College, Normal School and Darke Hall

By 1909, Regina was the capital city of a brand-new province. It was growing in leaps and bounds from the inhospitable chunk of waterless dirt that had seemed so unappealing only twenty-seven years before. Now Regina was starting to look like a capital city. Plans to build a new legislative building were already underway. An adequate source of water was finally available, and plans to build proper sewer lines were also underway. Regina had its own power house and was able to provide electricity to homes and businesses. Settlers were flooding into southern Saskatchewan to take up homesteads, and Regina was rapidly becoming a commercial centre in the middle of what would become known as the “Bread Basket of the World.”

All Regina lacked to make itself a world-class city on a par with Winnipeg or Toronto was a university.

The provincial government had drawn up plans to build a university. The University of Saskatchewan, as it would be known, would serve as a bastion of higher learning in the new province. Cities began to campaign ruthlessly for the privilege of being the location for the new university. (One apocryphal story from that time concerns Prince Albert. Supposedly, Prince Albert’s town founders were given the choice: a university or a jail. Prince Albert chose the jail – reasoning there would always be a demand for the services of a jail.) Regina and Saskatoon were the two most likely candidates for the university. Both cities offered a large chunk of free land for the project. The President of the University of Saskatchewan, Walter Murray, favoured Regina because it was the capital city, but the board voted Murray down. Saskatoon became the new home of the University of Saskatchewan.

Regina’s town founders were devastated.

Then a group of prominent local citizens decided that if the province would not provide them with a university, they would simply establish their own university instead. A group of local Methodists persuaded the Saskatchewan Conference to establish and fund Regina College. Local businessmen, led by F.N. Darke (who, in 1888, had become Regina’s youngest mayor) raised money to build an impressive new building for the college. The City of Regina donated a plot of land, which was later sold to raise more capital for the building project. Land for the buildings was purchased from the province of Saskatchewan – ironically, it was the land where the city jail had once stood.

  Title: Cast of a normal school production
Year: ca. 1910
Retrieval #: CORA-RPL-B-64
  Title: New wing of Regina College under construction.
Year: 1911
Retrieval #: CORA-A-1484
  Title: Regina College under construction
Year: ca. 1911
Retrieval #: CORA-RPL-B-215
  Title: Provincial Normal School under construction
Year: ca. 1913
Retrieval #: CORA-A-2132
  Title: New Normal School, Regina, Saskatchewan
Year: ca. 1914
Retrieval #: CORA-RPL-A-110
  Title: Regina Normal School Spring Term Second Class Students
Year: 1915
Retrieval #: CORA-RPL-F-5
  Title: Normal School, Regina, Saskatchewan
Year: ca. 1917
Retrieval #: CORA-RPL-A-726
  Title: Provincial Normal School, Regina, Saskatchewan
Year: ca. 1925
Retrieval #: CORA-A-1218
  Title: Interior of Darke Hall
Year: ca. 1930
Retrieval #: CORA-RPL-B-50
  Title: Helen Halloway
Year: ca. 1931
Retrieval #: CORA-RPL-A-126
  Title: Cast of “Bunty Pulls the Strings”
Year: 1932
Retrieval #: CORA-RPL-B-51

Video Clip
Click Here.


Title: Regina in the early years
Date of Creation: ca. 1930.
Clip Scope and Content:
Regina College, Normal School and Darke Hall.

Note: You need the Quick Time Player in order to view this clip. If you do not have the Quick Time Player, click here to download a free version.



Home | Contact Us

Visit the City of Regina Archives Web site

© Copyright - All photos are public domain unless otherwise indicated.