later became home to CFMQ FM Radio (Q-92 FM). FM radio was an upstart media platform in the 1970s, valorized in films like FM and a hit song by Steely Dan, FM (No Static At All). Hear the station’s jingles
Though the music has fallen silent at 3000-13th Avenue — today an empty lot — the aroma of flowers still wafts from Gale’s Florist at Number 3004, a bustling shop filled with flowers, wedding decorations and household décor, and one of the Cathedral Area’s oldest businesses.
Flood Land Company Residences
3126 to 3136 13th Avenue
This row of houses was built by the Flood Land Company in 1912. Their addresses number from 3126 to 3136 13th Avenue. The buildings have served the neighbourhood for more than 100 years as homes and shophouses. They are notable for their shallow set-back from the street, making them attractive to the small business owners who began setting up shop here in the mid-1990s.
The corner property, 3136-13th Avenue, is currently the location of 13th Avenue Coffee, a popular neighbourhood gathering spot. The first resident was J.W. Thomas, vice-president of the Young-Thomas Soap Company. Mr. Thomas lived in the house until 1918, when it briefly served as the Jesuit College. Two years later, A.J. McKenzie, a music shop owner, moved in. The shop, A.J. McKenzie & Co., was located at 1759 Hamilton Street. An advertisement of the time says the store offered pianos, player pianos, phonographs and Victor records. Other early residents were: 1921 – George Morgan, yard superindendent at Whitmore Bros., a coal and wood yard. 1923 – Mrs. Ellen Murray, a widow. 1925 – Ernest and Cecile Calleaux. Ernest was the caretaker at Holy Rosary Cathedral, and Cecile was a typist at the Royal Bank. 1926 – Mrs. Gertrude Wright and Mrs. Isabella O’Reilly. 1927 – H.Lett, Sargeant-at-Arms at the Legislative Building and Thoms Lumsden, a carpenter. 1928 – Edwin A. Allan, a salesman
- The next building east, 3136-13th Avenue, is today home to Satori Hair Studio.
- Early residents included: 1915 – Maurice Burke, a comptroler at “The Leader” newspaper. 1920 – James Middleton, an inspector with the provincial Telephone Department. 1922 – John H. McNath, a carpenter. 1923 – Thomas Jacklin, a “traveller” – the term used at the time for a travelling salesperson. 1925 – Reginald C. Dawson, assistant manager at Metroplitan Life. 1928 – Percy McIntosh, an employee of Capitol Roofing. In 1998, the building welcomed its first commercial resident, a shop called La Petit Rose.
- Early residents of 3130 13th Avenue included 1915 – Albert Shaw, a carpenter
- 1920 – Joseph Mills, a meter reader. 1924 – Mrs. Ellen Murray. 1927 – James Moore. It has since been converted into a commercial operation, and is today home to Le Voilà Boutique.
- Early residents of 3128 included: 1915 – Bernard Richter, a meat cutter. 1916 – William H. McEwan of the law firm Martin, McEwan & Martin, located at 1853 Hamilton St. 1918 – Neil McFayden, superintendent for the Sask. Elevator Co. 1919 – Thomas C. Chard, a clerk in the provincial Department of Telephones. 1920 – Herman E. Worth, an operator for Canadian National Railways. 1930 – A.L. Buck, a land titles office clerk. In 1992 it became the home of The Cat & The Fiddle Antiques.
The final home in the row, 3126, has been a private residence for more than a century, although it got off to a rocky start. If the Flood Land Company hoped to turn a quick profit with their new homes, this address was a challenge. Built in 1912, it sat vacant for five years until Fred Nordyke, a comptroler for the Advance Rumley Thresher Company, moved in in 1917. Mr. Nordyke lived there just one year, leaving the house vacant again until 1922. That year, Mrs. G.M. Yorty and Mrs.Louisa Holland moved in. The two women stayed a year, and were replaced by Robert E. Cughan, a lumber inspector. When Mr. Cughan moved out, the house sat vacant another year. After that, it had a steady succession of tennants, including Fred. G. Wilcox, a labourer (1925-1926), Benjamin Segal, a “cattle director” (1927-1929), and G.A. Copely, a timekeeper for Bird, Woodall & Simpson, Contractors and Engineers.
Safeway Store Number 353
3424 13th Avenue
In August of 1929, Safeway Stores Ltd. announced that they would be opening their first Regina shops. “Large, airy, light, immaculately clean, unusually attractive and conveniently arranged,” Safeway Stores claimed to Regina residents that they would be “decidedly different from the stores you have been accustomed to.” Conceived as convenient neighbourhood shops, they brought “downtown prices almost to the door of the consumer.”
Designed by Regina architects Storey and Van Egmond and constructed by Smith Brothers and Wilson, work commenced on the first four Regina stores in the fall of 1929. On December 21, three stores celebrated a simultaneous grand opening, including Safeway Store #353, located on 13th Avenue near Elphinstone, in the current Slate Fine Art Gallery building. Opening day prices included a loaf of Safeway Bread, wrapped in wax paper, for 5 cents; Safeway butter, packed in “new style wax cartons”, for 38 cents a pound; a dozen eggs for 39 cents; and three candy bars for 10 cents.
Constructed at a cost of $13,000, these attractive new buildings sported brick construction accented with black tile bulkheads, red Spanish tile roofs, and fronts of plate glass and copper. The distinctive trefoil ornamentation, made of cast concrete and, at the time, capped in galvanized iron, is still visible at the top of the building’s masonry piers. Perhaps to enhance the friendly neighbourhood atmosphere and improve accessibility for all, it was decided some time prior to construction that all store entrances would be at street level with no steps required to enter.
As the decades passed, Safeway’s small neighbourhood stores were closed in favour of larger flagship-style stores. Safeway vacated their 13th Avenue and Elphinstone building in 1942 and, on August 31 of that year, Palm Grocery and Meat Market set up shop. Previously located one block to the west, the newly relocated shop improved service by installing a rotary telephone system offering five phone lines and employing six boys with bicycles to see that “orders are received quickly and … on their way in much shorter time than previously.” A staff of eleven oversaw grocery and meat departments equipped with modern conveniences such as two fifteen-foot show windows facing 13th Avenue – one of which housed a sprinkler system for perishables – attractive display gondolas down the center of the store, and a candy and tobacco counter to the right.
By all accounts, Palm Grocery was a good place to work: in 1942, the proprietor was fined in city police court for paying his butcher too much to manage the store while he was away serving in the army, as $50 a week plus commission was beyond that allowed under the wartime wage control board regulations. In June of 1941, bicycle delivery boy Roy Smith reported his red Crescent bicycle stolen from behind the store; luckily for him, the Palm advertised jobs with “good wages” for “boys with or without bicycles”!
In August of 1953, the Winnipeg grocery chain Shop-Easy Stores Ltd. sought locations in Regina and purchased the Palm Grocery’s chain of three locations. Supplying “the very finest in fruits and vegetables” and “employing one man who has nothing to do but check the quality of the meat”, the store was so confident in the quality of their meat that they offered unsatisfied customers double money back.
In the second half of the century, 3424 13th Avenue also housed an electronics store and a furniture store.
Slate Fine Art Gallery relocated to this location in 2019.
3435 13th Ave
Designations: Municipal Heritage Property, 1984. Canadian Register of Historic Places, 2006
In 1928, the West End Elector’s Society began lobbying the Regina Public Library Board for a library branch to serve their neighbourhood. Three years and $22,000 later, Connaught Library Branch opened its doors. It was designed by Joseph Warburton, who also designed Albert Library. The Poole Construction Company began work on the library in 1930 and completed it in 1931. The building’s Classical Georgian architecture represents “strength, permanency and stability,” according to the Canadian Register of Historic Places.
The compact one-storey library is masonry construction with a gabled roof. The entranceway features carved Manitoba Tyndall Stone, arched windows, and an oriel window above the main doors.
The library has welcomed a steady stream of patrons over the years, and serves as a gathering place for community events. It is an important community hub for Cathedral Village, offering educational, cultural and children’s programs. Inside are more than 30,000 books, as well as DVDs, CDs, public computers, and meeting rooms.
In 1984, Connaught Library received Municipal Heritage Property designation. It was nearly closed and demolished in 2003, but a feisty public campaign convinced the city’s mayor that Cathedral Village needed a library, and that the beautiful historic building should be repaired.
In 2006, Connaught Library Branch was listed on the Canadian Register of Historic Places. Today it is one of the oldest buildings in Regina’s library system. Active citizens demanded a library in 1928, and have continued to defend its existence, a living testament to how much citizens value Connaught Library Branch.
276 Angus Crescent
Designation: Regina Heritage Inventory, 1989
This 1929 house was built for Dr. Edwin Mounteer, a dentist who lived here until 1941. It features a Tudor window and a cat-slide roof. The City of Regina neighbourhood walking tour book notes that it is similar to the house located at 278 Angus, both constructed by Waterman-Waterbury Manufacturing Company the same year. Although unconfirmed, this ‘sister house’ was likely built by the same architect, Milton Campbell.
Sneath Douglas Residence
217 Angus Crescent
Designations: Municipal Heritage Property, 1997. Canadian Register of Historic Places, 2009
This home was built in 1914 and declared a municipal heritage property in 1997 in recognition of Edwin Sneath, a prominent local lawyer who lived in the home from 1922 to 1944. However, its most well known resident was Tommy Douglas who lived in this home from 1944 to 1962.
The Douglas’s lived in this home the entire time Tommy Douglas was Premier of Saskatchewan. There were surely many conversations around the dining room table or with a cup of tea in the living room on the momentous advancements made by the government Douglas led, including the implementation of the health care system which has since become Canada’s national Medicare system. These walls surely hold many stories if only they could talk!
Douglas is recognized as one of the founders of Medicare. He was popularly recognized as the Greatest Canadian in a 2004 national poll.
Over the years the various owners of the home have renovated and updated the interior. As a result, it is very nearly impossible to discern what interior aspects are original and what are the result of the changes made over the years. There are a few details which are believed to be original – oak French doors into the living room for example – that fortunately have been retained. There are also a few details which are believed to be from the era the Douglas’s lived in the home that have been retained.
The current owners bought the home in 1996 and did various renovations including restoring the pillars supporting the front portico. The home’s interior was extensively renovated in 2013-14 including home infrastructure updates.
The front façade of the home has largely kept its original appearance, renovations that have been made have not changed the character of this heritage property.
More information can be found in Canada’s Registry of Historic Places.
109 Angus Crescent
Designation: Regina Heritage Inventory, 1989
This 1927 home was designed by and built for Francis Portnall, one of Saskatchewan’s most celebrated architects. He lived here until his death in 1976. Portnall designed many prominent Regina buildings, including the Knox-Metropolitan United Church, the Federal Building, the Norman McKenzie Art Gallery, the Grenfell Apartments, Court of Queen’s Bench, and historic Davin, Thompson and Herchmer Schools. He also designed many Regina homes, including 56, 139, and 190 Angus Crescent. He designed a home for his sister across the street, at 130 Angus, which was demolished in 2014.
His home designs are known for their creative details. This Tudor Revival styled home features diamond-shaped detailing under the front gable composed of glass bottle bottoms, and segmented octagonal chimney stacks constructed of red brick. The home has been on the Regina Heritage Holding Bylaw List since 1989.
2724 Angus Boulevard
Designation: Regina Heritage Inventory
There’s a reason this Arts and Craft-style home has an air of grace to it. The Kirkpatrick Residence, built in 1914, is made from materials originally meant for the Chateau Qu’Appelle Hotel. Where is this hotel, you might ask? If you dug deep, you would find its foundations underneath the Royal Saskatchewan Museum at College Avenue and Albert Street. The Chateau Qu’Appelle was designed as a grand railway hotel for the Grand Trunk Pacific in 1913, but the railway company went bankrupt before its completion. How then did some of the materials end up here? The connection was James Kirkpatrick, the superintendent of Grand Trunk’s passenger depot. He obtained some of the hotel’s stones and beams to build a home beside Wascana Creek. Today his former home is a bed and breakfast called Creekside Terrace. The building’s historic architecture has been well maintained. The Kirkpatrick Residence features solid oak woodwork, wood shingles and fieldstone foundations and chimney. The interior ceiling is beamed with exposed oak and has a unique fieldstone fireplace. Its location includes beautiful shade trees and quick access to a walk in nature along Wascana Creek. The residence is on the City of Regina’s heritage holding bylaw list.
Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre
2400 Elphinstone Street
The Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre, named in honour of the city’s superintendent of recreation Neil Balkwill and designed by architect Willem de Lint, opened at a special reception on Friday, September 10, 1982. Introduced as a civic center “devoted to demonstrations and displays of weaving, jewelry making, woodworking, photography and a number of other arts and crafts,” the center had devoted facilities and materials for a variety of disciplines.
First proposed in 1976, the project was initially hampered by issues such as finding a perfect location both accessible by transit and offering ample parking space. Many advocates, including Neil Balkwill, worked tirelessly to make the idea a reality and construction finally began in Les Sherman Park in the spring of 1981. The building was completed in 1982 at a cost of $1 million. For the opening events, the gallery featured works from the Saskatchewan Arts Board and the Mackenzie Art Gallery and provided demonstrations of various disciplines including weaving and spinning, quilting and stitchery, and woodworking.
The Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre has provided a creative community space for Regina residents of all ages and skill levels, and for countless community groups and clubs, for several decades. In addition to its dedicated facilities, the center houses the Art Gallery of Regina, has held concerts, art shows and sales, fundraisers, reading series, and coffeehouses, and has provided program and meeting space to numerous arts and crafts guilds.
Leslie Bowling Greens
3820 Victoria Avenue
The Regina Lawn Bowling Club’s long history begins in 1912, when land for a green was donated by the Provincial Government. In 1922, when the land was reclaimed for development, the club moved to a location near the General Hospital, donated by the City. In August of 1930, when construction on a new building began behind the General Hospital, the Regina Lawn Bowling Club was once again without a home. For this reason, the 1930 provincial tournament was held in Saskatoon instead of Regina, and the club prepared from a space at the Exhibition Grounds, made available for a nightly fee.
Four men’s rinks and two ladies’ rinks were sent to Saskatoon for the 1930 tournament, which began on Labour Day, on a special chartered coach on the Canadian National Railway. On October 9, the club held their annual windup banquet at the Champlain Hotel and, for the first time, the club’s ladies were present. They were congratulated on their achievement at the provincial tournament, having won three first place and one second place spots. Some of the prizes won by the club included silver plate, silver cigarette cases, cuff links and Wahl pencils. Following the banquet, the 85 attendees proceeded to the Metropolitan Theatre for an exclusive show.
The club remained at the Exhibition Grounds until 1932, when Mayor James McAra officially opened the new greens, located at the present-day Victoria Avenue location, for the Victoria Day Games. The following Labour Day, the provincial tournament was back in Regina and was opened by, once again, Mayor James McAra at the club’s new location. 125 bowlers from Regina and Saskatoon played until midnight the first night, and the three-day tournament was heralded as “one of the most successful in history, the weather being ideal throughout and the new home of the Regina bowlers aiding to the enjoyment of the visitors.”
With the world at war and most Regina residents’ minds otherwise occupied, the onset of World War II meant an interruption in the club’s activities. However, despite larger events such as the provincial tournament being cancelled in some years, smaller events and local tournaments were organized at the club’s greens. By the 1970s, the club was hitting its stride once again with over a hundred members and construction of a new clubhouse. In the 1980s, the club got its fourth green and is, today, one of only three four-green lawn bowling facilities in Canada. The four greens have hosted seven Canadian championships, three inaugural championships, and the international North American Challenge.
Read more about the club and its history at www.reginalawnbowlingclub.ca
Regina Trading Company Stables
1800 Garnet Street
The distinctive barn-shaped structure at Saskatchewan Drive and Garnet Street is a fitting place for The Animal Clinic of Regina. Constructed in the early to mid-1920s, this building served a very similar purpose in its earliest days: to provide a space for the care and accommodation of animals, these ones belonging to the Regina Trading Company.
Founded in 1898 by John Dawson and James Franklin Bole, the Regina Trading Company was Regina’s first department store, carrying everything the residents of a young prairie town might need, such as groceries and dry goods, hardware, clothing, boots and shoes, machine oils, firearms and ammunition, and prescription drugs. The store had a prime location across from the railway station on what was then South Railway Street (now Saskatchewan Drive). Horse-drawn wagons delivered goods throughout the city, and the first bill of goods delivered for the company was made by a horse named Barney, who was still enjoying the odd delivery job as late as 1916.
As the first decades of the twentieth century passed, and Regina grew at a rapid rate, business boomed at the Regina Trading Company. In 1920, the company began construction on a four-story building located at Scarth Street and 12th Avenue. The location in the heart of the business district was a prime spot for retail but offered no space for the stables necessary to the store’s delivery infrastructure, by this time consisting of ten wagons and two automobiles. The company chose to erect a new stable further afield, where space was at less of a premium. The chosen location was South Railway, just west of Albert Street, in the company of the railway, various warehouses and coal sheds, paint shops and blacksmith’s shops.
Business continued until the late 1920s, when the company was sold. In 1931, at the onset of the Depression, the company went bankrupt and the stable was sold. Subsequently used as stables by National Cartage, the Regina Pure Milk Company, Purity Dairy, and Bower’s Contractors, it finally got its modern-day veterinary connections when Dr. Harold Hunter arrived in Regina and began a private practice out of his van. Caring for Bower’s draft horses led to Dr. Hunter renting a portion of the stable, which he converted into a veterinarian’s office. The company grew over the next several decades, with the stable eventually purchased in its entirety by Dr. Hunter, and provided employment for several veterinarians who would go on to open many of Regina’s other pet care practices.