It was June 30th, 1912 – the day of the most deadly tornado in Canadian history.
The deadly storm left an indelible mark on the city of Regina, taking lives and changing the landscape of the city forever.
28 people were killed in the storm, 300 people were injured and more than 2500 Regina residents were left homeless.
Wind speeds recorded in the storm were close to 400km, which would put the storm in the F 4 category. The strongest tornado in recorded Canadian history is an F5. That cyclone hit Elie Manitoba on June 22, 2007.
The Regina cyclone hit the city just before 5 PM – lasted only a few minutes and would leave some 500 buildings destroyed in the Queen City. The estimated damages at the time were right around the 1.2 million dollar mark – which adjusted for inflation 100 years later is close to 40 million in damages.
Regina historian Kenton DeJong noted that there are several memorials and sites around the city you can visit which are closely tied to the cyclone. Including graves in the Regina Cemetery and a commemorative art installation on Broad Street. DeJong noted that the mystique of the cyclone sometimes replaces facts with stories connected to the cyclone ranging from a connection to the Titanic and famed actor Boris Karlof.
DeJong points to one story in specific. There were two boys in a canoe on Wascana Lake when the cyclone hit. Their canoe was picked up out of the lake – hurled into the air. The boys vanished into the storm, and their bodies were later found on the lake’s north shore.
Dozens of stories like this exist in records pertaining to the storm – painting a tragic picture of this country’s most deadly tornado – the Regina Cylcone.