It was Sunday and Regina had been baking in the heat for days. The more venturesome headed out to Wascana Park to cool off by the lake; while others, many lethargic from the heat, stayed home. It was June 30, 1912 and Reginans were anticipating the next day's Dominion Day celebrations. But those celebrations never happened.
When dark clouds and rain came in from the south, many welcomed the storm as relief from the heat. But the rain and lightning were soon followed by a funnel cloud which had formed in the fields outside the city limits. Touching down on farms outside the city limits, the tornado left death and destruction in its wake before heading into the city to wreck more havoc.
As the tornado came in through Wascana Lake, swimmers headed for shore and boaters tried to get out of its way. Some tried to take shelter in the boat club. The funnel cloud came through the lake, sideswiping the Legislative Building causing damage to windows and rooms and sucking out all the grade school exam papers in the Department of Education. When it reached the other side of the lake it destroyed the boat club and the other buildings on the north shore, injuring those who sought refuge there.
NewsTalk980CJME CJME's Natalie Geddes remembers the cyclone.
Day out at Wascana Lake
City of Regina Archives Photograph Collection, CORA-B-779
Anderson, Frank (1980). Regina's Terrible Tornado, June 30, 1912. Surrey, BC, Heritage House Publishing Company
Bingaman, Sandra (2011). Storm of the Century: The Regina Tornado of 1912. Regina, Saskatchewan: Canadian Plains Research Center Press