Streets of the City of Selkirk

Have you ever wondered why the streets and avenues of Selkirk have the name they do? Now you can find out why with our walking tour.

See the points of interest and read about the famous, infamous and forgotten characters our streets are named for. View artifacts that chronicle Selkirk, the area and it’s history.

 

Queen Avenue

Queen Avenue honours Queen Victoria who ruled the Great Britain from 1837 to 1901. Victoria became queen of England when she was just 18 years old.  By the time she died, 64 years later, she was Empress of India and ruler of the largest empire in the world. Her reign was the longest of any…

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Robinson Avenue

Robinson Avenue is named for Captain William Robinson, a man of many talents who grew rich in shipping, timber and fishing. Robinson’s fleet of fishing boats and tugs, fishing and timber camps provided 1000 jobs to the people of the region every year. His enterprises provided timber and fish for processing in Selkirk’s first factories…

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Dufferin Avenue

This street honours Lord Dufferin, Canada’s third Governor-General.  It is on the Selkirk Town Plan of 1875. On August 17, 1877, Lord and Countess of Dufferin actually visited the town! The Governor-General and his wife were the highest ranking persons ever to visit the fledgling community.  Their visit convinced her citizens that Selkirk was fated…

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Morris Avenue

Morris Avenue is named for Manitoba’s second Lieutenant-Governor, Alexander Morris. Morris was given a street name on the earliest plan of the town. Why? Because Morris changed the development pattern of Selkirk … and all of Western Canada. He also made it possible for hundreds of newcomers from Ontario to become wealthy in the west.…

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Superior Avenue

Superior Avenue points eastward to Lake Superior from where the rail line from Eastern Canada was inching its way west in 1875. The next step would be the building of the rail bridge across the Red River!  Selkirk would become “the new Chicago”- the transportation hub of Western Canada (see map of proposed railway 1882).…

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Manitoba Avenue

Manitoba was Canada’s fifth province and its first expansion into the west. Selkirk was one of the first new towns in this new province. With the prospects of becoming the transportation hub for western Canada, Selkirk was a town with unlimited potential. A street named “Manitoba” captured the feelings of enthusiasm and optimism about the…

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Clandeboye Avenue

The Governor General and his family lived on an estate in Ireland called Clandeboye. When Lord and Lady Dufferin visited Selkirk in 1877, as Queen Victoria’s representative, it was a momentous event! Naming a street after the noble visitors’ home showed the loyalty of the townspeople. It also might have created an address that drew…

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Eaton Avenue

Eaton Avenue was named for William Herbison (W.H.) Eaton, a member of Timothy Eaton’s merchandising-empire family. W.H. Eaton and two of Timothy Eaton’s sons came to Selkirk in the late 1870’s and set up businesses.  The boys ran a livery stable and made money renting wagons, carriages and teams of horses to construction crews and…

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McLean Avenue

The name of this avenue recognizes the family of D.W. McLean. The family farmhouse stood on the NW corner where Knox Church was built in 1904. Sometimes naming a street in honour of a landowner helped persuade him to sell when the town fathers wanted the land.   “Church Street” One of the architectural treasures…

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Vaughan Avenue

Vaughan Avenue commemorates the long service and guidance to the community by two remarkable surveyors, father Amos Vaughan and son Lynds Smith Vaughan. Amos did the first surveys of the town and even labelled the streets on the first town plan.  He and his son L.S. alternated as town surveyors and councilors for more than…

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Britannia Avenue

Britannia Avenue is a tribute to the connection that Selkirk residents felt toward the British monarchy. The avenue was likely named at the start of World War I when British patriotism was at its peak in the town.  British jingoism was at its height between the Boer War and the beginning of WWI.  Songs such…

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Rosser Avenue

Rosser Avenue recognizes former Confederate General, Thomas Lafayette Rosser.   Greasing the Wheels of Progress In 1881, as chief engineer of the CPR, he granted Selkirk’s fondest wish. For a price, he gave Selkirk a rail line, though such branches were against CPR policy. Many thousands of extra dollars changed hands before track was laid.…

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Eveline Street

The name Eveline was given to the muddy trail behind the busy waterfront in 1875.  Eveline was most likely the wife of inn-keeper and entrepreneur, John Greig.   Selkirk’s First Commercial Street Before the creation of Selkirk, the “inner trail”, as it had been known for 50 years, led along the river bank to Lower…

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Schultz Ave

Dr. John Christian Schultz had come to prominence by leading the “Canadian faction” opposing Louis Riel’s efforts to make Manitoba a province.  He invested in Selkirk and came to own the land that became Clandeboye, Manitoba and Superior Avenues.  He built the first Merchants Hotel in 1877.   A Real Scallywag After Louis Riel had…

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Colcleugh Ave

Colcleugh Avenue is named for Selkirk’s first Mayor and founder, James Colcleugh.   The Birth of Selkirk As a contractor on the telegraph line between Rat Portage and Manitoba, Colcleugh reached a spot tentatively called “Selkirk” which was to be “the crossing” of the Red River.  The location was just a mark on a railway…

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