Demolition work has begun at Evraz Place, the exhibition grounds in Regina, to make room for a new trade show facility.

A back hoe started ripping into one of the old barns Thursday morning, one of several buildings that are scheduled to be torn down in the next few months.

It's the first task leading to construction of a $37 million International Trade Centre.

"These buildings that we're going to see demolished should have been demolished years ago," Michael Fougere, mayor of Regina, said Thursday. "I'm glad it's happening now and we're pleased to be seeing that because we certainly want to accommodate the shows that are here every year, but also to expand those opportunities as well."

The new facility, slated to be completed in the fall of 2017, will provide 150,000 square feet of indoor space. It will allow Evraz Place to host events such as trade and consumer shows.