Selkirk Street was named by Canadian Pacific Railway planners for Scottish philanthropist, Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk, who played a large role in settling Scottish migrants in Canada, including the establishment of the Red River Colony which later became Manitoba. And during the pandemic when I was bored and looking for a new route to replace an old favourite, Selkirk Street jumped out of the map of Vancouver, begging to be run.
Back in March 2019, the first route we ran together after the Cambie RR closed to become a cannabis store was the Hillcrest-Inverness 10k. It was basically a box with a tail at the top leading to and from Hillcrest Community Centre where we landed for a week before Dave Cressman took us in from the literal cold and let us meet at Distance Runwear. Hillcrest-Inverness was a great route from Hillcrest but when modified to start and finish at Distance Runwear, it meant an extra two crossings of Main Street which didn’t make a lot of sense, especially the two in the last kilometre or so.
With that in mind, I aimed to create a mirror image of Hillcrest-Inverness, basically by flipping it across its Ontario Street axis, and Selkirk Du Soleil 10k was born. Following 37th Avenue to the Ontario bikeway, Selkirk Du Soleil hops briefly onto the Langara Golf Course perimeter path south and then westward to Cambie Street and onto Oak Street along 57th Avenue. From Oak, the route joins Selkirk Street via a driveway path at the dead-end of 55th Avenue.
Selkirk zigs and zags northward to 37th and actually disappears for five blocks during which the route takes a right zag to Montgomery Street between 50th and 45th, before it zigs left again to rejoin Selkirk.