Wascana Park




Interpretive Panel:
Regina's Lake 1883-1960

(Click on a picture for larger view)


Originally, settlers in and around Regina thought of Wascana Creek in practical terms. The creek was first dammed in 1883, creating the reservoir now known as Wascana Lake. The reservoir provided the settlememt with the only substantial body of water for 40 miles, and was used primarily for watering stock and domestic household uses. In the late 1890s the CPR laid one of the first pipe lines connecting the reservoir to its yards to provide water for its steam engines. In 1914 Wascana Lake was put to a new use. The city built a power plant on the north shore of the lake (east of Broad Street) and used the water for cooling the turbines which produced power and light for the citizens of Regina.

It was not long after the reservoir was created that people began to realize the economic opportunities it afforded. Very early water began to be hauled to Regina and sold for domestic use at the price of fifty cents a barrel. In 1906 James Grassick started the Capital Ice Company. It cut and sold an average of 10,000 tons of ice each year until 1950.

Not all uses of the lake were practical or economical. On May 24, 1884, one year after the reservoir was created boat races were held to celebrate the Queen's birthday. During the summers to follow swimming, boating, and canoeing became popular recreational outings, while the grounds along the shore line became pleasant picnic sites. The Regina Boat Club was established on the lake in 1907, and added a great deal to social the life of the city. When the cold wind blew in and the lake froze, snowshoeing, skiing, tobogganing, and skating took over the recreational scene.