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Spatial Organization, perception and patterns of mobility in a railway city of the Great Plains: the case of Regina.


Claude-Jean Harel

Submitted for the degree of Master of Arts, Archaeology and Heritage School of Archaeological Studies University of Leicester

June 2003

Many people have made invaluable contributions in helping this work come to light. I would like to thank the staff of Saskatchewan Archives Board, particularly, Tim Novak, Chris Gebhard and Ivan Saunders; the City of Regina Drafting Department and Archives gave early on their wholehearted support to this project special thanks to Eric Bonke, Fred Waldie, and Carey Isaak. Credit is also due to Information Services Corporation for providing research access to base line files. I would also like to acknowledge the help and support of Joseph Pettick, John Brandon, Carlos Germann, Brian Scribe, Ernest Walker, Margaret Kennedy, Greg Marchildon, Dominique Sarny and Bill Brennan. Last but not least, I will never be able to thank enough Helen and Katia for their patience during this whole adventure.

Table of Contents

Introduction..4 Chapter 1: The Railway town as a Population Distributing Machine in the Great Plains Landscape ...7 Chapter 2: Industrial activity and its impact on the Urbanizing Landscape.....15 Chapter 3: Emerging Patterns of Mobility.....20 Chapter 4: Spatial Utilization and Power relationships30 Chapter 5: The advantage of accessibility.....40 Chapter 6: Settlement and Spatial Perception...49 Chapter 7: From beacons in the city to beacons in the Southern Saskatchewan Plains.....57 Conclusion.....61 References.63 Figures..78


One could compare the Regina town site of the turn of the twentieth century to a mail order city and not be far from the truth. The Canadian Pacific Railway's eagerness to sell the territory adjacent to the transcontinental line it built in order to finance its operations during the 1880s has been well documented from the historical perspective (Berton 1971; Brennan 1989; Eagle 1989 and Legget 1987). The CPR produced the street layout (fig. 1) and encouraged the Dominion government to approve the location of the new capital of the Northwest Territories on the land it owned - a vast expanse of virgin treeless prairie bordered to the south by a creek the aboriginal people of the area had named ''Pile of bones creek'', for the abundance of buffalo bones that were found along its bed (fig. 33). But how Reginas future population would come to settle and move around in this new paper-based city to be; how these new inhabitants women, men and children - would come to perceive their urbanizing landscape surrounded on all sides by the endless horizons of the vast Assiniboine river plain; how they would produce their own space to inhabit has not been given much attention. This is the subject of discussion in this study.

It will be argued that the power relationships imbedded in the accessible street layout prescribed by the CPR surveyors are more complex and fluid than it appears at first glance. The grid street layout is harmonized with the main rail line, and reaffirms the CPR's dominance in the daily economic activities of the City. Viewed in this light, the CPR takes on the role of a host and the new residents, visitors and land seekers who come to populate this emerging street layout become the guests. This host-guest relationship

would not reflect reality, however, unless the hosts included also store owners, hotel employees, livery stable operators, municipal politicians, city workers and clergymen who communicate their own perceptions of their growing settlement to each other and to others. From the built environment that they inhabit, communications also emanate subtly. These are the multiple signals of a cognitive wealth that can be read in the organization of space by those who pass through the city - almost as if one read a road map while navigating through the landscape. Spatial organization over the landscape can be likened to a road map on paper in the sense that a fundamental level of literacy must be achieved in order for the user to be able to decipher it. This literacy results from study and practice, or through the help of tutors who share their interpretation of the human experience in the landscape and guide its users along appropriate paths that are compatible with the prevailing power relationships agreed upon by inhabitants and visitors in the spirit of territorial harmony. It is important to point out that this map must be learned.

The cognitive map has a legend with symbols some easier to decipher than others in the interest of accessibility for the greater number the grid street layout being perhaps the most self-evident. It may well be that the level of familiarity new landscape users will have with Western urban plans might be instrumental in allowing them to decipher the messages that are imbedded within landscapes. Consciously or unconsciously, the urban landscape of the City of Regina seems to communicate that it is there to help, at the very least, facilitate urban sprawl in order to stimulate rapid population growth and ultimately large-scale human settlement throughout southern Saskatchewan.

How intentional was this? Very little has been written about the thought process that motivated the surveyors. The artisans of historical research on settlement have devoted much energy to events surrounding political scandals and gigantic business deals to open up the West. The surveyors tended to receive much less attention, perhaps because they were seen more as instruments of decision-makers than shapers of settlement. More discrete generally, they recorded their impressions in diaries where they marveled at untouched landscapes, diversity of wildlife and the richness of the fertile land of the Great Plains. Yet the town site plans that they drew warranted just as much attention, for they dictated much of the shape our cities and towns would assume in time.

Little did these surveyors know that well over one hundred years later, students of frontier settlement would want to take another look at their work in order to gain some insight into how settlers would come to perceive the application of these prescriptions for urban settlement, and how they were set into production to create new spaces for human adaptation and economic productivity.

Chapter 1: The Railway town as a Population Distributing Machine in the Great Plains Landscape

Railway towns are industrial complexes. At their core, there is of course the railway itself. Then there are the businesses that depend on it to deliver the goods they ship or bring in. There are the employees and the whole support network of municipal authorities and brokers that allow families to find homes, to feed, clothe themselves and obtain basic education services for the children. Growing settlements likely generate basic community needs much faster than they can be met the needs of workers, migrants, as well as those of the railways representatives and of those who depend on the railway for their livelihood generally. The pace of daily activities must be nothing less than dramatic if the law of supply and demand is at the root of every economic system. The demand for solutions in railway towns must have been overwhelming given the prevailing fast rhythm of local economic activity.

It would be easy to find in every facet of the railway town in ultimately every building, street and fence that accompanies settlement a confirmation of its all-encompassing economic purpose: to engender revenue growth in Eastern Canadian and European regions with influence over the new frontier. As Steffen puts it:

''Great Plains agricultural settlement along with the corporate stages of mining and ranching, then, were merely western extensions of national development and need to be studied from that perspective. (Steffen 1980) ''

But economic marketplaces need places or locations where economic activity such as trade can occur a vocational space where people can engage in the livelihood they carry out to sustain themselves and their community.

Lefbvre (1991), Hillier and Hanson (1984), de Certeau (1984) and Markus (1993) have provided useful frameworks for analyzing the spatial organization of these locations known today as ''railway towns'' - that allow us to look at the urban landscape from the point of view of the users. It becomes then possible to draw a distinction between inhabitants and visitors (Hillier and Hanson 1984) that can help provide insight into the production process of new space within the abstract frameworks (city blocks and lots) that the guide the human induced landscape modifications (buildings and fences) generated by urban expansion. By relying on paper-based visual representations of the built environment (maps and fire insurance plans), available period photographs, and on documentary accounts of life in the City at that time, it becomes possible to gain new insight on the user perception of the emerging landscape. It is the perceptions of inhabitants and visitors that define the settlement because they ultimately govern its activities of exchange and distribution of wealth. The latter regulate population movement and growth, which in turn are influenced by prosperity or the degree of human adaptation success within the system of settlement. All this takes place within boundaries (legal descriptions expressed in town plans) that were pre-established as rules to abide by, but rules to a game whose objectives have not all been overtly articulated.

The concept of the city as a population-distributing machine needs to be defined here. The product of this machine is the encounters one makes in it. When Markus (1993) describes the urban space in Hanseatic towns over the centuries, he advanced that it maximized the probability of encounter between merchants, and made access for bulky goods arriving by land or sea easy. A parallel could be drawn with railway towns. The accessibility of the urban space along a north-south and east-west grid system of streets and avenues in cities like Regina maximizes the possibility of encounters between inhabitants and visitors. The systems integration with the railway lines made access to bulky goods arriving by land easy. Not only that, but the spatial configuration made it easy also to distribute the bulky goods onto the land, with the people who are likely to use them, because the spatial configuration in Regina evolved in a way that maximized the opportunities for encounters and encouraged mobility over the entire landscape.

In his book Space is the machine: A Configurational Theory of Architecture, Hillier (1996) establishes that:

Encountering, congregating, avoiding, interacting, dwelling, conferring are not attributes of individuals, but patterns, or configurations formed by groups or collections of people. They depend on an engineering pattern of co-presence, and indeed co-absence. Very few of the purposes for which we construct buildings and environments are not people configurations in this sense. We should therefore in principle expect that the relation between people and space, if there is

one, will be found at the level of the configuration of space rather than the individual space. (Hillier 1986)

Accordingly, when one looks at the Regina town site, the configuration of space can be likened to a mechanical device that produces encounters along a certain configuration governed by rules. Hillier and Hanson (1984) have referred to it as a space syntax.

Syntaxes are combinatorial structures which, starting from ideas that maybe mathematical, unfold into families of pattern types that provide the artificial world of discrete systems with its internal order as knowables, and the brain with its means of retrieving descriptions of them. Syntax is the imperfect mathematics of the artificial (Hillier and Hanson 1984)

We believe that the built landscape of Regina articulates messages embedded within its network of buildings and streets, expressing that this city invites those who travel to it to venture a little further once they have readied themselves for this. It implies that visitors must acquire a cognitive map of the landscape themselves before undertaking further mobility, or that someone an inhabitant with his or her own cognitive map of the landscape is facilitating the visitors settlement by communicating to him or her a culturally approved version of a cognitive map; and this is done through a variety of encounter mechanisms within the machine: church services, visits to banks, porter services, etc. The information thus acquired is validated by the visitors own perception


of the landscape he or she is exposed to during subsequent encounters and during the course of further travels.

Encounters allow inhabitants to act as agents who facilitate the cognitive process for visitors. They can be family members who have already settled in town. They can be cultural groups, some of which have already settled in concentrations of inhabitants in certain areas within the town around their own institutions (Fig.2). They can be land development companies represented by inhabitants who take charge of visitors arriving en masse by train to take them to areas where they hope they will agree to settle. In this case, the mechanism that generates encounters becomes the party of landseekers journey - the event itself.

Another type of encounter is that which takes place between visitors and agencies selling lots in real estate developments. The encounter generating mechanism then becomes the brokerage relationship. The encounter becomes all the more rich cognitively by virtue of the systemized distribution of cognitive elements to visitors in the form of paper maps showing the way to the real estate development of interest (Fig. 4).

There are opportunities for encounters in stores, hotels, at livery stables, pool halls, in government buildings and on the streets. But how is it communicated to visitors that they are welcome in these spaces allocated in the landscape for specific purposes? There are signs on buildings, of course, but there are also signs in the make-up of spaces as configured buildings. A business with a door directly accessible from a public sidewalk


will appear to invite encounters more than a residence separated from public access by a front gate, a walkway to the porch and a locked door. In addition, it must be said that not all inhabitants and visitors have the same ranges of mobility, which entail different patterns of encounters.

Ranges of landscape use It is useful at this point to define four ranges over which users of the landscape (both visitors and inhabitants) might travel.

1. Municipal range:

This basically covers the extent of the towns urban territory.

2. Local range:

This can be defined as the extent of territory that can be covered in the vicinity of the city during daily activities by local residents and those of the surrounding area within a days horse-drawn vehicles drive roughly within a radius of 35 kilometers of the city (Reesor 2003). Mailmen and stagecoaches might travel 60 kilometers a day (Reesor 2003 and Underhill 1989). Well-seasoned cowboys could travel on horseback over 80 kilometers in a day. But the standard distance a well-seasoned traveler on


the plains would cover before needing a rest was more in the 35-kilometer range. The local range encompasses the territory covered by the municipal range.

3. Regional range:

This would be the extent of territory that encompasses the 250 towns and villages that depend on Regina for a variety of social and economic needs on a periodic basis by 1913 (Brennan 1989). The total population within this trading area numbered 400,000 (Brennan 1989). The residents of this trading area would be motivated to come to the city for various reasons such as government business, access to goods and services unavailable locally, for cultural or ceremonial reasons (weddings, festivals, etc.). They might travel by horse with sleepovers over a number of days or by train.

The regional range encompasses the territory covered by both the regional, local and municipal ranges.

4. Interregional range:

Interregional range travelers could be defined as non-residents who are in transit through Regina to another destination. They could also include travelers who are aspiring residents to the city who have not yet


established permanent residence but may have found temporary accommodations within commercially available facilities or boarding residences. The interregional range encompasses the territory covered by all other ranges.

With the historical data currently available, it is impossible to determine the exact frequency of the encounters that are generated by the mobility requirements of those who travel within the landscape. The ranges constitute an attempt at creating a framework that will help understand the evolution of various patterns of mobility over a landscape increasingly reshaped by the encroachment of the humanly built environment. Their most useful quality at this point might well be that they remain constant over time and space, even when space becomes more compartmentalized or when spatial production intensifies over the landscape. The potential for encounters may increase with the increased population one expects with urbanization, but this increased population can still be assigned only one of four possible ranges of landscape use through time.


Chapter 2: Industrial activity and its impact on the Urbanizing Landscape

What would be the life expectancy of a town plan conceived in 1881? When the settlement it is designed to accommodate is to become a city of the future, the question hardly needs to be asked. A chronological survey of urban expansion activities will help understand the impact of the industrial activity that influenced spatial production over the landscape. It will help shed light on how the original plan a product of its time was actually quite well enough suited to stimulate growth in an era of rapidly evolving communications systems.

Two periods should be identified at the onset. Brennan (1989) described the years 1885 to 1905 as a period of sluggish economic growth for Regina The towns fortunes were closely tied the agricultural development of the region and settlement lagged badly after 1885.

He adds that:

The development of manufacturing in Regina was retarded by the absence of any substantial pool of local capital Local markets were limited, the local labour force was small, and so was the water supply. For all these reasons, Reginas manufacturing establishments were not only few in number, but modest in size. In 1901 not a single firm in Regina employed even 5 persons (Brennan 1989).


It appears that the initial ambitious planned deployment of the city, as suggested in the town plan (fig. 1) was not realized during the early settlement period. Reality was characterized by the less than glorious images of temporary shelters and rustic dwellings (fig. 5). But this period would soon be followed by more exciting times:

By the turn of the century, hard times began to give way to unprecedented prosperity across the West. The price of wheat rose, and cheaper transportation rates on land and sea made the export of this commodity more profitable. At the same time, sophisticated techniques for farming in a semi-arid region brought good harvests to the prairies. With the free land of the American West nearly exhausted, the Last Best West of the immigration literature came into its own, as thousands of settlers arrived each year. (Brennan 1989)

Indeed after 1906, the small agricultural service centre that was Regina would go through unprecedented growth. Within five years, the Citys population would rise from 6,000 to 30,000 people (Woodsworth 1913). This unprecedented growth led to the earliest manifestations of what could be characterized as a form of early urban sprawl (fig. 6). New houses were built over unbroken prairie farther and farther away from the CPRs main line (fig.7) and the business centre of town (fig. 8). With the increasing distance that had to be traveled, consideration had to be given to the quality of the road surface to facilitate mobility needs within the urban environment.


The volume of human transit through the city became so intense in the decade prior to World War I that 33 passenger trains a day stopped in Regina on a daily basis by 1913 (Woodsworth 1913). This increasing visitor traffic created considerable pressure for the City to invest in its system of roadways. Though it is difficult to get a precise configuration of where these improvements were made, Woodsworth (1913) provided in his Social Study of Regina the following list of the civic improvements that had been carried out:

Bithulitic pavement: Creosote wood block pavement: Asphalt block pavement: Granitoid pavement: Sheet asphalt Graded streets: Boulevarded streets Granolithic sidewalks Plank sidewalks Sewers Water Mains (supply mains) Number of Hydrants Number of house connections

8.81 2.1 0.72 1.45 5.75 73.5 10 20 54 34.7 13.5 222 3,600


Many of these improvements we made necessary by the peculiar nature of the soil in the Regina area, made up of mostly heavy clay to a depth of 12 meters. This makes for a very unstable soil for building foundations to this day. As moisture content varies seasonally, the clay expands and constricts, inflicting significant damage to street surfaces and buildings. The clay made even the simplest pedestrian travel challenging at times (fig. 9).

Sidewalks made it easier for pedestrians to move around. The early city was really geared toward walking as the chief mode of locomotion, if one judges by the number and quality of sidewalks present in the numbers above and in period photographs (fig. 10). Until 1913, most points in the city still were found within a radius of one mile from one another. Maps that were produced by land developers actually showed distance radiuses form the Regina Post Office in one-mile increments (fig. 4). The same maps banked on the accessible grid layout of the city as a way for prospective settlers to find their way around the city, and exaggerated the scale of street widths in order for prospective inhabitants to navigate more clearly to their destination. The map produced by Smith Bros. is also noteworthy for the optimistic projected expansion of the Citys residential neighborhoods it showed as far as four miles away from the central post office.

The appearance of bicycles on city streets (fig. 11) certainly made issues of distance more manageable. At a speed of ten miles an hour, a bicycle user could cover considerably more ground than a pedestrian. The cyclist also had a distinct advantage over horsedrawn means of transportation because, contrary to the horse and carriage, the bicycle was easy to park, did not have to be watered nor fed, and bicycles certainly did not


produce manure to soil city streets. On the other hand, the horse allowed one to move considerably heavier loads throughout the city.

Horse-drawn vehicles were the backbone of transportation over the municipal, local and regional ranges from the earliest days of Regina (fig. 7). Heavy loads likely took a toll on the street surfaces. Wheel tracks were quite prominent over unimproved surfaces and ease of transportation was affected by the weather.

The combination of the complex uses of the street system by a variety of vehicles on the streets; the pedestrian traffic on sidewalks where they were available and on the streets themselves where they were not; and the negotiation of mobility activities among pedestrians and non-pedestrians within a climate of intensification of industrial affairs over the landscape likely gave rise to navigation habits which were directly guided by the built environment.


Chapter 3: Emerging Patterns of Mobility

In 1912, the city-owned street railway system (fig. 6) opened a new era in urban mobility by enabling people to travel faster than on foot without having to own or hire their means of transportation. Automobiles were also beginning to influence patterns of movement in the city, but the bulk of transportation services within the city were still carried out through the help of four-legged horsepower. The grid layout with its network of back lanes was ideally suited for keeping horses, as we will see in the next chapter. The thought process, which we presume has led to this town plan, was becoming more obvious with every infrastructure improvement.

By 1913, a number of new railway lines had been built through the city, extending the options for travel over regional and interregional ranges (figs. 34, 35 and 36). The City had fully achieved a new level of population distributing effectiveness. The urban railway systems (trains and streetcars) were imbedded in the urban landscape with minimum impact on the 1881 town plan (figs. 1, 4 and 37).

Besides photographs, the earliest readily available visual representations of the early city of Regina landscape are the Fire Insurance Plans produced by Charles E. Goad in 1911 (fig. 12) and 1913 (fig. 13). By studying these plans - specifically the 1913 edition - one gains insight into the purpose of the emerging city (fig. 14). The CPRs main line is lodged into the railway reserve land that is bordered to the north by a mainly industrial area dominated by factories and warehouses, mostly in the vicinity of an elaborate


network of railway lines interspersed with pockets of residential zones. To the west of the railway reserve and straight north of the CPR main line, residences have been built in close association with the Canadian Northern Railway yards.

South of CPR main line is South Railway, the street that interfaces with the CPR railway to the north. South railway branches out to other streets southward in nearly perpendicular fashion at city block intervals. These north-south streets constitute as many points of accessibility from the south toward the loci of zones that are presumed to be conducive to higher numbers of encounters between inhabitants and visitors. It is principally this area of settlement south of the CPRs main line, as of 1913, that will be the focus of our investigation of possible patterns of mobility (fig. 15).

The grid pattern takes expression over the area by the presence of a network of avenues that crosses streets at city block intervals in east-west orientation (fig.16). Because of this, most points in the grid are accessible from all cardinal points. Visual analysis on 1913 fire insurance plans suggests the existence of three possible sectors (A, B, C in fig. 17) where the encounter mixes might vary as a result of distinctive spatial configurations. They are arbitrary to some extent but nonetheless useful in understanding possible patterns of mobility.

South Railway West The western portion of South Railway (A) located between Elphinstone and Cornwall Streets - and extending to 16th Avenue - is characterized by the presence on its northern


side of the Lumber Manufacturers yards and shed, agricultural implements dealers facilities and grain elevators, while the south side of South Railway is lined with sale and livery stables as well as hotels. This suggests predominantly agricultural-oriented activities in this sector. As one moves south however, the area becomes distinctly residential. Churches, schools and houses and neighborhood recreation facilities line streets; sheds, possible outhouses and stables line back lanes. Fences have been erected between some of the northernmost and easternmost lots.

South Railway Centre

The centre portion of South Railway between Cornwall and Broad Streets (B) is dominated on the north side by the CPR railway station, while the south side is characteristically business-oriented. This clearly is the commercial district, presumably where one would find the highest concentration of opportunities for encounters. One finds in this area many hotels, shops, offices and government services. There are very few residences in this sector, but when one moves a few blocks to the south, one enters an area of proportionately more elaborate dwellings built on wider lots than those found elsewhere in the city during that period. There are comparatively more fences throughout the residential area of this sector than in the previous sector.


South Railway East

The easternmost portion of South Railway (C) and the landscape to the south exhibit a different orientation to the City than the other two portions. Most noteworthy, the northern side of South Railway here is devoid of buildings or platforms of any kind. Even the lumberyards that one finds in this sector are located on the south side of South Railway, occupying space that would have significant value if this had been an area with important opportunities for encounters. This configuration suggests a less well-defined interface with the railway line along this section of South Railway.

Secondly, the southeasterly CPR line that branches out from the main line in this sector seems to provide a boundary of sorts for the eastern edge of the settlement. And again, there appears to be very little formal interface between the railway traffic on this new line and the residential zone south of it. When one looks at the fire insurance plan, the service lane immediately south and parallel to this line does not even connect with southbound streets. Of the three sectors, this is the only one that seems dependant on another in terms of its relationship with the CPR line.

One explanation for this apparent reduced accessibility might be that, because another larger train station to the west by the early 1900s had replaced the original CPR station that was located in this sector by 1883, there was a shift in the focus of economic activity toward Broad Street. This imparted to the northernmost area of the sector a certain


character of isolation from the railway. Yet, the east-west accessibility was not compromised because avenues reach deep into the sector. The grid ensures access ultimately.

A period of significant settlement intensification also occurred there and can be witnessed over a period as short as two years when one compares 1911 and 1913 fire insurance plans. It is reflected in the clusters of new dwellings being built and in the extensions being added to existing dwellings to accommodate the increasing population. Fences are erected here in the highest concentrations found throughout the city. The compositely rich nature of the built environment and Woodsworths (1913) assertion that the area had the highest population density in Regina warrant further spatial analysis in chapter four. Clearly, one gets the impression that the railway in this sector constricted territorial expansion of the city rather than encouraging it.

The advantage of creating a digital footprint

In order to acquire a clearer picture of the dynamics of mobility as they are influenced by spatial configuration, I undertook to derive a digital footprint of buildings and fences in the area south of the CPR mainline from the 1913 fire insurance plan (fig. 16) that was imported into a GIS program as a shape file to which physical attributes eventually were attached. This footprint allows us to make the following observations about fences:


If fences are built generally after the buildings have been built, there appears to have been until 1913 a general expansion of residential development southward, eastward and westward on the periphery of the commercial/business district, evidenced by the reduced number of fences as one moves away from the centre of town

Where the buildings in the commercial district are adjacent to one another, there appear to be very few fences present in that sector. Presumably, they were not needed because of the monolithic nature or building complexes along business sector streets.

Where the buildings are spaced out from one another, fences appear more regularly between lots.

Fences appear therefore more regularly in residential districts than in the business district.

Fences can be used as a measure of inhabitants desire for privacy. If one believes that desire for privacy increases over time, it is possible to infer that increased concentrations of fences between lots can be indicative of neighborhood maturity, and perhaps also, of the volume of human traffic along streets and avenues by visitors and inhabitants. This would be consistent with the expectation that there would be less traffic on the periphery of new settlement areas than in the center of the business district, as long as one agrees that mobility patterns might take travelers through residential neighborhoods on their way to and from the business district.


Could it be then that fences play a role as guideposts for culturally acceptable urban mobility patterns within the city? I am inclined to believe that they do when I study photographs (fig. 8) and footprints of the built environment (fig. 16).

An urban landscape configured to communicate an impression of order to newcomers

One must keep in mind that the Regina landscape was relatively undifferentiated prior to the arrival of settlers. There were no trees. There was neither natural shelter nor shade from sun, wind and snow available to humans. Tents, buildings, equipment and tracks left by wheeled vehicles on the unbroken prairie; walking or riding trails at various levels of weathering and survey monuments were in essence the only navigation features humans relied upon during the course of their day to day travel activities apart from the suns position.

This environment must have appeared totally different from anything settlers from other parts of the country and overseas had ever seen prior to moving here. Depending on the range of travel they were active in, visitors to the city and inhabitants would have displayed various levels of familiarity with the environment. It is fair to expect that travelers over the municipal range would have been relatively familiar with their surroundings, or would have become relatively familiar with them within a short period of time because of the user-friendly (accessible) layout of the city. Travelers over the local and regional ranges, we will assume, have a generally good knowledge of the


landscape in and around Regina because they experience both the natural and humanbuilt landscape during the course of their mobility activities. Interregional users are expected to have the least knowledge of the urban landscape because they have just recently arrived in the City. In addition, they are also expected to have only a superficial knowledge of the natural landscape as they have experienced it only through mechanized means before they arrived through the window of the passenger car they traveled on. Schivelbush made the following insightful observation.

The abandonment of animal power in favour of steam was experienced as the loss of sensorially perceptible animal power/exhaustion, i.e., as the loss of the sense of space and motion that was based on it. As the natural irregularities of the terrain that were perceptible on old roads were replaced by the sharp linearity of the railroad, the traveler felt that he lost contact with the landscape, and surely experienced this most directly when he went through a tunnel. (Schivelbush 1977)

Schivelbush refers to the effect of railroad travel on a given spatial distance in the early 19th century as the annihilation of space and time.

The regions, joined to each other and to the metropolis by the railways, and the goods that are torn out of their local relation by modern transportation, shared the faith of losing their inherited place, their spatial-temporal presence (Schivelbush 1977)


He draws an interesting parallel between the effects of the transition from travel by coach to travel by train and those of the transition from the traditional retail shops to department stores.

The department store encouraged the development of the kind of perception that we have called panoramic. To recapitulate its essential characteristics as seen in the context of the train journey: as speed caused the foreground to disappear, it detached the traveler from the space that immediately surrounded him, that is, it intruded itself as an almost unreal barrier between object and subject. The landscape that was seen in this way was no longer experienced intensively, discretely but evanescently, impressionalistically panoramically, in fact. More exactly, in panoramic perception the objects were attractive in their state of dispersal (Schivelbush 1977).

If one gives credence to this assessment of the evolution of perception, it is fair to assume that it can also be usefully applied to our efforts toward understanding how those who traveled in the Regina landscape might have oriented themselves and developed perceptions of a rapidly evolving landscape along similar lines. Travelers may have developed a perception of the landscape that is based more on orienting themselves around panoramic considerations than by what they saw in the foreground immediately around them. Railways town, which tend to be dominated by grid type layouts perhaps express thus a more easily decipherable landscape to users tuned to more panoramic


perceptions. As one travels by train, the grid layout offers glimpses of straight long lines the frame of reference to which travelers are becoming increasingly accustomed. Once they step off the train, fences and buildings along the streets may provide the reference points they need, especially in instances when the road networks have not yet been laid out.

Meanwhile, as the city produces new encounters in its centre, it requires more inhabitants to interact with the increased flow of visitors. These encounters may convert visitors into new inhabitants. All the inhabitants have to be distributed over the urban landscape in a way that allows them to play the role, which they are assigned in space. At the same time, one would expect that the built environment of residential streets gives travelers the indications they need to orient themselves discretely in the sense that they can do so without having to engage in encounters with inhabitants that slow down their mobility en route.


Chapter 4: Spatial Utilization and Power relationships

As the paper-based city becomes built environment, space fills in or, more precisely, it produces and adds complexity to the landscape. Infrastructure investment such as road improvement and the construction of sidewalks encourage certain patterns of mobility. Privacy requirements and relationships of power expressed in the form of host-guest relationships become increasingly important along residential streets, as suggested by the increasing presence of fences between lots. Photographs, fire insurance plans and houses from the early 20th Century that are still standing, suggest that streets had become the main channels for human mobility as population and economic activity increased. Houses often had porches facing the streets that would provide the neutral ground from where visitors would be admitted once their identity was confirmed and their purpose been approved by the inhabitants of the dwelling. Back lanes were used more for utilitarian purposes such as refuse removal and vehicular access to backyards.

Cognitive variations among different ranges of users and encounter-based compensations

It is useful at this point to bring back the four ranges of users of the landscape which I have described in chapter 1, in order to explore how various types of users might travel over the three subdivisions identified in figure 17 over the portion of the landscape located immediately south of the CPR railway to Victoria Avenue an area covering approximately 43 of the city blocks most closely located to the rail line. More precisely, I


would like to get a comparative sense of the encounter production potential individual city blocks in the identified in the area are likely to generate. It is useful therefore to further define landscape user types in terms of the level of familiarity they are expected to have with the area and their motives for traveling within it.

1. Municipal range users: a. Live within the City b. Are very familiar with the area (have acquired a cognitive map of great detail) c. Are presumed to travel regularly along established patterns, occasionally straying from these as need arises d. Will typically travel over the of the citys territory with a level of intensity that is higher than all other users e. Will be involved in encounters in the City more frequently that all other users

2. Local range users: a. May live in the City; may farm outside the city; but will typically live in the periphery of the City b. Are familiar with the area (have acquired a cognitive map with moderate detail) c. Are presumed to travel regularly along established patterns, occasionally straying from these as need arises


d. Will typically travel over limited areas of the City

3. Regional range users: a. Most likely live outside the City b. Are somewhat familiar with the area (have acquired a cognitive map with basic functional detail only) c. Are presumed to travel regularly along established patterns, occasionally straying from these as need arises d. Will typically travel over limited areas of the City

4. Interregional range users: a. Live outside the City or are in transit b. Are generally not familiar with the area c. Will generally travel over established patterns, occasionally straying from these as need arises d. Will typically travel over the most limited areas of the City than all other users (are in the process of acquiring a cognitive map of the urban landscape)


Table 1 is a set of proposed set of estimated values that stem from the descriptions above and can be attributed to the four types of user ranges in the urban landscape.

Landscape User Type Degree of acquired cognition of the map Relative concentration during 24 hours of encounters (daytime) Percentage of user autonomy Percentage of user mobility Rate of turnover Intensity of frequency Table 1

Municipal 75-100% 70% 75-100% 75-100% 0-5% 75-100%

Local 50-75% 10% 50-75% 50-75% 0-5% 25-50%

Regional 5-25% 10% 5-25% 5-25% 90-100%% 1-5%

Interregional 0-5% 10% 1-5% 1-5% 90-100% 1-5%


While I havent found a way to monitor these characteristics through GIS analysis at this point, they have inspired the encounter generation ability chart described in Table 2 as an estimation of concentrations of potential encounters associated with different building types in the landscape.

Encounter generation ability of individual building types Commercial (com) Shed (she) Bank (bank) Res (residence) Stable (sta) Garage (gar) Hotel (hot) Church (chu) Lumber (lum) Library (lib) Office (off) Post (post) Fire Station (first) Laundry (lau) Coal shed (coal) City Hall (civ) Movie House (mov) Union Station (cpr) Grain Elevator (ele) Warehouse (war) Ice House (ice) Hall (hal) Hardware (har) Rink (rin) Recreation facility (rec) School (sch) Unknown (unk) Table 2 50 .5 200 1 1 50 200 50 50 200 50 200 50 50 50 200 100 1000 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 200 50


For instance, if it is expected that a one-storey residence is the site of one encounter between and inhabitant and a visitor during a day, it seems reasonable to expect that roughly 50 such encounters might occur over a day in a commercial building such as a retail establishment or a repair shop. These estimations are based on the average number of clients, window shoppers and general visitors with requests for information one might encounter in such settings. Furthermore, I have chosen to use the number of floors in commercial and residential buildings as well, as a factor that would increase the variation in volume of visitors and inhabitants in encounter generation ability. I have ensured that the database reflected this parameter in its formula for the automatic calculation of each buildings potential for encounters.

This information was then programmed into ArcGIS by Eric Bonke of the City of Reginas Drafting Services in order to derive a map of potential encounters shown in Figure 18. Using Union Station as the main port of entry for newcomers to Regina, I estimated that the maximum distance new visitors arriving by train and willing to walk with or without luggage would not exceed a distance of half a kilometer on average before some means of transportation or storage assistance was required (access to a livery service, checking into a hotel, or hiring a porter). I instructed Eric to establish a buffer zone of 500 meters around Union Station south of the CPR line before we proceeded to further analysis.


Early GIS map generation results

On the map (fig. 18), the buildings in red are those likely to generate the highest number of encounters. Among them are Union Station, hotels, City Hall, the Public Library and the 10-storey McCallum-Hill Building the highest one in the city. The buildings in yellow, orange and light green colours progressively generate fewer opportunities for encounters and correspond to an intermediate level. They represent - in the same decreasing encounter-generation order: schools, multi-floor commercial buildings or offices, followed by single-floor commercial buildings and factories. At the lowest end of the encounter generation spectrum are buildings with darker shades of green (residences, stables and sheds) where one expects fewer encounters between guests and visitors to take place.

You will notice that the 500-meter buffer introduced above follows fairly closely the area where the highest concentration of encounters is likely to occur within the city. This is likely due to the fact that users of the landscape engaged in mobility activities over all the four established ranges to which they are assigned are expected to visit more or less regularly this zone. They may come to it once in a lifetime, if they are an interregional user passing through town and spending a night in a hotel on the way to a destination in another province, or they may come within this zone on a daily basis if they are a porter, a clerk or a business owner.


Germantown spatial dynamics

The 500-meter buffer extends eastward into Germantown. The ethnic diversity of the population has been well documented (Woodsworth 1913), but few have attempted to explain why a multicultural concentration occurred there rather than anywhere else. I would venture to say that the proximity of this mostly residential neighborhood to Union Station, liveries and hotels made it easier for newcomers to the area to make contact with kins and to arrange temporary accommodation until they felt the time was ripe for them to make their way further onto the landscape (fig.2). Among the 669 families interviewed during the course of Woodsworths study (1913), a little less than half were tenants of other peoples houses, and the rental prices here were higher than elsewhere in the city for comparatively lower quality houses. It is as though this neighborhood allowed new, recent and non-English stock immigrants to exert power over a significant territory, but that for this privilege they had to pay an unusually high price. Only 48 of 599 houses in Germantown had indoor plumbing. Over 60 percent of the houses were considered too poorly built to be connected to the water and sewer mains. The need for a roof over ones head outweighed that for modern conveniences, but not the need for asserting a certain amount of power over a territory that was located strategically close to services that could help immigrants fulfill their aspirations.

Figure 19 is one of the few photographic representations of Germantown during our period of interest. The view is of 11th Avenue looking east, from the west side of Broad Street. A number of commercial properties line the street. A street car can be seen in the


distance. Few, if any, trees line the streets. Houses are tucked against each other with stables and sheds in the backyards. The need for fences to control access to individual household space becomes almost self-evident when no other natural protection against unwanted intrusions are available. Streets surfaces appear to be graded earth into which streetcar rails have been inserted. Back lanes are uninviting to visitors who are more likely to encounter rubbish, mud (on a rainy day) and manure than a pleasant walking surface. The preferred access to households was through the front portion of dwellings and shortcuts across yards were prevented by the proliferation of fences more and more as issues of territorial control took on more importance.

Encounter generation potential as a defining factor in future spatial adaptations The encounter generation map suggests intermediate potential for encounters in Germantown along 11th Avenue going east (fig. 19) and intermediate to high concentrations along 10th Avenue, due to the presence of hotels and commercial buildings within walking range of the train station. This likely accelerated the rate of fence building in the sector and the need to regulate mobility along the patterns dictated by the town plan. Thus, a cause and effect relationship could be established between encounter generation ability around built structures and the reactions of inhabitants in the vicinity wishing to maintain the power they have traditionally held over their domain and controlled territory.


The fences along back lanes and between lots; the presence of porches along streets from which inhabitants could monitor visitors in the summer; all were the symbols that contributed to the cognitive map acquisition process of newcomers because visitors understood that access to these zones was controlled and therefore not worth venturing on without legitimate purpose. Conversely, in areas with lower potential for encounters there is less need to exert control through added built structures. Note how few red and lightgreen-colored buildings are located close to the eastern portion of the rail line, confirming the suspected lower opportunities for encounters in the area. One finds less built structures along the rail line in the area to control access as a result. Therefore, grid layouts allow movement patterns to evolve over time depending on the needs and direction where urban development occurs, but also on the evolution of the potential for encounters, a factor which can shift in amplitude rapidly as a result of events that may even be temporary in nature.


Chapter 5: The advantage of accessibility

On the late afternoon of Sunday June 30th 1912, after a hot and muggy day, a funnel cloud appears in the fields south of Reginas newly built provincial legislative building. Within 20 minutes (Brennan 1978), it would cut a swath through the city that would kill 28 people, injure hundreds, make 2500 homeless and destroy at least 400 buildings valued at five million dollars. Almost immediately, civic leaders and journalists predicted that from the tragedy a new and more beautiful city would emerge.

The horrors of the cyclone are already pushed aside The people are getting down to building operations, and every man who can lend a hand is working with a hammer in his hand and a mouth full of nails. It is the indomitable spirit of the west that leads Regina on to bigger and better things, and by its aid Regina will yet resume her place in the forefront of western cities. (Daily Standard in Brennan 1978)

Figure 20 depicts the path of the tornado and was prepared by city archivists who compared the Fire Insurance Plans of 1911 and 1913 as well as photographs and accounts of the event. Every structure along the path of destruction sustained massive damage. Yet, by 1913 the clean up appeared completed. I would argue that the completion of this project was facilitated by the grid layout of the city that provided multiple ways to access damaged areas by road. Figure 21 is a partial 1913 GIS map produced for this study of the classes of buildings in our area of interest that can give us an indication of the


resources at the disposal of cleanup and construction crews. The arc depicts the 500meter radius around the railway station. The two red lines indicate the path of the tornado.

The reconstruction effort: a possible temporary impact on the potential for encounter

Because of the accessible nature of the layout, horse-drawn wagons could come and go from north-south and east-west axes in order to remove rubbish, to bring workers or to deliver supplies. Private stables are shown in violet are easily spotted near back lanes, while larger commercial stables are shown in red.

The 1911 version of figure 21 is unavailable at this time, but when the 1911 fire insurance plan is compared to it, one notices that by 1913 not only were many of the damaged buildings already rebuilt or repaired, but a good number of new one had also been added on lots. There had therefore been an intensification of construction activity over this area and others in the city, despite the fact that resources must have been in greater demand then than they would normally be. The City must have somehow have had the ability to adjust its space production output in a manner that enabled it to respond to unexpected pressures, which is in itself quite remarkable. The type of civic effort the reconstruction would have required must also have been aided by the constant flux of newcomers. New energy, new visitors in need of revenue generation opportunities and


new acquaintances - all these factors must have allowed the urban community to take it all in stride.

During the period of crisis immediately following the tornado, horses from both private and commercial stables must have been used for emergency transportation purposes and likely came from throughout the city. The accessible layout must have minimized bottlenecks, facilitated the identification of alternate routes, and reduced the stress generally for visitors and inhabitants who were presumably engaged in encounters in zones that would have normally seen fewer encounters, and away from which most visitors would have normally remained. If one were to generate an early July 1912 posttornado version of the potential for encounters GIS map that took into account new construction and demolition sites, as well as the visitor attraction ability of a devastated neighbourhood, it would look temporarily at least different from the 1913 version.

What archaeological analysis can reveal that historical records by themselves have not

There is another factor this type of analysis brings into light. Much has been made in the historical accounts of the tornado of the loss of human life and of the destruction of beautiful buildings. But the historical record has failed to mention the significant loss of animal life that would have been inflicted on draught animals sheltered in stables within the impact zone of the tornado/cyclone. At 5:00 pm in the afternoon on a Sunday, the inhabitants must either have been coming out of church, on the way back from the lake,


or in their home about to sit down for their evening meal. Many horses throughout the 50-plus stables in the area must have been indoors in the shade and relative coolness those shelters provided.

Figure 22 is a 1913 GIS Map indicating the type of building materials used in buildings situated on the path of the tornado. Red indicates brick; light blue is brick with stone faade; blue shows brick veneer; light green indicates wood. Most stables were made of wood, as most back buildings were prior to and after the tornado according to 1911 Fire Insurance Plans. The quality of their construction was of course inferior to that of dwellings. In short, they were vulnerable to the elements. The devastation among the animal population as the tornado hit must have been high. The stench that ensued from decaying corpses and food must have been overwhelming, as people assessed the damage and devised strategies to clean up and rebuild (figures 23-26).

The type of information yielded with the help of a GIS helps understand more clearly aspects of vernacular architecture and uses of the built environment that tend to be overlooked by historians. The journalists of the day chronicled those aspects of the tragedy that were perceived as having the most impact for their readers, but they were blind to some impacts and adaptation strategies to the tragic events. Most of the existing photographs of the tornado focus on the view from the street. Few, if any, focus on the view from back lanes. It is possible that the back lanes were so cluttered with debris after the tornado that access to them was impossible. Yet, the clean up did occur swiftly enough. New bricks and new lumber were brought in from various locations in the city.


What could be recycled on site was probably quickly re-used to avoid the burden moving it around. All new building materials had to be brought in from outside the city, except perhaps bricks fired locally. The lumberyard located northwest, next to the rail line, must have done exceptionally good business. By the following year, life had it seems returned to normal. It appears that archaeological approaches can reveal more about the processes of adaptation than historical records have. Although, in all fairness, historians like Bill Brennan (1978, 1989) have chronicled the evolution of the built environment throughout their work.

Life expectancy of cognitive impressions in accessible landscapes

This previous discussion brings me to consider the following. What happens to the cognitive map of inhabitants and visitors (be they construction workers or onlookers) when an important component such as the buildings one recognizes on the streets and uses to navigate in a given landscape are no longer standing? To what extent does disorientation occur? On a cloudy day, in a landscape with poorly defined boundaries such as what is visible in figure 5, one would predict that general disorientation would ensue, unless the potential for the usual human encounters is still present along streets.

Many post-tornado though undated - photographs suggest unusually high pedestrian traffic in the affected streets and on the lots themselves. As described earlier, I would argue that the potential for encounters became high as a result in those areas because


encounters are closely associated to the actual buildings and their immediate surroundings. Those surroundings were populated with people cleaning up and rebuilding dwellings. Progress on efforts to rebuild must have become a municipal pastime (Figs. 27a, b and c). The increased numbers of encounter opportunities, as a result, might have offset disturbances in the references relied upon by landscape users in normal circumstances. If this assertion is true, it confirms the partial dependency of cognitive map acquisition on the potential for encounters.

An example of shift in the potential for encounters made possible by the accessible layout

If the tornado did cause as much damage as the photographic and fire insurance plan evidence suggest, there must have been a general scramble of inhabitants looking for new shelter, temporary or otherwise, Newly homeless inhabitants likely became visitors to new neighbourhoods. Some may have taken temporary shelter nearby west of Albert Street, which was mostly residential. The possibility of some increased mobility east toward Germantown is not far-fetched. 11th, 12th, and Victoria Avenues provided direct routes to Germantown within a distance of roughly one kilometre or a little more. However, Woodsworths (1913) study suggests that households there tended to generally board people of the same ethnic origin as the hosts themselves. The majority of them there are of German descent, whereas most of those affected by the tornado were of English stock. Despite this, it is not unreasonable to expect that a good number of Germantown inhabitants hired themselves and their team of horses out for various


cleanup jobs because most private stables in the city were located in that neighbourhood. Figure 28 attests to that. Stables are orange coloured, neatly tucked away along back lanes, but within easy reach of the avenues identified earlier. The blue line indicates the shortest possible routes east toward the affected area from 10th, 11th, 12th and Victoria Avenues. Germantown horse and wagon owners were actually the best positioned to participate in cleanup and rebuilding activities in the business district, as they were only a few city blocks away.

Clearly then, shifts in the potential for encounters are likely to occur when the landscape is modified through natural catastrophes and other human induced phenomenon associated with increased urbanization. The landscape users cognitive map must allow adjustments and additions to the variety of guideposts they use for navigational purposes. Faced with increasingly complex cognitive interactions such as those stimulated by a post-tornado context, a regional landscape user might be at a disadvantage over a municipal user, especially in a competitive setting - at least temporarily - if he was a door-to-door salesman. A municipal landscape user might remember that a particular building on a street corner was made of wood covered with brick veneer and might recognize the makeup of damaged building materials laying in the front yard, whereas a regional user might remember only the shape of the intact building and might miss the site altogether because of the lack of complexity of the cognitive map he is equipped with.


The accessible layout as cognitive map equalizer

One suspects that the actual layout of the streets and lanes acts as a kind of great equalizer in this type of situation. Despite the destruction, one believes that municipal, local, regional and interregional landscape users were guided by the regularity of the streetscape; the square angle quality of intersections occurring at equally spaced intervals one could count as one traveled over the landscape. One always knew more or less where one was by remembering the times and direction one turned to as one moved around. The encounters one made along the way constituted as many opportunities to confirm that a traveller was going in the right direction.

In fact, a tragedy such as the 1912 tornado is likely to have brought to light new unknown facets of the landscape to the eye of both inhabitants and visitors accustomed to what Schivelbush (1977) calls the panoramic perception of the built environment. Schivelbush used the example of the department store in his analysis. We could build on that. The tornado would have had the effect on the streetscape that a riot might have had on the shelves of a department store that decided all of a sudden to give away all its products. The visitors might have started to pay attention to the quality of the paint on the shelves, to how many of them are stacked end to end, or to how narrow the shopping alleys appear when boxes of products are thrown open on the floor. The overall cognitive map landscape users acquire becomes endowed with new richness because the landscape has undergone significant alterations. The foreground becomes momentarily more important than the panorama.


Yet, some constants remain. In a post-tornado environment, once the streets have been cleared of debris, they define an otherwise chaotic landscape of ruins piled at regular intervals on both sides of the streets. Soon enough, city blocks start to emerge. Inhabitants and visitors recognize them as elements of the cognitive map people use to navigate when other navigational features or signposts become unavailable. The grid is the fundamental base line along which all settlement has taken place. As such, it always assumes a place of importance in the landscape. It provides the necessary support upon which all other cognitive images are hung and rearranged as need arises.


Chapter 6: Settlement and Spatial Perception Contemporary visitors to treeless portions of the Great Plains often draw parallels between the impression the wide horizons found in this region leave on them and the sensation of general disorientation one gets while at sea. It can be argued that the space produced in the plains landscape in the form of street layout and built environment provides the topological references that enable both inhabitants and visitors to navigate in an otherwise undefined landscape. The regularity with which streets are laid parallel and intersect with one another in a north-south, east-west fashion allows one to acquire a cognitive map of the area that encourages one to take one's eyes off the ground and to focus on a particular destination within the landscape. Thus, the signs advertising businesses and products that appear on the buildings and street corner billboards (Fig. 19), become accessible to those who move through the landscape - they contribute to enriching the cognitive map of those who experience those signs. The signs suggest alternative routes to an event, a store or a business that did not figure in the landscape features that travelers were familiar with before, or they bring them to the forefront.

As the landscape evolves through time, perception itself evolves, contributing to the creation of a sense of place for new city residents whose mobility activities become easier over time from a navigational point of view because their displacements are increasingly instinctive. The confidence level of potential new residents (visitors on the way to becoming inhabitants) and the evolution of how they perceive the landscape provide them with a certain measure of power over the space in which inhabitants allow them to travel. Visitors may even become more conscious of the sense of place than longtime inhabitants


who rely mostly on a panoramic perception dotted with occasional changes in the details of the foreground that they perceive, such as billboards on street corners.

Late-19th Century town site designers such as the CPRs L.A. Hamilton (fig. 1) carried out their work with the inherited experience of hundreds of years of layout knowledge. The majority of landscape users who came to populate Regina during the first two decades of the citys history were of English or Canadian stock. Even when Canadas immigration policy started luring newcomers to town in the early 20th Century, it was intended that they come from European countries such as Germany, Ukraine, France, Hungary and Romania, all countries with significant urban environments - populations with lifestyles and from economies that were compatible with those for which Regina was established and conceptualized. Clearly, when immigrants suddenly found themselves in the midst of this new urban landscape, the spatial rules that governed it would be articulated in a way they could understand rapidly.

Reginas advantage for the study of perception in railway towns

A quick survey of city plans across the North American Plains makes one realize that to this day, Regina has one of the most consistent and best-preserved railway town layouts in the whole region. Along the east-west axis, blocks measure 103 meters. Along the north-south axis, they measure 174 meters. This recurs over the entire original surveyed area of the city. Somehow, Hamilton must have thought it was best to make city blocks in


Regina longer as one went away from the rail line. Other cities (Winnipeg, Calgary, Saskatoon) will tend to have city blocks that are shorter as one moves away from the rail line than they are along the other axis. This imparts a different perspective for landscape users. Then, other cities will have blocks of equal length along both axes (Minneapolis). And some cities will display a combination of many configurations (Lethbridge, Indianapolis) influenced by the arrival of new rail lines and the physical constrains imposed by geophysical features such as river valleys.

Reginas situation could be unique as far as mid-sized cities are concerned. In the United States, people had been developing rail lines since the 1820s and 1830s. Rail lines started out as transportation networks - an alternative to canals that could help propel misplaced mercantile centers into distant markets effectively (Vance 1995). Thus, they linked existing towns and cities that was their purpose.

By 1882, the body of knowledge for railway development had evolved considerably. So much so that the City of Regina became part of the new generation of railway towns described in Chapter 1 one where the plan is drawn for the needs of the railway and then executed. As a latecomer, the town site plan is endowed with a purity of purposespecific design. Regina today has a population of near 200,000. It has not been able to afford yet, nor felt sufficiently the need to carry out the massive rail relocation program that would facilitate contemporary human mobility needs in terms of road-based transportation with motorized vehicles, because to automobile drivers railways are an obstacle. Ironically, Reginas CPR line and its associated railway yards now limit


accessibility for those vehicles. But the more or less intact nature of the infrastructure of streets and avenues and their configuration in regards to the main railway line are precisely what makes this resource an ideal testing ground for the study of early human settlement and mobility in the industrial context of railway towns.

From the onset of the 20th Century, until passenger rail service stopped at Union station in 1990, immigrants to Regina arriving by rail were exposed to an urban landscape that was relatively easy to ascertain. Naturally, new arrivals to Regina were by train in the beginning. Once outside of the train station, an interregional range user would be exposed to a fairly open viewshed in the foreground. Figure 29 is a section detail of a panoramic photograph of South Railway looking west taken from a rooftop in 1920. On the right is Union Station; centre is what remains of Stanley Park, where trees and shrubs have been planted; to the left is the main commercial district, where a number of hotels are located. From the railway station, a short walk would provide the first time visitor a basic cognitive map of the town site. He or she would realize that South railway is the point of origin of nearly perpendicular streets at regular intervals. A look north of the tracks from the railway station would confirm the more industrial nature of that section of the city (fig. 30).

Initial cognitive map acquisition

Cognitive map acquisition may have started prior to the arrival of the visitor in the form of information contained in letters from family members and compatriots already


established in Regina. Information may also have been shared on the train during conversations with fellow travelers who are familiar with Regina. But the cognitive map is only validated once it can be rooted in the actual landscape. The visitor would likely then identify points of reference that would be useful for general orientation purposes. Structures of notable height would constitute such desirable markers. From the panoramic photograph one can identify in Figure 31, at least three such useful structures that would have been visible at various points near Union Station. One must keep in mind that this photographs was taken from an elevated position and that these references might be seen only from north-south streets if the observer was at ground level. The three points are (from left to right) the 1912 City Hall with its pointed tower, the massive 10-storey McCallum-Hill Building completed in 1913 and the Post Office built in 1907 with its rotunda-type tower. Those structures were easily recognizable from any distance.

In order to get a better sense of the height factor as one element that contributes to the cognitive map of landscape users, we generated a GIS map that assigned different colors to the height of structures distributed in the landscape (fig.32). Blue indicates the highest building (McCallum-Hill). Violet corresponds to the City Hall (five-storey) and the building adjacent to the Post Office. The post office itself is displayed only in pale red (three-storey) because the height of the tower was not visible on the fire insurance plan. It becomes apparent that the bulk of the highest buildings are located within a 500-meter radius of Union Station. There is another cluster around Victoria Square. Grain elevators along South Railway were likely distinguishable from a distance as well. They stood out in height north of South railway on the west side of the city, but also because of their


irregular location, out of pace as they were with the dominant grid along the railway. Combined, these features provided the reference points required for the kind of mental triangulations disoriented travelers might use to orient themselves.

When one takes into account how rapidly the built landscape and the communications networks were evolving in and around the City (figs. 33-37), keeping track of how far these buildings are located from ones position in the landscape might have been a particularly useful way to measure relative distance between destinations in accessible landscapes. In fact, because city blocks tend to present themselves less frequently to the traveler who moves along the north-south axis than the east-west axis, keeping track of these reference buildings might have provided a more reliable confirmation of relative traveled distance than did distance measured by the number of city block passed. This would have constituted an additional marker in the cognitive map set of resources.

Impacts of chronological and built environment evolution on perception

If perception is a cultural factor that is a product of the experiences to which humans visitors and inhabitants are subjected, it will be affected accordingly by action of time and growth of the urban landscape. This evolution provides exiting opportunities for analysis. For instance, when one combines analyses of period photographs and the GIS height map, because most building outside of the commercial district tended to be one or two storeys high for the most part, it might have been much easier before 1914 to get


more of a senses of the citys layout from ground level than later on. For instance, on this photograph from 12th Avenue (fig. 38), the outline of Legislative Building on the south bank of Wascana Lake is visible from downtown. Again this photograph is taken from the roof of a two-storey building and the perspective is deceiving. But from the right angle, the building must have been visible in the distance from street level as well. The photograph in Figure 39 is taken from McCallum-Hill Building and provides an even clearer perspective that would not have been available after 1927 - date at which the Hotel Saskatchewan was completed - because the view would have been obstructed (fig. 40). If one compares the built environment and the intensification of space utilization achieved by 1939 to what it was at the turn of the century (fig. 41), it is apparent that with time the street layout became better defined and dominated by an increasing number of massive buildings that could be used as beacons to navigate in the urban landscape. On the other hand, the general street layout might have become more difficult to ascertain for newcomers because of the added clutter in the viewshed.

I would argue that to this day, inhabitants of Great Plains cities and by extension railway towns navigate instinctively while following perceptions that originated, have evolved and were transmitted from the earliest days of settlement until now in great part through acquired cognitive maps. Inhabitants may only become aware of them when tourists and visitors from different regions of the world are given directions; when they in turn tell them how easily they have been able to find their way around town; or when the inhabitants themselves travel to other regions and find themselves disoriented in unfamiliar surroundings.


In the last chapter, I will argue that a renewed appreciation for the monotonous landscapes of railway towns may be the key to instilling a missing sense of place in neighbourhoods that seem to have lost some of their appeal to suburban environments.


Chapter 7: From beacons in the city to beacons in the Southern Saskatchewan Plains

Automobiles have universalized panoramic perceptions over time, enabling travellers to move through the landscape just about anywhere without really looking at it in great detail. By 1955, the public transit system had extended the distances that travelers without cars could cover in the city (fig. 42). As long as they knew where their destination was in relation to the assigned route of the appropriate transit vehicle, they would have no difficulties in reaching it. As one moves away from the centre of the sprawled city, one needs to identify new navigational beacons. These most likely will be buildings with higher elevation; building complexes for specialized purposes; or sites for specialized activities. In other words, they will be locations where a sense of place is solidly attached to a location.

The 1955 map of the City of Regina actually depicts some of these places. Figure 43 shows iconic representations of a number of places in Reginas west end that are instantly recognizable for a great number of landscape users. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police barracks are depicted beside a Mountie. The latter is to this day the most recognizable Canadian symbol throughout the world. One finds in this location a number of buildings used by the Academy where recruits train to become the Queens (or Kings) police officers in Canada. To the east, along Dewdney West, the Luther College campus has its own non-descript icon; followed by the Veterans Home, which is really the former residence of the Lieutenant-Governor of Saskatchewan. Rather than the historic


significance of the building, it is its current use that is depicted on the map. This shows how uses of the day tended to dominate in the messages sanctioned by the governing inhabitants of the landscape. The cognitive map evolves and imposes new palimpsests of perception over previous ones.

Further east yet, one comes across the Exhibition facilities where horse races take place as well as agricultural fairs. The railway tracks figure prominently on the map, but the alternating motif in their depiction hints at the fact that they constitute an obstacle to navigation rather than as a useable artery for travel. It could be argued that the paper version of the map sought to become the inhabitants authorized published equivalent of cognitive maps for the use of visitors, thereby attempting to wipe out previous interpretations. The icons depicting the sailboat on the lake and the diver jumping in the water (fig. 44) impose a recreational vocation on the lake in a way that attempts to make it enticing for visitors to spend more of their leisure time in Regina.

Navigational aspects still dominate the printed map. Figure 45 shows a detail of the traffic flow along the one-way streets of the business district in 1961. We must keep in mind that the Regina Chamber of Commerce published the map. One-way streets were established to increase the fluidity of motorized traffic in the sector. The arrows confirm the supremacy of such vehicles in Reginas urban landscape. When one looks at the territory that has been annexed to the original rectangle of land area that constituted Regina in 1883 (fig. 46), one understands how mobility challenges required adaptations that could not have been predicted in the original town plan of the city. However, it


remains apparent upon analysis that this original layout still forms the backbone of the Citys mobility network through the urban landscape.

In 1971, Trans-Canada Highway was completed after over half a century of struggle to link the country from coast to coast through the construction the longest highway in the world. This was a major communications achievement that would lead to new traveller habits in Reginas landscape for all ranges of users. Rather than seeking to impose it on Reginas existing layout, it was decided that it would be angled from Victoria Avenue East to a south-westerly direction, so that it would by-pass the bulk of the city to the south, making it possible for interregional users to avoid Regina altogether as they moved east or west to other destinations. Judging by the published maps, automobiles had enabled city residents to live farther away in emerging suburban neighbourhoods by the 1950s. Inhabitants commuted to their place of employment and had the freedom to commute to weekend residences in the QuAppelle Valley.

Figure 47 provides a telling depiction from an elevated viewpoint from a city map of 1971. This drawing was meant to provide a perspective of a view from Trans-Canada Highway. Evidently aimed at visitors to the City who accessed Regina from the newly inaugurated national highway, the authors of this view assumed that visitors had greater autonomy in their mobility patterns then than they ever had before. The City is now but one cluster of buildings in the proximity of the landscape users. A landscape, the remotest section of which can be reached in less than an hour by car from the point of view.


So little of the built environment is actually seen by travellers during their daily mobility activities as more than outlines along streets, that Great Plains cities finds themselves in a position where the landscape in which users travel has become more or less that of an environment oriented toward fast human mobility. The accessible quality that made the Regina landscape of the early 20th Century so advantageous is now overshadowed by the drive to cover as much ground as possible, even if it means circumventing the grid.

Business associations in the downtown areas of Great Plains cities are now busily trying to make their layout more attractive to visitors from newer neighbourhoods in order to draw them back in. It is ironic that central to their efforts is a recognition that these areas need to become more attractive for pedestrian and bicycle use - slower means of transportation that encourage greater awareness of Schivelbushs foreground (1977).

I, for one, am of the opinion that the planning efforts that will be successful in this will be ones that focus on the authentic features and dynamics that made them work for the city at conception.



It has been our intention during the course of this study to look at how various aspects of the Regina landscape and its built environment have influenced human mobility through time. It has been argued that the accessible grid-type layout of the city made it easy for visitors to orient themselves in the landscape, but also imposed on visitors certain measures to protect the territorial control of the domain over which inhabitants exert control. Hence, for example, the need for fences.

The layout invited visitors who accessed the city through the CPRs railway to explore it and settle on some of the available lots whenever they were ready for it; it enabled the population to change their patterns of mobility in order to respond to arising needs as a result of events such as unexpected natural disasters like tornadoes; it also set the stage for suburban development. The grid layout actually invited urban sprawl and provided the communications network Regina needed to become a population distribution machine serving the economic interests and the settlement policy set forth by the railway builders; eastern Canadian government authorities; and the inhabitants of the city who depended on the population influx to sustain and develop the local economy.

The cognitive map acquired by inhabitants and visitors to the city was partly shaped by the potential for encounters along various urban locations. This potential could shift from one location to another in response to shifts in patterns of mobility engendered by landscape modifications such as construction activity; new business development;


changes in industrial activities; and advances in transportation and urban sanitation technology. All of these factors can have an impact on how the landscape is perceived, or at least on what type of markers and points of reference landscape users rely upon during the course of their activities of mobility.

However, as long as the initial layout of the city is not profoundly modified though railway relocation programs, it continues to influence travel in the spirit of the intentions that motivated the creation of this particular layout in 1881, despite the restrictions it imposes on contemporary mobility activities. We chose the preservation of the former, as warranting more immediate attention being that it constitutes a cultural landscape in need of protection. Its true value may not be known and appreciated until more research activities around the spatial configuration of 19th Century railway towns are conducted.



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Fig.1. Original 1881 town plan produced by the Canadian Pacific Railway


Fig. 2. St. Nicholas Romanian Orthodox Church built in 1901/02 and congregation, some of which presumably went on to settle farther onto the landscape.

Fig. 3. Landseekers leaving Strasbourg in 1910.


Fig. 4. Map of Regina produced in 1912 by land developer. Note the finger pointing to the development and the concentric rings indicating one mile increments from the Post Office and the rail lines radiating from the city.


Fig. 5. Early photo of Regina from 1882 suggesting the establishment of the grid layout prescribed by the town plan in the form of aligned buildings and tents.


Fig. 6. Unprecedented growth in the city by 1912 made it necessary to invest in the urban transportation network in projects such as the city-owned electric streetcar system.


Fig. 7. An early 20th Century photograph of farmers bringing their grain to an elevator in Regina.


Fig. 8. The City of Regina encroaches south and away from the CPR mainline over unbroken prairie. Notice the small grain elevator in the centre of the background indicating how far building materials had to be hauled from.


Fig. 9. Early pedestrian mobility challenges during the course of travel over the municipal range of landscape users.


Fig. 10. Granolithic sidewalks had gradually started to replaced plank sidewalks in the business district of Regina by the time the City Hall was built in 1912. Notice the CPR railway line in the top left corner of the northeast looking photograph.


Fig. 11. The golden age of the bicycle.


Fig. 12. Detail of the Fire Insurance Plan from 1911.


Fig. 13. Detail of the Fire Insurance Plan from 1913. Note how quickly city blocks are filling in with dwellings when compared to the 1911 edition (fig. 12).







Fig. 19. Germantown around 1913.


Figure 20. Representation of the path of the Regina tornado of June 30 1912.


Fig. 21. Detail of GIS map of 1913 building types showing the tornados path.


Fig. 22. Detail of a 1913 GIS map indicating the type of materials used in buildings situated along the path of the tornado.


Fig 23. The Methodist Church destroyed by the tornado.

Fig 24. A photograph of house blown across the street by the tornado.


Fig. 25. A photograph of Smith Street looking north after the tornado.

Fig. 26. What was left of the Telephone Exchange Building after the tornado.


Fig. 27a. A view of pedestrians surveying the damage near of South Railway.

Fig. 27b. Some of the 2500 people left homeless after the tornado.


Fig. 27c. Pedestrians taking stock of their modified landscape after the tornado.


Fig. 28. Predictive paths that owners of horse-drawn wagons might have used to help the clean up efforts are shown in blue. Access to the affected zones to the East (the readers left) was made relatively easy by the accessible grid that provides access even from back lanes.


Fig. 29. 1920 view of Stanley Park looking west down South Railway. Union Station is to right.

Fig. 30. Another detail of the fig. 29 panoramic photograph looking north-west. 104

Fig. 31. Detail of the same panoramic photograph (fig 29 and 30) looking south-west.



Fig. 33 Township Register map dating from 1882 showing the Canadian Pacific Railway line at Regina and Pile of Bones River. Amall squares represent quarter sections (160 acres); large squares are whole sections of 1 square mile.


Fig. 34 Township Register map dating from 1898. Notice how Pile of Bones River has been dammed to created a water reservoir.


Fig. 35 Township Register map dating from 1917. Notice the added rail lines branching out north and southeast. The reservoir is called Waskana Lake and the Creeks name is now Waskana Creek.


Fig. 36 Township Register map dating from 1921. Notice the intensification of rail line development on Section numbers 19 and 30 in growing Regina.


Fig. 37. Map from 1919 showing in red streetcar lines throughout Regina.

Fig. 38. The faint outline of the legislative building tower can be seen in the background to the right as the farthest visible building. The photograph looks south from a building near Rose Street around 1912.


Fig 39 Scarth Street looking south in 1926 from the McCallum-Hill Building. The Legislative building is visible to the right.

Fig. 40. A 1939 view of the Hotel Saskatchewan from Cornwall Street. The hotel was built in 1927 between Scarth and Cornwall streets on Victoria Avenue. 112

Figure 41. The same view as figures 39 and 40 around 1905 before trees were planted in Victoria Park.


Fig. 42. The city of Regina map of 1955 published by the Regina Chamber of Commerce.


Fig. 43. Detail of the 1955 City of Regina Map

Fig. 44. Detail of the 1955 City of Regina Map.


Fig. 45. Regina Chamber of Commerce map of Reginas business district from 1961 shows the traffic flow direction of one-way streets.



Fig. 47 118