Selkirk (Manitoba riding)

Selkirk, Manitoba

Selkirk is a city in the western Canadian province of Manitoba, located about 22 km northeast of the provincial capital Winnipeg on the Red River, near . As of the 2006 census, Selkirk had a population of 9,515.

The mainstays of the local economy are tourism, a local steel mill, and a major mental health facility. A vertical lift bridge over the Red River connects Selkirk with the smaller town of East Selkirk. The city is connected to Winnipeg via Highway 9 and is served by the Canadian Pacific Railway. Like all places in Manitoba, Selkirk has telephone Area code 204, and the city has the postal code prefix R1A.

The city was named in honour of Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk, who obtained the grant to first establish a colony in the Red River area.


The present-day city is near the center of the 160,000 square mile (530,000 km2) area purchased by the Earl of Selkirk from the Hudson's Bay Company. The first settlers of the Red River Colony arrived in 1813. Although the settlers negotiated a treaty with the Salteaux Indians of the area, the commercial rivalry between the Hudson's Bay Company and the North West Company gave rise to violent confrontations between the settlers and the trading companies. In recognition of the Earl's importance in bringing settlers to the region, the town was named Selkirk and incorporated in 1882.

Economy and tourism

The Selkirk Mental Health Centre, the largest mental health facility in the province, is a major employer in the city. The Centre's surroundings are a park-like campus on the outskirts of the city, providing a safe and pleasant atmosphere for a caring, hopeful, empowering facility that assures recovery for patients.

Gerdau AmeriSteel Steel, a company headquartered in Toronto and Tampa, owns a steel minimill in Selkirk. This steel mill (known locally as MRM or "The Manitoba Rolling Mills") is also a major employer.

Selkirk is advertised as the Catfish Capital of the World, due to the large amounts of catfish in the nearby Red River. This moniker was part of an advertising campaign to entice American anglers, who travel to Manitoba to fish for trophy-sized catfish. Selkirk is also home to Chuck the Channel Cat, a fiberglass representation of a catfish that measures 25-foot (7.5-metre) long. The name Chuck was chosen to honour local sport fisherman Chuck Norquay, who drowned while doing what he loved best — fishing in the Red River. After Chuck was built in 1986, the town council decided to place Chuck in front of Smitty's Restaurant on Main Street.

The Marine Museum of Manitoba, a collection of historical marine artifacts of Lake Winnipeg and the Red River area, is located in Selkirk. Selkirk is also the site of a Canadian Coast Guard base.

The Selkirk Fair and Rodeo is held annually to celebrate the area's agricultural history. It celebrated its 130th anniversary in 2008.


Selkirk is home to the Selkirk Steelers ice hockey team who play in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. They play at the Selkirk Recreation Complex. Selkirk is also home to the Selkirk Fishermen Junior B hockey team who play in the Keystone Junior Hockey League. The Selkirk Rivermen Hockey Club plays in the SIHL.

A recent sporting event Selkirk hosted was the 2007 Women's World Ice Hockey Championships (as co-host with Manitoba's provincial capital, Winnipeg). Canada defeated the rival United States team, by 5-1 on April 10 — in the MTS Centre of Winnipeg.

Neighbouring communities

North: Petersfield
West: Stonewall Selkirk East: East Selkirk
South: Lockport


External links

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