Union Station was constructed in 1911-12 and was actually Regina's third train station; the first is now a museum in Broadview, Saskatchewan. The station was completed the same year the deadly "Regina Cyclone" walloped the city, tearing through Wascana Park and gutting part of the downtown area.
Union Station was designated as an official heritage site in 1991.
In the early 1990s cutbacks to rail services throughout Canada lead to the closure of Regina's Union Station. The Station had been an important part of Regina's history and heritage since its opening in 1912. After the station's closure its fate remained unknown for several years.
In 1996 Casino Regina opened in the old Union Station therefore ensuring that this important landmark would remain a part of Regina for many years to come.
The building contains old railway police jail cells in the basement, that were used for transporting prisoners, and shows evidence of a tunnel representing a system of underground passages said to stretch several blocks east of the casino and south all the way to the stately Hotel Saskatchewan. How these tunnels were used is anyone's guess, but one could likely assume they were used for illegal activities, perhaps rum running during prohibition, for one. And there are rumours that Chicago gangster Al Capone was familiar with Regina and her tunnel system. These tunnels were destroyed during the construction of the Cornwall Centre, a major downtown shopping complex.
Inside, positioned prominently on a wall in the central hall, is a schedule board displaying the arrivals and departures on the day the train station closed back in 1990. The central hall itself, formerly the station's "grand concourse", features a high ceiling with elegantly simple chandeliers and an all-important clock near the top of the feature wall.
The casino houses some 800 slot machines, 35 table games, and an 8-table poker room, as well as a larger room for its almost daily poker tournaments. The 800-seat Show Lounge features big-name entertainers, and reasonably-priced meals are served in The Last Spike and Rail Car restaurants, as well as in the CPR Lounge. And now, regularly scheduled Union Station historic tours add another attraction to this grand old building.
Casino Regina continues to be a major employer in the city, employing 664 people, over fifty percent of whom are Aboriginal.