Wednesday, 16 May 2012

My Selkirk

I grew up in Selkirk, Manitoba, population 10,000 or so. Not sure. Depends how much of the surrounding area you count. It is a the usual Prairie combination of sweet quaintness and bleak sameness that are all small towns.

Here follows a long photo essay of my home town.

There are a lot of photos. You might get bored. 


Dark Shadows. Dirty Car.

Strippers and beer

Classy like steak house now. Used to be the place for underaged teens to get beer. Not me, though, mom.

Fancy now. Used to be old school drive in with the trays that hung on the car window.

Thrivingest business in town.

Used to be Balcan's house. Not it's a bank or something.

the house I lived in from birth til 8 years. The upper window was my bedroom window.  Many Barbie and GI Joe corpses beneath it.

the parking lot across from my first home. I got lost in the parking lot when I was 3 - couldn't see over the cars. I'm still recovering.

maybe you had your high school graduation on this boat?

photo credit:

Rexall, but originally it was The Met store. Karen and I would sit on the steps waiting for Ron Gigolyk to drive by in his Gremlin. And then after he did, we'd go to the Riverboat for french fries. 

Apparently there were hockey games here. And the beginnings and endings of many a Junior High romance. Not mine.

Socials were held here to raise money for teenaged brides. Rye bread, cheese and kolbasa.

Curling club. For Selkirk's Scottish community who liked to drink in places where it was cold and people screamed at brooms.

When I was taking this picture I heard this little voice "hello.... hello...". There was an old guy in a wheel chair stuck down the ramp below the wall in this photo. If I hadn't heard him he'd have been there all night! Poor chap. 

Lutheran Church. For the Germans.
My high school. God in upper left hand corner waiting to smite those who were mean to me.

Where fancy Selkirk Ladies buy their clothes

Now a respectable art gallery. It was mostly unused when I was growing up.

Where to go for things made of plastic, Garfield figurines and toxic toys.

Strippers and Beer

Site of Hooker's Lumber Supply.

Will someone just tell Peter Gabriel already?

Merchant's Hotel. I am not allowed inside.

Closed now. Riverside Grill used in movies - super old school.

Mural commemorating Selkirk's annual Cotton Candy harvest and Acid Trip Festival

If you have to ask, you wouldn't understand.

Fire Hall

Mclean Ave

used to be Souter's house. Currently being decorated for a movie set thingie.

Selkirk can do better.

This one's for Kevin Patterson. Victory comes with a price. At least when it comes to Banana Split Eating contests...

my mom is, like, totally into this place.

Site of the Esso station where the Robert Smith patrols stored their flags. There was  gas there and a garage of some sort as well.

Used to be where my dentist, Irving Olofson had his office. Two doors down (far left) was a candy shop.

Grades 1 and 2. 

I never went here, but Sherene Sololoski did. And she was pretty popular.

Have to include Chuck the Channel Cat.

Road to Nowhere

My mom says she gets all my Xmas gifts here.

Who doesn't love Sears?

Place of fries and cola.

Site of my first/best job.

Pump house

The horror... the horror.

Robert Smith School. It used to be brightly coloured. 

Fancy church

More wedding receptions and socials for teenaged brides.


Centennial School. I didn't go here for school, but I went to Brownies here for a little bit.

Kara's house.

no idea who lives there, but my mom really likes the tree, so it gets in the blog.

Nancy's house.

Playground. Ish.

Mom and Dad's first house.

what one feeds hoards of teenaged bride's guests.

United Church. Even Satan is welcome there. As long as he makes a donation to the Building Fund.

Melinda's house. So many languid summer days in that porch


  1. Awesome Ellen! I thought I was the only one who thought SJH was full of horrors! As for your parents *first house* parents lived there too at the same time.

  2. Boring? Hell no! Awesome!
    But why do hookers need wood?

    "Looking for Mercy Street
    Wear your inside out
    Looking for mercy"
    Great song! (and old...1986 or so)

    Thanks El!

    xo Marcel

  3. I love the photo of the high school with the awesome cloud!

  4. Kevin Patterson16 May 2012 at 12:28

    Gorgeoushorrible. I forgot just how much

    1. Kevin, I thought you'd like this one.

  5. Simon Morrison16 May 2012 at 12:51

    I remember it chiefly for the winters, as opposed to the big sky summertime captured here. I worked in the KFC and frequented the DQ. And in the mall, at a defunct book and stationery store, where one day a friend of mine came in to tell me that his father, a nurse, had been killed at the prison (Stony Mountain).

    1. Simon, I creeped you on Facebook and didn't know you were all smartiepants and a professor and all. Well done! Ted Bachman would be proud. And then he'd throw his baton at you and call you a dumkoff. Say hi to Duncan.

  6. That was a pleasant little tour. Brought back some memories. Many changes since we lived there.
    Thank you Ellen.
    Elaine May (Krista's Mom)
    Ladysmith BC

  7. Hello, I'm just wandering about in the blogsphere to see what I find. Fun to see all these pictures of your home town :)...

  8. Nice tour of the town - SJH was/is not a nice place to be when you are a teenager...

  9. Thanks for the trip down memory lane, I think. It looks like it has gotten a little more desolate than I remember - but that might not be possible...

  10. If memory serves (and usually it doesn't), Andre Liley also drove a Gremlin. I'm glad you were there to help that man stuck by the ramp. Well done.

  11. Darlene Roblin17 May 2012 at 10:30

    Thanks for the photo tour.....used to work at The Met and you are correct....Riverboat had the best fries and coke ever! Spent much of my youth at the old rink too....

  12. Never been to Selkirk, but this post is pretty much bang-on from what I remember of Manitoba. Nostalgic. :)

  13. Oh man: I used to live there when I was a kid. Haven't been there in almost 15 years. A lot's different, a lot's stayed the same.

    Your comment about SJH: bang on.

  14. Maureen Bennet25 May 2012 at 08:09

    Love the photo of the mural depicting Selkirk's Cotton Candy and Acid Trip Festival. My sister, Rita, had her students from Happy Thought School paint this as a class project. Pretty cool. But makes me wonder what devishness she was into in her youth!