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.
Residential neighbourhoods include precincts beyond the historic city centre are historically or socially noteworthy neighbourhoods – namely Lakeview and The Crescents both of which lie directly south of downtown.
Immediately to the north of the central business district is the old warehouse district, increasingly the focus of shopping, nightclubs and residential development; in the 1930s, the Regina Riot brought further attention and, in the midst of the 1930s drought and Great Depression, which hit the Canadian Prairies particularly hard with their economic focus on dry land grain farming.
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This decision was made by Queen Victoria's daughter Princess Louise, who was the wife of the Governor General of Canada, the Marquess of Lorne.
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Unlike other planned cities in the Canadian West, on its treeless flat plain Regina has few topographical features other than the small spring run-off, Wascana Creek.
Early planners took advantage of such opportunity by damming the creek to create a decorative lake to the south of the central business district with a dam a block and a half west of the later elaborate 840-foot (260 m) long Albert Street Bridge Wascana Centre, created around the focal point of Wascana Lake, remains one of Regina's attractions and contains the Provincial Legislative Building, both campuses of the University of Regina, First Nations University of Canada, the provincial museum of natural history, the Regina Conservatory (in the original Regina College buildings), the Saskatchewan Science Centre, the Mac Kenzie Art Gallery and the Saskatchewan Centre of the Arts.
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