Regina's first dwelling
This photograph shows the first shack built in Regina, circa 1882. The location is believed to be where Cornwall Street now runs in the downtown area.
Regina is not located in a region settlers originally found attractive. Regina sprang up at the spot once known as Pile of Bones when the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) decided to locate railway tracks there. The CPR had decided to move its main-line from the originally scheduled route (the Saskatchewan River Valley) south to this less settled part of the country, possibly out of a desire to create its own settlement traffic and to avoid po10tial conflicts with established business interests. (For more information on the establishment of Regina, see Regina: An Illustrated History by J.W. Brennan)
Settlement in the new town grew quickly under the watchful eye of Edgar Dewdney, Lieutenant-Governor of the North-West Territories. Dewdney, along with CPR general manager W.C. Van Horne, was in charge of selecting a new, more southerly spot for the territorial capital, originally located in Battleford. The 2 men chose Regina as the new capital in 1883, although there were few natural amenities to recommend the rather barren location. However, once Regina became the new territorial capital, land developers sprang into action and development in Regina began to boom.