Eastview: An Introduction

A few months ago, my husband and I decided to go for a walk in a neighbourhood we knew little about – something we used to do in Montreal (pick a metro station and go).  Being born and raised in Regina, there are few neighbourhoods that we haven’t been to, but there are lots that we haven’t spent time in… and Eastview is one of them.

The only neighbourhood that I know of in Regina with signage like this... the best!

While I am not super familiar with Eastview, I have always thought it was an interesting neighbourhood that I wanted to get to know better.  For those less familiar, Eastview is a small neighbourhood (less than one square kilometer in size) nestled in the industrial and warehouse districts of the City.

Because of its unique location, Eastview may seem disconnected from the rest of the city, and in a way it is.  It is not particularly easy to walk from Eastview to other neighbourhoods or to most ammenities.  Even though it is rated as “somewhat walkable” from walkscore, a number of streets on the western edge of the neighbourhood are effectively dead ends as they meet the City of Regina public works yards.  In addition, it is split down the middle by train tracks – during out walk, a small train went through.

I saw lots of yellow homes in Eastview - their brightness really stood out!

To generalize, Eastview is considered a working class neighbourhood: looking at the City of Regina 2001 Neighbourhood Profile, the average household income is ~$33,500/year (~40% incidence of low income), with the top two occupations being sales and services occupations and trades and equipment operators.  There are a fair number of single parent families, and for many residents their education level maxes out at grade 12.  However, like every neighbourhood, there are exceptions: there are a number of households bringing in over$70,000/year, and quite a few people are working in business, finance, and management occupations.

Anyway, suffice it to say that I am interested in learning more about Eastview and our walk was a nice introduction – we checked out Ross Food Center and Haultain School and I am thoroughly intrigued by the quirky and rough-around-the-edges feeling of the neighbourhood.

I’d love to hear if people have info or stories about Eastview, and I look forward to more walks there.

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Eastview: An Introduction

8 thoughts on “Eastview: An Introduction

  1. Geoff says:

    The reason it’s located surrounded by industrial is that it was originally built specifically for employees of the Imperial Oil refinery that used to be located just to the north.

    1. Thanks for that Geoff! It makes sense as just to the west was the General Motors plant too.

      It makes me curious about dates now as well. The Neighbourhood Profile says that most of the housing stock in the area was built from 1946-1970 but there are some pre-1946. I’d love to see aerial photos of the city to see the development of the area (and the entire city for that matter).

  2. Trish Elliott says:

    Sadly, like many inner city schools Haultain has been neglected for years and is on the list of schools to be closed, which will be a serious blow to this unique and homey neighbourhood.

  3. wourliem says:

    At the beginning of my urban awareness I felt Eastview would be a neighbourhood with a lot of social connections because of its isolation. Google maps shows how different and separate the neighbourhood is from the surrounding uses. There is also important social infrastructure in Haultain School and the community centre. It will be a huge blow, as Trish said, for that community to lose Haultain.

    The first time I went exploring the area was last summer by car. I was hoping to see a commercial area, containing maybe a restaurant and some office space but wasn’t able to find one.

    The Ross Foods grocer is really awesome, I’d love to have an old place like that in my neighbourhood (There are newer versions in my neighbourhood).

    I was pressing my Mother for Eastview stories last night, thinking she’d worked there at the Abilities Council in the past. She told me, in fact, her work was more in Ross Industrial than Eastview proper although it was nearby.

    My Mom did have a story about one male Eastview resident who she worked with at the Abilities Council who was deaf. His mother (the family was of Italian decent) knew something was different with him as a baby because, she said, when the trains went by, her young son wouldn’t cry like his older sister had always done.

    The husband in the family worked at the Labatt’s brewery which wasn’t too far away.

    My mother’s story was an interesting insight to your train experience Laura, where the consistent train traffic becomes an important part of residents’ life.

  4. Dawn Campbell says:

    Thank you for such a wonderful story about Eastview. I have lived in this area for much of my 37 years. We moved in when I was 2, and other than a few scattered months here and there over the years, I’ve always lived here. I love this area, and always have.

    One truly unique aspect of Eastview is that you have generations of the same families living in the area. Many people I went to Haultain with now have moved back with their families. My children are friends with the children of the people I went to school with. Talk about knowing the parents of your children’s friends!

    Many people believe that Eastview is not a great place to live, but it is like living in a small town inside a larger city. I don’t think that there is a block that I don’t know someone. And that is the way it has always been for me. I have never been concerned walking these streets after dark.

    If you ever want to know more about Eastview or if you want to take a walk through the area with me (I can point out a lot), let me know.

  5. Brandi says:

    I grew up in Eastview (in the house next door to the bluish grey one in your last thumbnail!) The isolation made for a truly unique childhood. As Dawn said, it’s so much like a small town. As kids we would walk to Ross to eat lunch in the cafe. We would ride our bikes in circles for hours after school(because there was nowhere else to go!) We would play touch football on the front lawn of the school. We had the most amazing teachers.

    It’s a place where you know your neighbors. Even if you don’t like them all, there plenty that you thank God for. The kind of neighbors who shovel your sidewalk just because. The kind of neighbors who come over to make sure everything is okay when your teenage daughter didn’t close the door all the way on her way to the mall and it blew open in the wind. The kind of neighbors who invite you for dinner on Christmas Eve because they know you’re alone. The kind who let you raid their gardens because yours didn’t grow.

    My best memories come from Eastview. Basketball tournaments and Christmas concerts. Getting lost in snow drifts in the park. My best friend and I helping our moms make perogies all day. Climbing trees and walks in the rain. Skating until the lights at the rink went out.

    To this day, my closest friends are the ones I grew up with. I think you’d be hard pressed to find a group of 20-somethings who are still so emotionally attached to the neighborhood they grew up in. It wasn’t always pretty, but the good far outweighed the bad. If you truly want to know Eastview just pick the first friendly face you see and ask! Or stop by Ross for a coffee and chit chat with the employees and the patrons.

    1. Brandi – thank you so much for this! You and Dawn are giving us the type of perspective and inside view that we’re looking for. It makes it clear why schools and services in each and every community are important (the connections to your neighbours, your school friends, and the rest of the community).

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