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The site was previously called Wascana ("Buffalo Bones" in Cree), but was renamed to Regina (Latin for "Queen") in 1882 in honour of Queen Victoria.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.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.1908 City Hall on 11th Avenue between Rose and Hamilton Streets; Medical Arts Building in the background: city planners have since the '60s largely allowed dense public and commercial building to depart the central business district.Many buildings of significance and value were lost during the period from 1945 through approximately 1970: Knox United Church was demolished in 1951; the Romanesque Revival city hall in 1964 (the failed shopping mall which replaced it is now office space for the Government of Canada) and the 1894 Supreme Court of the North-West Territories building at Hamilton Street and Victoria Avenue in 1965.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.
Green funnel clouds formed and touched down south of the city, tearing a swath through the residential area between Wascana Lake and Victoria Avenue, continuing through the downtown business district, rail yards, warehouse district, and northern residential area.
In 1962 Wascana Centre was begun, in an effort to make Regina as enjoyable and fulfilling for residents as it had long been the "metropole" for farmers and residents of small neighbouring towns.
Despite the setting, improbable though it always was compared with other more likely sites for the capitol, the efforts' results were favourable.
This with the proliferation of shopping malls beginning in the 1960s and "big box stores" in the '90s on the periphery, together with a corresponding drift of entertainment venues (and all but one downtown cinema) to the city outskirts, had depleted the city centre.
The former Hudson's Bay Company department store (previously the site of the Regina Theatre though long vacant after that burned to the ground) has been converted into offices; Globe Theatre, located in the old Post Office building at 11th Avenue and Scarth Street, Casino Regina and its show lounge in the beautiful, old CPR train station, the Cornwall Centre and downtown restaurants now draw people downtown again.