The Selkirk Community Arts Centre
The Art Works of the Gwen Fox Gallery members

Gwen Fox Gallery

History T"The Old Post Office"

The Selkirk Community Arts Centre - Home of the Gwen Fox Gallery


The land was purchased for $50 in 1905. Many business leaders had wanted Ottawa to build closer to Eveline St., which at the time was the community's main commercial district. The Board of Trade complained in 1906 that a Main Street location would be "too far removed" from the business center and unsuitable and inconvenient.

Nevertheless, the Dominion government pressed ahead and construction began in 1907. The walls were red brick against a milled wooden frame, the roof built of tar and gravel. Band and keystones of limestone organize the design. Not only did the building house the Post Office and customs house, but the second floor held offices for the local police department

and the Indian Agent. In later years the Fisheries Dept. would take occupancy of the second floor. The building served its original function until 1957, when the Post Office moved to a new location a few blocks south on Main Street. It had only been used by Ottawa for 50 years ! Then a local developer bought the property, threw up partitions, and used the building as a "rooming house". It was condemned in 1979 as unfit for human habitation. The future looked grim and the building seemed destined for demolition, as had many others from the same period. But in 1984, its fortune changed.

A group in Selkirk, dedicated to both the arts and protecting the historic building, moved in. The tireless volunteers raised about $450, 000 from federal, provincial and local governments to return the building to some of its former glory. It was reofficially opened by Culture, Heritage and Recreation Minister, Bonnie Michellson in the summer of 1991.

However, as grants and monies from the government became increasingly more difficult to obtain, the debts became greater and greater until finally, the "Old Post Office", home of the Selkirk Community Arts Centre, was scheduled to go for "tax sale" in September 1998. Again, a group of volunteers dug in their heels and with some help from the City of Selkirk, once more saved the Old Post Office!

It REMAINS home to the Arts Centre, as well as the tenants who share space in it. The Selkirk Community Arts Centre hosts a different exhibit each and every month as well as a unique Gift Boutique for that special gift.

The SCAC is a totally volunteer organization.