NewsNews & UpdatesBlack and white street view of the outside of Gilhuly's Drug Store in the 1950s.

For almost a century, Gilhuly’s Drug Store was a landmark on Eveline Street, making it one of Selkirk’s oldest and longest family-run businesses.

The origins of Gilhuly’s pharmacy began in 1876 when James Colcleugh, originally from Southern Ontario, opened a pharmacy in Selkirk. It was the first pharmacy opened in Selkirk and the first rural pharmacy in Manitoba. Colcleugh played an important role in Selkirk’s community including establishing a telephone exchange between Selkirk and Winnipeg in 1885 and working as the postmaster of Selkirk for over a decade.

In 1881 Richard Henry Gilhuly became an assistant to Colcleugh at his pharmacy. Richard Gilhuly was born in Ontario and graduated from the Ontario College of Pharmacy. He likewise became important to Selkirk as a postmaster and telephone manager, known for his attention to detail. Gilhuly bought the pharmacy in 1885 from James Colcleugh. At that time it was renamed Gilhuly’s Drug Store and stayed in the Gilhuly family for almost 100 years.

Newspaper ad for R.H. Gilhuly's, advertising such things as medicine and wall paper.
Gilhuly’s Drug Store Ad, September 12, 1902, Selkirk Record and Canadian Fishing Gazette

Throughout the drug store’s history the shelves were always known for being organized and very well stocked. A range of products could be bought from the store, of course there was medicine, but also newspapers, beauty products, and even corrective eyeglasses manufactured by W.B. Inman in Winnipeg. During the Holiday Season the drug store had an extraordinary display of toys. Kids would make detours on their way home to admire the window displays.

Newspaper ad for Inman's glasses being sold at Gilhuly's Drug Store.
Inman Optical Company Ad, August 21st, 1896, Selkirk Record and Canadian Fishing Gazette

Richard Gilhuly continued to manage the drug store until 1935 when his son George Gilhuly took over the family business. George Gilhuly completed his Bachelor of Pharmacy at the University of Manitoba in 1931.

The drug store operated in the same building on Eveline Street from 1900 until 1952 when it was torn down to construct a new drug store building. From 1952 onwards the drug store was located at 362 Eveline Street, one plot over from the original location. The new building enabled important medical advances for the community such as bigger fridges to store medicine, such as insulin, that needs to be kept cold.

Black and white image of Eveline Street in 1885.
Eveline Street, 1885, University of Manitoba Archive

Part of the Gilhuly’s Drug Store’s mission since 1885 was to keep abreast with the times and continually improve stock and services. This led to the renovation of new drug store building in 1969 to keep up with changing shopping aesthetics and new science about how to safely dispense and prepare medicine. These changes included new lighting for workspaces, a brightly coloured interior, and high traffic carpets. The store had a grand re-opening on June 12th, 1969.

In 1979 Lorne and Mildred Parker bought Gilhuly’s Drug Store from George Gilhuly. It continued to go by the name Gilhuly’s Drug Store until 1991 when it became Parker’s Pharmacy.

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