The Long-Awaited Downtown Plaza Opening, In Pictures

A few seconds after 12:30 today, Regina’s downtown plaza officially came into being. Here are photos of the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which took place on I Love Regina day. Click ’em to big ’em.

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.

24 thoughts on “The Long-Awaited Downtown Plaza Opening, In Pictures”

  1. Stephen, you are a noble man to cover this story while ‘still on vacation’!! (and I am so happy that I am out of town!!)

  2. Please Gawd, if I feel the need to dress like I’m 27 when I’m 50, drown me in the lake. BTW, was that Fiacco on the cover of the Metro last week in new frames, looking like a 27-yr-old in 1982? That was freaky… Dude paid a visit! Must be on a stopover on his 10-month round-the-world farewell tour.

  3. Love all the positive vibes on this thread. I can just hear the crusty old farts you’ll all be in the old folks’ home.

  4. Thank your for providing evidence that Ray Boughen is still alive and apparently capable of speaking…. his constituents were starting to wonder.

  5. I don’t have a lawn, anonymusses, but thanks for the sentiment all the same.
    It’s interesting to see that the old Regina, with its constant bitching, whining, complaining, and wet-blanketing – but never stepping up – is alive and well.

  6. Ray Boughen came out to see the poles the government will use when Harper’s government brings back public executions.

  7. Last Friday at noon hour, the lineups to the food trucks were 50 people deep, there was not a bench, chair or flat surface that didn’t have someone sitting on it, people were walking around, meeting up, and enjoying the weather. I found a comfy spot to read my book/people watch. I, for one, love the plaza, and I have a feeling lots of downtown workers are loving it too. The only design flaw that I can see is that there are no restaurants on the street. I would love to see outdoor patios. Maybe one day…if Harvard allows it.

  8. Those f*ckers killed the Novia. 93 years, down the drain. No noisy food truck gonna make up for that. Old Regina, represent! (Better than the “new” Regina.)

  9. The Novia was the worst. Just because something is almost 100 years old, doesn’t make it good. TERRIBLE service and awful hours lead to its downfall. Get over it already. Yeesh.

  10. Agree, Novia must have had better days, but those certainly weren’t its last ones.

    Sorry for repeating, but is that rust colour on the structures permanent?

  11. Bro: Sorry. I though you were being sarcastic when you asked the first time.

    Yes. The rust colour is permanent. The material used to build the light standards and stage is something called corten steel and technically the browny-orangeness is a patina similar to the greeny-blueness you get with copper.

    Anon & Talbot: As for the Novia, I used to go there all the time in its last couple years and always enjoyed myself. The food was basically the same as what’s offered at Mercury only a dollar or so cheaper. And I really liked the staff.

    The way the interior was left to rot though was really bloody unfortunate. And the state of the bathrooms was an atrocity.

    But I think that had a lot to do with Harvard not giving the Novia anything beyond a month-to-month lease so there was no incentive to invest in the place’s upkeep.

  12. Anon: I forgot about the Novia’s hours. Those always mystified me. And as far as sabotaging their bottom line, that seemed like the biggest culprit.

    I mean, how can you justify being a breakfast place that isn’t open during the farmers’ market? What, you’d hate to have several hundred people line up outside your door clambering for your food?

    And then the owner went so far as (in the L-P) claim that the Novia went under because people in downtown Regina no longer had an appetite for diner-style food. And yet, the Mercury is packed almost daily at lunch. And the burger and hot dog trucks on the plaza are doing a brisk business.

    So yeah. In short, the decline of the Novia was damn fishy.

  13. Wasn’t there a food-competition problem with other restaurants in the immediate vicinity of the Farmers Market, in the years it was held on Scarth Street, and didn’t that have a direct bearing on what time the Market could be open for business?
    And it’s “clamouring”, by the way.

  14. Clamour? Really?

    I was imagining a massive crowd of people outside the Novia climbing desperately over one another to get burgers.

    I think my word choice is more evocative.

    As for the food competition… I’ve never heard anything to that effect. And considering that other restaurants were open on Saturdays within the immediate vicinity of Scarth — Copper Kettle, Green Spot (when it was on 12th) — I’d be surprised if that was a problem for the Novia.

  15. Quick recovery, Paul; not good, but quick.
    I knew people who were involved with the operation of the Farmers Market when it began in its Scarth Street location, and they said that there was pressure from local cafes/restaurants in re: hours of operation, especially to protect the breakfast trade (otherwise, the Market could have opened earlier), so I guess it’s a matter of he-said-she-said.
    Harking back to your #19: the owner of the Novia noted in the L-P that the place had not been making money for several years, and not just when the plaza plans began. I knew that he was involved in the Mercury, so it made sense for him to concentrate on that site rather than the Novia, which frankly had less to offer the noonhour crowd than the Scarth Street restaurants.

  16. I would hope that downtown business and the Farmers’ Market vendors would see their relationship as symbiotic nowadays. Seems obvious that the downtown would be dead empty most Saturdays were it not for the Market.

    As for the Novia losing money… a modest investment in fixing up its bathrooms would have done a lot to redress the perception that the place was an unhealthy dive and helped their bottom line immensely. You can’t let your place of business degrade into filth and ruin and then blame your lack of success on somebody else.

  17. Nowadays, yes, but it was not always so, which was an irritant to those of us who could see all the ripple-effect benefits of the Market.

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