REGINA -- The City of Regina is on the hunt for a contractor to begin remedial excavation work at the railyard on Dewdney Avenue.

The city posted a request for a contractor on June 11, 2021. The work requires the disposal of soil, cleaning, backfilling, installation of a liner and the final grading of the site. It is work that must be done before the city can transform the 17.5 acres into a “unique place connecting neighbourhoods and revitalizing Regina’s City Centre.”

“The process in terms of dealing with a little bit of the environmental concern on site will be getting underway this year. As well as the north side of Dewdney Avenue in terms of the sidewalk, improving the sidewalks and lighting on the north side,” said Sandra Masters, mayor of Regina.

The city approved the Yards Neighbourhood Plan in 2020, which is meant to guide the transformation of the land and Dewdney Avenue.

The plan includes the installation of new utility infrastructure, improvements to Dewdney and the development of new public spaces. Two lanes of traffic will eventually be eliminated, and trees will be installed, lining both sides of the road.

Local businesses say the change to the area would be beneficial.

“In the summer we’re just so slow, because we don’t have a patio. So if it made this area more enjoyable to walk up and down the street, especially getting some tree lining and stuff, and making it more of a closed off area where people can walk around and bar hop more, it would be way better,” said Shayla Cake, Supervisor at Bushwakker Brewing.

Cake said over the years many businesses have left the area because of the way it is designed.

“Making it so people actually want to come here will help this area reflourish, because this used to be the bar strip, and we don’t even have that right now in Regina,” said Cake.

The manager of the Gym Star Pro Shop on Dewdney, Jason Anton, said fitness enthusiasts at the Brickhouse Gym would enjoy seeing something else to look at besides dirt.

Jason Anton

Jason Anton is the manager of Gym Star Pro Shop.

“We have our upstairs facility where we have all our cardio equipment outlooking onto Dewdney. So while you’re doing some cardio equipment and you’re staring out the window, you could watch a beautiful park or maybe catch a cool game,” Anton said.

Cake said a park with a walking path would be a great way to use the land.

The Regina Red Sox have released a concept plan for a 3,500-seat baseball stadium. The proposed location is the vacant railyards on Dewdney Avenue, just south of the Warehouse District and directly north of the downtown core. However, no groups have been chosen to use the land.