Description of Historic Place
2125 Victoria Avenue, commonly known as Hotel Saskatchewan, is a Municipal Heritage Property, occupying ten city lots located in downtown Regina, across from Victoria Park. Built in 1926-27, the eleven-storey masonry hotel is finished with buff-coloured brick and Tyndall Stone.
The heritage value of 2125 Victoria Avenue is associated with its status as one of the most prominent hotels built in Saskatchewan. Constructed for the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1926-27, the hotel became the fourteenth hotel in their nation-wide chain, and was the largest and most luxurious hotel in the province at its time of completion. With its 280 rooms, and its elegant architecture and decoration, the hotel has attracted numerous people and events of political, economic and cultural importance. Royalty, including Queen Elizabeth II, have been accommodated at the hotel repeatedly while visiting the province. Additionally, the hotel has long served as a popular meeting place of Regina’s social elite and community at large. From 1945-84, the hotel served as the official residence and office of the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan.
Heritage value of 2125 Victoria Avenue also lies in its Modern-Classical style architecture. Rising eleven stories, with a terraced ‘skyline’ effect, the structure was for many years one of the city’s tallest buildings, contributing to its landmark status. Comprised of a functional ‘H’ shaped plan that ensures all rooms have access to light and fresh air, the design features a variety of Classical references and strong, Georgian style overtones such as graceful balustrades with mounted urns, Corinthian pilasters, pedimented windows, and quoining. Symmetrical in character, the structure incorporates a projecting lower façade comprised of tall round-headed windows. While the design of the hotel was by the Montreal architectural firm of Ross and Macdonald, who were often retained for projects of the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Regina firm of Smith Brothers and Wilson were responsible for the construction with sub-contractors largely obtained locally. The majority of the materials, such as the Tyndall Stone cladding, were obtained locally or regionally.
The heritage value of the property is also associated with its aesthetic and historical contribution to the streetscape of significant heritage buildings that border Victoria Park and this section of Victoria Avenue. While forming an elegant backdrop to the southern side of Victoria Park, the hotel is an important component to this concentrated grouping of impressive commercial and institutional buildings, which line the city’s central square.
City of Regina Bylaw No. 9472
The heritage value of 2125 Victoria Avenue resides in the following character-defining elements:
-those elements which contribute to the property’s historic Modern-Classical architecture, including its symmetrical, eleven-storey, ‘H’ shaped plan with projecting lower façade; terraced skyline roof combining both flat and hip elements; buff-coloured brick with Tyndall Stone cladding and detailing such as belt courses, cornices, window sills and crowns; Classical and Georgian style influences, such as the front balustrade with mounted urns, quoining, pilaster wall treatments with Corinthian capitals, pediment window crowns and tall, round-headed first-storey windows; elevated Victoria Avenue entrance with straight flight stairs;
-those elements which contribute to its historic and aesthetic streetscape contribution, such as its placement adjacent to the southern end of Victoria Park; the greenery which occupies its setback from the street.