What's Regina Like?

So. I’m finishing school pretty soon and I need to get some cash fast to hopefully move overseas in the next year or two. I just got an email from the Regina health region saying they’re offering jobs that pay $2 more an hour than Alberta and they’re giving $5000 signing bonuses and $5000 moving allowances if you agree to stay for a year. I’ve also googled some real estate and found houses downtown for $50,000. What the hell is going on downtown in Regina that houses are that cheap? Is the place OK to live in? I’m not expecting much, just looking to get back on my feet before I take off somewhere more interesting. For those who have lived (or live) in Regina, what would you do?

Well, calling Northern Piper, who can tell you what it’s like now. I was there about a decade ago, and while it’s no Disney World, it’s not as bad as some people would have you believe, and it definitely way better than Iqaluit. Saskatchewan taxes were hell, but I think they’re starting to go down.

See if you can find the thread on the worst city/town in Canada. It is fairly recent. I don’t think that Regina is the worst city in Canada, but there was an article that sure made a case for the worst neighborhood in Canada being in downtown Regina.

Here, I found the link to the story. Canada’s worst neighbourhood.

Not bad, just not a lot to it. Small and with an inferiority complex.

That’s what Torontonians say about Winnipeg. :wink:

Yikes! I guess that article <bold>adam yax</b> linked to explains the $50,000 houses. Maybe I’ll call them and see if they’ll fly us out for a weekend. My mother seems to think they’re so desperate that they’ll do it. And anyways, I have a bit of time to make up my mind.

I’ve only visited Regina a couple of times, never lived there, but I think it’s like most smallish cities - there’s good and bad. If you do move there, those are some nice bonuses. I wouldn’t buy in Regina, because you’ll probably have a bit of difficulty selling after a year when you want to go, but I wouldn’t rule it out. If you’re living in Regina with it’s low cost of living instead of Alberta with it’s high cost of living (in Calgary, anyway), AND you’re getting $2 an hour more, I’d say go for it. Just be careful where you live - try not to rent an apartment in the war zone.

(Can you get the same deal for Saskatoon? Saskatoon is fairly nice, and close to lots of great lakes.)

Warm apple pie.

Nevermind me

The area described in the article is not downtown Regina. Its called North Central, and is the area around Taylor Field. Its the ‘bad part’ of town and every city has one.

There are plenty of neighbourhoods in Regina that are very nice, and close to downtown. The Cathedral area has lots of nice older homes. I live in Hillsdale, which is in south Regina, right by Wascana Park. My commute to work in downtown Regina is 10 minutes.
Granted, houses are more than $50.000 in this area, but still a lot more affordable than similar houses in Calgary. And houses are still selling fairly quickly in Regina. All those Calgarians moving here!!

This made me laugh out loud. A great slogan! Regina: It’s definitely way better than Iqaluit! :stuck_out_tongue:

Hey, if you’d ever lived in Iqaluit, you’d know how much that could mean to a person.

So I’ll give you some comments in part based on comparison to Calgary, because you’ve mentioned it as one of your options in your post.

A few things about Regina: its population is around 200,000, so it is not a big city. If a big city experience is important to you, I wouldn’t come here.

In a lot of ways, it is a government town, being the capital, and we are fond of Crown Corporations here. In some way or another, a lot of us work for “the government”.

There are the normal arts type things you would find in a city of this size, and there are quite a few interesting restaurants here. If you’re looking for ethnic you can certainly find it. If you’re looking for bistro/bodega, we’ve got that too. We have a lot of green space and parks, in particular Wascana Park is a big draw in summer. There has been a lot of “improvements” done to Wascana Park over the last few years, and it is very pretty. It is flat here. If that bothers you, and you’re yearning for the mountains, this isn’t the place to be.
Oh and to featherlou’s point, unless you buy a completely inappropriate house, you do not have much reason to be afraid of your ability to sell. The housing market is, in fact, hot here, and has been for some time. Houses are selling very quickly, and are moving on and off the market quickly. You might want to consider costs associated with realtors, etc., if you do only plan to buy and live for a year.

In terms of quality of life, I think you would find that people are friendly here. There is still a strong feeling of community, and for better or worse, to the extent that you can characterize the “philosophy” of a province it is certainly not the entrpreneurial city that Calgary is, but places far more emphasis on “the social safety net”. Though we may not have one for much longer, there is a reason why we’ve had an NDP government for three consecutive terms, which has been elected based on the votes in Regina and Saskatoon.

Housing prices in Saskatchewan as a whole have been climbing. Currently, an “average” house is about $150,000- $160,000. That has been rising, and I believe in both Regina and Saskatoon it will continue to climb in 2007. This is probably 1/2 to 1/3 of what you’d pay in Calgary. An “average” apartment might run you about $700.

Saskatchewan’s economy is currently robust, driven by the oil & gas and mining industries. With the strength of the economy, the unemployment rate is the second lowest in the country, somewhere just under 4 per cent, I believe. This is not far behind Alberta.

We are also seeing some of the return of Saskatchewan people who moved to Alberta, and are now coming home. From those I’ve talked to, and work with (along with some native Albertans who’ve moved here) they found the expense of Calgary, and the civic infrastructure that can’t keep pace with the population explosion diminishing their quality of life to the point that they didn’t want to be there anymore. Of course this is the point of view of those who chose to leave, not those who chose to stay in Calgary and love it.

I’m not going to add any more about that article other than to say that yes, there is a bad neighbourhood here. Is it the worst in Canada? I don’t know. I don’t find it very productive for people or cities to be flinging mud at each other. I do know that every city has bad neighbourhoods with people living in desperate circumstances.