Downtown Regina resident 'disturbed' by glockenspiel chimes months after its resurrection

·3 min read
The glockenspiel in downtown Regina.
The glockenspiel in downtown Regina.

(Rob Kruk/CBC - image credit)

Ever since the glockenspiel was restored to the northeast edge of Victoria Park in downtown Regina, its bells have chimed twice a day, six days a week.

While many have rejoiced in hearing the music once again, one downtown resident says he is reliving a nightmare.

"No one wants to live next door to clanging bells," Ron Thomas said, who lives in The Manor located in the TD building on Hamilton Street.

The Regina Multicultural Council purchased the glockenspiel in 1985, but it was gifted to the city in 1988 and became part of the city's civic art collection.

It remained on the corner of Scarth Street and 12th Avenue until it was taken down in 2010 during the construction of City Square Plaza.

Regina's glockenspiel is located on the northeast edge of Victoria Park in downtown.
Regina's glockenspiel is located on the northeast edge of Victoria Park in downtown.

The glockenspiel remained in storage for a decade because it needed repairs.

"People were doing high fives when it broke down because it was really an irritating bell," Thomas said.

In recent years, the city spent about $350,000 refurbishing the glockenspiel, which was originally built in Germany.

In October of 2020, the glockenspiel returned to its original glory.

"I was disturbed to hear it was coming back," Thomas said.

Looking for a solution

Thomas is now lobbying the city to reduce the bells' schedule.

"There's no way we can shut it off permanently because the city said it was built to ring, so I think a good compromise would be once a day at noon instead of twice a day," Thomas said.

Downtown resident Ron Thomas would like to have the glockenspiel ring just once a day opposed to twice a day.
Downtown resident Ron Thomas would like to have the glockenspiel ring just once a day opposed to twice a day.

The bells currently ring at 12 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. CST Monday to Friday, and 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. CST on Saturdays. The frequency of programming and timing of the bells was chosen based on other cities worldwide with a town glockenspiel.

Consultation planned for March

Ward 3 Coun. Andrew Stevens said Thomas and his partner have been "the only ones to lodge any resemblance of a complaint about the bells."

Thomas said he sent a note to residents in his building asking for their support, but since then it appears they've shown the opposite.

"The neighbours have responded by supporting the glockenspiel and the use of the bells in the downtown," Stevens said.

Ward 3 Coun. Andrew Stevens says he measures complaints about the glockenspiel against positive responses.
Ward 3 Coun. Andrew Stevens says he measures complaints about the glockenspiel against positive responses.

The councillor said he is not discrediting Thomas's concerns, but he "measures complaints with positive responses when it comes to this issue."

In a statement, the city said it has received complaints on the issue "from a small number of residents."

"The city has committed to a review in March on the programming of the glockenspiel and whether any adaptations are required. We will include an invitation to downtown residents should they wish to provide input into the review."

Stevens is confident the issue will be resolved. He said accommodations have already been made around the glockenspiel's lighting and bells.