Regina Travel Inn
1735 Prince of Wales Drive, Regina, S4Z 1A5, Canada
More about Regina
The Capital Building
Sidewalk seating at the Copper Kettle
Taking a break in late-June
Peeling paint, a 'CP' logo and #3101's life story
Travel Tips for Regina
Take in a Canadian Football League game
I have only been to a handful of professional baseball and ice hockey games in my life but no football games at all. That came to an end on a recent Saturday night when I received a short-notice telephone call inviting me to attend a Canadian Football League game that was to be played in Regina, starting in less than an hour! The company I work for had tickets for several games to keep its clients amused and one of the tickets would be going to waste if I chose not to attend.
It did not take me long to get organized and arrive at the 28,800-capacity Mosaic Stadium, shown here and built in 1927 for the local team - the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Their opponents on this evening were the Montreal Alouettes but all the cheering in the stands by the locals wearing their 'Rider Green' outfits was for the Roughriders (2nd photo).
Earlier in the day, I had BBQed some steaks on my deck while a brief thunder and lightning storm passed over the city, but luckily it continued on its way eastward by the time the game was underway (3rd photo). I really enjoyed the fresh 17 C outdoor atmosphere while watching the live action.
The CFL was officially formed in 1958, but can trace its roots back to rugby teams dating from the 1860s. The Saskatchewan Roughriders have played in the CFL since its beginning and have won the Grey Cup trophy three times - the most recent being the previous season when they defeated their arch-rivals, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. As it happened, I had returned from a job in Brandon, Manitoba only the day before and took a photo of the triumphant sign celebrating the Roughriders as we left Manitoba (4th photo). On this evening, the Alouettes gave the Roughriders a good run for their money but came up on the short-end of a 41-33 score in an exciting game! Tickets cost about $42 and beers are $5 each.
A lot more industrialized than I had realized
The electrical contracting and consulting company that I'm now working for in Regina does a great deal of business with various heavy industries in western Canada. We provide technicians and electricians to help out with the hands-on work during planned shutdowns or emergency breakdowns as well as engineering services dealing with protective relaying and also studies to protect the workers from the life-threatening effects of electrical arc flashes.
Once I began to visit some of our customers, I realized just how heavily industrialized Regina and all of Saskatchewan really is. The IPSCO Steel Mill on the edge of Regina is the largest in western Canada, using two electric arc furnaces to melt huge bits of scrap metal and then pouring it out of giant ladles, like the one shown here, to forge the steel into wire, pipes and giant slabs (such as in the 2nd photo). The 3rd photo gives an overall view of the mill, with the -20 C winter weather making the steam and smoke seem more dramatic than usual!
Within eyesight of IPSCO is another of Regina's industrial sites - the Consumers Cooperative Refinery (4th photo) which started operations in 1935 and has expanded over the years to its present capacity of 100,000 barrels of oil per day. We are currently working with them on plans for a larger emergency diesel generator to supply essential services in the event of a power outage.
Since Canada is the largest producer of potash (used for fertilizer) in the world, the 5th photo showing the Belle Plaine mine west of Regina should come as no surprise. It is unusual in that it mines by drilling and then injecting water up to about 5000-ft deep into the salt deposits, causing the salt to dissolve and form a huge underground cavern. The briney mixture is then pumped to the surface where it is evaporated into solid potash. We are investigating another job there to upgrade their huge electrically operated drills and pumps.
Very enjoyable East Indian food
When my wife and I arrived in Regina in October, 2007 we had to live in the Best Western Hotel for two weeks while I waited to move into an apartment. During that time we were eating all our meals at various restaurants as we explored around the city. In our quest for some delicious East Indian tastes, we stumbled upon the excellent Flavours of India restaurant, opened in 2006 by two young Sikhs. We were so impressed with the quality of their food and excellent service that I've already ordered their Take Out food four times in six weeks!
The restaurant has had rave reviews in the local culinary scene and I would highly recommend giving them a try. Their establishment has a very small front parking lot but the restaurant itself opens up once you enter and has a couple of levels once you continue past their entrance bar area. Their wide selection of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes are made from fresh ingredients and cooked following traditional Indian methods. Even when I order Take-Out items, they require 20-30 minutes to cook it to perfection! My favourite has been the Chicken Tikka Masala ($15), consisting of tender chicken breasts marinated with yogurt, cream and saffron spices and baked in a clay oven along with onion, green pepper and a peanut sauce. It has excellent flavours and just the right amount of 'hot' when eaten with rice ($3) and traditional north Indian leavened Naan bread ($2). We found that a single order, costing $21 with taxes was sufficient to feed both of us.
Royal Saskatchewan Museum
We enjoyed wandering through this museum on a Sunday afternoon. The various displays cover Saskatchewan's natural history, First Nations history, dinosaurs, etc. I especially liked the various dioramas which greet you when you arrive at the museum
Admission is by donation; $2 per adult is suggested.
Preparations for the Ceremony
We arrived in Regina two days before the official graduation ceremony of the latest batch of recruits, so we were able to attend some of their practise marching and drill sessions leading up to the big event. Here, the 'Troop' is lined up in the drill hall receiving their latest instructions beneath banners of the various Provinces and Territories of Canada.
The Training Academy allows the force to train about 500 cadets each year in all facets of police work. Each Troop of new recruits ususally consists of about 30 members recruited from across the country and sometimes members of foreign police forces. In addition to the living quarters for the cadets the Academy also includes a Mess Hall, Drill Hall, Forensic Lab, Fitness Centre, Gym and Swimming Pool, Shooting Range, Driving Course and a Learning Resource Centre.
The course takes about 6-months to complete and it is not subsidized. Recruits are on their own financially and if they are injured during the training (naturally there is a lot of emphasis on how to safely disable people who are not cooperating) or do not meet the weekly theory tests, physical or marksmanship requirements they can be dismissed from the group (although they can re-apply if they wish to give it another go).
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