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Wascana Centre – the perfect way for U of R students to experience Canada’s parks all year round

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: July 15, 2021 5:00 a.m.

One of the largest urban parks in Canada, Wascana Centre offers visitors a multitude of recreational opportunities
One of the largest urban parks in Canada, Wascana Centre offers visitors a multitude of recreational opportunities Photo: U of R Photography

Every year on the third Saturday in July it’s Canada’s Park Day, an opportunity for all Canadians to come together and celebrate the diverse natural environments that have been set aside for the enjoyment of all. 

There are so many opportunities for University of Regina students’ to explore nature in Wascana Centre ­­— one of the largest urban parks in Canada (and two and a half times the size of New York’s Central Park) and home to the U of R’s main campus and the historic College Avenue Campus. The campuses are completely enveloped within the 2,300 acre park, making it a convenient getaway for students looking to escape the demands of everyday studies and slip into rejuvenating nature. Keep reading below for some of our top ways to experience Wascana Centre.   

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Wascana Centre’s bike path is easily accessible from the U of R’s main
campus.
Photo by U of R Photography.  
There are a number of historic gems in Wascana Centre like the bandstand constructed in 1923.
Photo by Arthur Ward.
Completed in 1912, it took four years to build the  Saskatchewan Legislative Building. Photo by Arthur Ward.   

There are many kilometres of walking and biking trails to choose from. One option is students can hop on their bikes and take the four-kilometre Blue Trail that circles the west side of Wascana Lake for some fresh air and exercise. 

Get some of your friends together and head out to the Wascana Centre Bandstand for a picnic. The Victorian-style gazebo, originally located in downtown Regina, was built in 1923 and redesigned in 1983. It’s located on the northwest side of the lake.

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Wascana Lake in the heart of
Wascana Centre offers paddlers
a great respite in the middle of
Regina.  Photo by Arthur Ward.

Construction on the Saskatchewan Legislative Building began in 1908 and cost approximately $1.75 million to build. That’s roughly $810 million in today’s dollars. Grab a frisbee and a few friends and frolic on the massive “Leg” lawns.

In late 2003, Wascana Lake was drained, then dredged to add some five metres of depth. The project was known as the “Big Dig.” Spend an afternoon paddling around Wascana Lake in a canoe or kayak. Canoes, kayaks and everything else you need is available for rent at the Wascana Marina on the west side of Broad Street.

Interested in Saskatchewan’s natural history? Gather up a group of classmates and head over to the Royal Saskatchewan Museum on the north side of Wascana Lake. The museum houses some of the province’s finest natural history exhibits and includes the First Nations Gallery where you can learn about the culture and traditions of Saskatchewan's Indigenous people over the past 10,000 years.

Did You Know?

According to the World Atlas website, Wascana Centre is the seventh largest urban park in Canada. 

Wascana Lake was created in 1883 when Wascana Creek was dammed to supply water to the small city of Regina and the Canadian Pacific (CP) Railway. 

In 1961, Minoru Yamasaki was commissioned to create a 100-year master plan for Wascana Centre. Yamasaki would later go on to design the World Trade Center in New York.

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The Royal Saskatchewan Museum
was the first museum in the
province and the first provincial
museum on the Prairies.
Photo by Arthur Ward.

The Albert Memorial Bridge on the west side of the lake was a Great Depression-era project that is said to be the longest bridge over the shortest span of water in the world.

Wascana Lake is the home of Olga, the world’s largest Western painted turtle.

We encourage you to respect the wildlife at the park and enjoy them from a distance. While you might be tempted to feed bread to the geese in the park it can lead to malnutrition and disease, especially in young developing birds. 

To learn more about Wascana Centre click here.

To learn more about Wascana Centre events click here.   

To learn more about the University of Regina and enrollment for Fall 2021 visit uregina.ca.