Downtown Plaza Construction: The View From Above

After yesterday’s press conference on CP rail yard revitalization, infill housing and the new entertainment centre (i.e. stadium), Mayor Pat Fiacco’s senior advisor Mark Rathwell invited journalists into a room with a window facing the overly complained-about downtown plaza. From this height — we were on City Hall’s 15th floor — you can get a sense of how the thing’s going to work when it’s finally finished by (fingers crossed) the end of July.

This view gives a good, fresh perspective on the construction, which obviously looks like hell up close because construction always does. The curve of the plaza folding into Victoria Park is fetching. And Rathwell says the concrete will be covered with paying paving stones. Pretty!

Look. Obviously, prairie dog writers love criticism, griping and petty nit-picking as much as anybody but there’s been wayyy too much bitching* around this project. The current simmering hostility is  premature. Just a little more patience, people, and then we can praise, slam and/or shrug our shoulders at this ambitious project properly and fairly. Deal?

*prairie dog–exactly the correct amount of negativity since 1993.

Author: Stephen Whitworth

Prairie Dog editor Stephen Whitworth was carried to Regina in a swarm of bees. He's been with Prairie Dog since May 1999 and will die at his keyboard before admitting his career a terrible, terrible mistake.

12 thoughts on “Downtown Plaza Construction: The View From Above”

  1. I’m sure the plaza will be fancy, but lotsa people still despise the two-way traffic, always will, esp. the left-hand turn cloisterf*cks at 11th & Hamilton, 11th and Cornwall, etc., as well as the long-term inconvenience of the 12th Ave closure and unsatisfactory explanations from City Hall. We all appreciate that out journos need to protect their access, but average everyday people who don’t make their meagre livings through media juuus hate this thing. But I love it. Except the cloisters.

  2. Thanks Greg. Boo Talbot! I’m not protecting access, I’m being sincere. Also, one-way streets are always stupid. Never met one I liked.

  3. Amen to that last paragraph. And if you hate to drive downtown, don’t. Take the bus. Cycle. Walk.

  4. I can’t figure out why everyone’s been so hateful towards this project either. I think it’s a great idea and, aside from those dubious light fixtures that will no-doubt be broken within the first couple of months, think it’s a positive step towards building a pedestrian-friendly downtown. So there! This Prairie Dog contributor digs it!

  5. On the City website, imagine clicking on a ‘Victoria Park’ page and seeing everything you want about the construction project: the planning history and a continuously up-to-date status with diagrams, maps, drawings, photos, videos.

    Imagine seeing a 3D walk-around of what the final park project would look like.

    This would cut down by 95% the bitching, criticism, griping, and petty nit-picking about this ambitious project.

    So many cities in Canada are operating on an open model – with progressive mayors in Calgary and Edmonton leading the way. Nearly all planning in Regina is currently done in secret.

    Ask City Council you want more info on this project:

  6. Here, here! And besides, the time to complain about this project was back during the consultation when they had that public competition between the different architecture firms showing off their different visions for the plaza.

  7. It’s probably just me, but I find it hilarious the way to update journalists on the state of the a major city project is to show them a high window to look out of.

    I’m really looking forward to the completion of the Victoria Park project.

    Right now, I’d love to rent a plane, get permission to fly low around the construction, and post a video of it for everyone to see. That would dissolve away another chunk of the criticism, griping, and petty nit-picking about this big downtown project.

  8. David, I like you and may vote for you, but please, please, please cut down on the “imaging”! The bulk of Regina voters don’t fancy themselves “imaginers” but as non-dreaming, no-nonsense-type big rig git’er-done’rs. The middle-income middle class types bitching and griping are probably right–they normally are. Fancy 3D computer models are not going to impress any stressed-out 40-65-yr-old I know. Juuus sayin’. Plus stopping to let kids and people off for various lessons and programs held on Scarth Street has been made nearly impossible, hurting enrolment and business. Juus sayin’. The bus is fun, but our bus drivers are largely unhelpful “if I help you I have to help everyone” types. Some are lovely, no doubt, but I like to average things out. On balance, not good. 1/2 of all busriders seem to be high or deranged. Again, on balance. Plus there’s a lot to be said about living where the weather is a b*tch, on balance, 9 months out of 12. But I like the project, just not the left hand turns on 11th or impediment on 12th. And I think the people should be listened to, not ignired by some incredibly tiny “common sense” elite.

  9. Dear Talbot: if you’d taken the bus as often as I have, you’d know that your “on balance” is considerably off, to the point of being defamatory.

  10. 9. Talbot Fresh, Jr. – May. 29 – 12:40 pm
    “The bus is fun, but our bus drivers are largely unhelpful “if I help you I have to help everyone” types. Some are lovely, no doubt, but I like to average things out. On balance, not good. 1/2 of all busriders seem to be high or deranged. Again, on balance.”

    Oh Mr. Fresh, you adorable troll! I’m going to comb your neon-pink hair into an up-do, set you on my desk and chuckle at your nonsense.

  11. I like the way the new plaza is looking, and will be glad to see the paving stones give it some texture and hopefully “warm it up” a bit.
    As for the two-way streets and how that has been going…. I don’t drive through downtown during the most congested times so I guess I don’t see the “left turn cloisterf***s”. I kind of shake my head at comments like “they aren’t listening to people”…. what do you expect them to do? Not build this plaza, not try to make downtown better and prettier? ‘Cause the closure of 12th Avenue is kind of, um, necessary to the process. You can’t tear that thing apart and rebuild it without closing it. Yes that sucks, but when it’s done we’ll all marvel at it and when 11th and 12th are BOTH fully functional the traffic load will balance a little better, and I think the two-ways are much easier for navigability for people who aren’t familiar with Regina or Downtown. Also I kind of scratch my head at why people NEED SO BADLY to go down 11th unless they are trying to park in front of the mall or pick up / drop off a person there. There are other ways to get to your parking spot if you work downtown.

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