Selkirk Manitoba is the home of Chuck the Channel Cat, a large catfish statue that hangs out at the local Smitty’s. Selkirk is roughly 20km (12 miles) north of Winnipeg along Highway 9. Known as “The Catfish Capital of the World” because of the record-sized catches on the local stretch of the Red River. The roughly 30-foot tall catfish was erected in 1986 and is named for local fisherman Chuck Norquay.
Selkirk is known for its great fishing, obviously, but there is a lot more to be discovered in this town of over 10,000 people.
The Marine Museum of Manitoba is situated at the entrance to Selkirk Park at 490 Eveline Street. The open-air museum was established in 1972 and provides visitors with a unique hands-on, heritage experience that tells the story of the development and the operation of marine life on Lake Winnipeg and the Red River. Visitors get to board the actual ships that navigated the waters of the world’s tenth-largest lake and will learn about how the Port of Selkirk played a vital role in the development of Manitoba. Walking through the history of those ships is pretty cool but be warned the ships are not built for us bigger folks, watch your head, shoulders, elbows, stomach…you get my drift.
When you are done at the Marine Museum you should continue on into Selkirk Park and take a spin around it. A relatively small park, with some gravel roads, but a nice hiking trail that is well worth the stop to explore. The park has a lot of nice features like a man-made beach/pool, an excellent skate park, rodeo grounds and so much more.
Just down the street, Evelyn Street, is Queen’s Park along the Red River waterfront. A nice waterfront area to sit back, relax and cast a line to catch a catfish or three. A great place to get a nice view of the Selkirk Lift Bridge.
If you plan to be in the Selkirk area on Canada Day the city will be hosting a Virtual Canada Day Concert Celebration on July 1 at 3 p.m. where local artists will be performing in different locations across the city. If you happen to come across one of the performances stop and enjoy it from a safe distance or stream it online.
When you have reached your maximum Selkirk experience for the day there are several great roads to explore leaving the city. If you are headed to Winnipeg, I highly recommend taking Eveline Street (a pretty popular street) south. It will turn into River Road North and get you to Highway 8, right by Lower Fort Garry. If you are heading to a destination in Eastman you can cross the Selkirk Lift Bridge and head for Highway 59 and all the great destinations it holds.
You can head North on Main Street and go for a casual cruise past the Selkirk Airport, checking out the floatplanes on the water, and then cross the Bridge to Nowhere. An excellent place for photographing the area. You can head out along Highway 9 towards Winnipeg Beach, Gimli, and all the great little cottage areas along the western shore of Lake Winnipeg.
Depending on your destination it is pretty easy to pass right by Selkirk to get to where you’re going. But if you are not in a rush I highly recommend slowing down, enjoying the ride and everything the city of Selkirk has to offer you.