Regina Cyclone

CPR yards in Regina after the 1912 cyclone.
RCMP Museum, Regina 85.1.13

Known as the Regina Cyclone, an enormous tornado hit Regina at approximately 5:00 p.m. on June 30, 1912, with a velocity of 800 km per hour. The tornado formed 18 km south of the city and was roughly 400 metres wide by the time it reached Regina. In just twenty minutes it completely levelled a number of houses, and caused other houses to explode as the pressure inside the structures rose when the tornado passed overhead. The storm damaged the Metropolitan Methodist Church, the library, the YWCA, and numerous other downtown buildings; in the warehouse district, it destroyed many of the storage buildings. The CPR Roundhouse was stripped to the rafters, and boxcars were pulled from the tracks and hurtled into the air. Future film star Boris Karloff, who had been travelling in the area during the tornado, later organized a benefit concert that helped raise some of the funds needed for the reparation of the damage. The cyclone claimed twenty-eight lives and was the worst in Canadian history in terms of deaths. It also rendered 2,500 persons temporarily homeless, and caused over $1,200,000 in property damage. It took the city two years to repair the damage and ten years to pay off its storm debt.

Dagmar Skamlová