Image of the City of Regina

Up to the axels in mud

2 men pose in front of vehicle stuck in mudIn this photograph, 2 unidentified men ponder their options as their car gets stuck in some of Regina's heavy clay soil. City of Regina Archives, A-161.

Regina sits on land that is made up of heavy clay. Since the earliest days of settlement, Regina's soil has posed numerous problems for its citizens.

When Regina was selected as the capital of the North-West Territories in 1882 by Lieutenant-Governor Edgar Dewdney, there was little to recommend it as a capital city. Only 3 settlers lived there, and for good reason: the land had insufficient water, poor drainage, no nearby hills to shelter it from the harsh winds, and no nearby timber. Dewdney defended the choice by saying that Regina was centrally located and surrounded by fertile farmland. Still, the heavy clay soils that make up the land where Regina now sits posed problems for settlers and they continue to cause trouble today.

Many of Regina's buildings are sinking. One of Regina's largest and most prominent buildings, the Legislative Assembly, recently had 1800 concrete pilings installed under the building's foundation to halt the sinking of the heavy Tyndall-stone building. The project took 4 years to complete and cost $18.6 million, but was necessary to keep the building from being damaged - it would have cost $190 million to replace it!