Willy's

Willy's was one of two bars opened and operated by Willy Wilgress, who was a popular bartender at Shades for many years. Her other location, called Willy's Upstairs, was in the Byward Market at 87 George Street. In recent years, this location has…

Venus Envy

An awesome, clean and friendly sex shop for women and queer folks? Yes, please. Venus Envy Ottawa is one of two small Canadian sex shops, the other being Halifax, which also has a full bookstore.It first opened in 2001 on Parent Avenue in the Byward…

Ten Oaks Project

Holly and Julia Wagg, parents themselves, decided to found a new organization in 2004 that would offer LGBT children or children of LGBT parents, a safe, welcoming and educational and supportive summer camp program that nurtures self-worth and…

One in Ten

Now located on the second floor at 256 Bank, One in Ten is a long-standing gay-owned sex shop. The store was located further north at 216 Bank for many years. Primarily a video rental store, with sex toys, lubes and condoms, the store also boasts a…

Gays of Ottawa: 270 Somerset Street W

Less than a month after the 'We Demand' demonstration on Parliament Hill, Maurice Bélanger and Michael Black invite five others at their home at 906–270 Somerset Street W on September 14, 1971, to discuss forming a gay rights organization in…

VIDEO: EGALE and the Battle for Equal Marriage

Egale Canada (Egale was originally was an acronym for Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere) had started in 1985 as a queer civil rights group in the living room of Jamie Robertson. Their main initial goal was to have sexual orientation protected…

Capital Xtra! - Xtra! Ottawa

With the increasing costs and amount of time of maintaining printing of the GO Info periodical, Gays of Ottawa, which by this time was called Association of Lesbians and Gays of Ottawa, asked Pink Triangle Press, publisher of the successful Xtra!…

Canadian AIDS Society

Located at 190 O'Connor Street, CAS was founded in 1986 at the height of the AIDS crisis with 16 original members, including the AIDS Committee of Ottawa, working out of a shared Edmonton office. CAS becomes a registered charity in 1988 and moves to…

Ottawa LGBT History: Queer People of Colour

Like anywhere, queer people of colour in Ottawa are an intersection of minority groups and may face racism in the LGBT community, and homophobia or transphobia in their ethnic community. Visibility of queer PoC in the LGBT community has been lacking…

Bank Street Diversity Mural

This mural, meant to recognize the history and diversity of the Bank Street community, was commissioned and painted in or around 2010 by the Bank Street Business Improvement Association. The focus is a reproduction of an archival photograph showing a…