Note old Post Office (tower in left background), currently Prince Edward Building, at 11th Avenue.
Regina was incorporated as a city on 19 June 1903, and was proclaimed the capital of the 1905 province of Saskatchewan on , by the first provincial government, led by Premier Walter Scott; the monumental Saskatchewan Legislative Building was built between 19.
Regina was established in 1882 when it became clear that Edgar Dewdney, the lieutenant-governor of the North-West Territories, eschewed the previously established and considered Battleford, Troy and Fort Qu'Appelle (the latter some 30 mi (48 km) to the east, one on rolling plains and the other in the Qu'Appelle Valley between two lakes), as the territorial seat of government.
These communities were widely considered more amiable locations for what was anticipated would be a far more major metropole for the Canadian plains than actually eventuated, situated as they were in amply watered and treed rolling parklands whereas "Pile-of-Bones," as the site was then called, was in the midst of arid and featureless grassland.
This with the proliferation of shopping malls beginning in the 1960s and "big box stores" in the '90s on the periphery, together with a corresponding drift of entertainment venues (and all but one downtown cinema) to the city outskirts, had depleted the city centre.
The former Hudson's Bay Company department store (previously the site of the Regina Theatre though long vacant after that burned to the ground) has been converted into offices; Globe Theatre, located in the old Post Office building at 11th Avenue and Scarth Street, Casino Regina and its show lounge in the beautiful, old CPR train station, the Cornwall Centre and downtown restaurants now draw people downtown again.
Green funnel clouds formed and touched down south of the city, tearing a swath through the residential area between Wascana Lake and Victoria Avenue, continuing through the downtown business district, rail yards, warehouse district, and northern residential area.
The city is situated on a broad, flat, treeless and largely waterless plain, except for a large underground aquifer – at the time of its founding, a matter of national scandal and notoriety as to corrupt dealings at the time, since it is immediately adjacent to amply watered and treed rolling parklands.
As in other prairie cities, American elms were planted in front yards in residential neighbourhoods and on boulevards along major traffic arteries and are the dominant species in the urban forest.
Commercial considerations prevailed and the town's authentic development soon began as a collection of wooden shanties and tent shacks clustered around the site designated by the CPR for its future station, some two miles (3 km) to the east of where Dewdney had reserved substantial landholdings for himself and where he sited the Territorial (now the Saskatchewan) Government House.
before marching to the battlefield in the further Northwest – Qu'Appelle having been the major debarkation and distribution centre until 1890 when the completion of the Qu’Appelle, Long Lake, and Saskatchewan Railway linked Regina with Saskatoon and Prince Albert.
Recently older buildings have been put to new uses, including the old Normal School on the Regina College campus of the University of Regina (now the Canada Saskatchewan Production Studios) and the old Post Office on the Scarth Street Mall.