Ottawa LGBT History: The Ottawa Knights

It's said that the widespread attraction to men in leather began in the Second World War when men in uniforms were everywhere, and later with films like "The Wild Ones" which featured a leather-clad Marlon Brando on a motorcycle. 

Ottawa's leather club, the Ottawa Knights, were formed, as their Web site claims, on the back of a bus in 1975, when a group of friends returned from a leather weekend in Montreal. 

They hosted their first leather bar knight at Valentino's in Gatineau, and moved around sporadically at various bars until they finally found a home base on the top floor at Centretown Pub in 1991. The bar knights become a monthly event for over 25 years, and offer an opportunity to promote the club and the leather community, and to raise funds for local LGBT charities. 

One of their signature events is the Toys for Tots fundraiser that they've organized yearly since 1976, asking community members to donate toys for underprivileged children in an Ottawa valley town. 

In 1992, they begin to host a Mr. Leather Ottawa competetion which becomes a key event in the LGBT social calendar. 

Mr Leather Ottawa titleholders:

  • 1994 Ghislain Dubeau
  • 1995 Peter Cairns
  • 1996 Paul Nicholl
  • 1997 Erich Proshaska
  • 1998 Thom Lockwood
  • 1999 Dean Ross
  • 2000 Howard Hao
  • 2001 Norman Miller
  • 2002 Alex Wisniowski
  • 2003 Douglas Connors
  • 2004 Steve Hould
  • 2005 Shawn Carroll
  • 2006 Mario Larochelle
  • 2007 Gerry "Sqweaky" Legault
  • 2008 Richard Hubley
  • 2009 Brendan McGovern
  • 2010 Mike Tattersall
  • 2011 Robert MacMillan
  • 2012 Isaac Wesley
  • 2013 Karl Couture
  • 2014 Jon Nizzi “Greatpup” Letke
  • 2015 Keven Allen
  • 2016 Jay Blackshire
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Somerset Street West and Bank Street