Parks

Queen’s Park

304 Eveline Street

1 acre (approx.)

The site that is now home to Queens Park was vacant since the construction of the Selkirk Lift Bridge in 1935, and perhaps even longer as before the bridge, this junction was a busy ferry crossing.

In May 1951, the local International Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) lodge leased this land from the city so that they could beautify it. Over the next two summers, its members regularly met there to plant shrubs and tend to the gardens they created.

R. H. Welham of the IOOF appeared before council in March 1953 to say that his members had become discouraged with the amount of vandalism in the park and that he would be meeting with the city’s parks board soon to see if a solution could be found.

That solution, it seems, was for the city to take back ownership of the land.

Around this time, like most communities in Manitoba, Selkirk was planning its Coronation Day festivities. Elizabeth II had ascended to the throne on February 6, 1952, after the death of her father George VI, but her coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey would not take place until June 2, 1953.

Having a new park space to name in her honour was perfect timing for Selkirk’s Coronation Day Committee. The first event that day was the planting of a tree by the mayor Steve Oliver at the site to be known as Queen’s Park. In all, seven trees gifted to the city by Mr. S. Cawson would be planted.

In 1956, the footprint of the park was expanded to the south.

The IOOF didn’t abandon their work in the park. Numerous improvements took place over the next decade, including the planting of more trees and shrubs and the addition of more gardens, all with the cooperation of the IOOF.

Christian Cassidy