YMCA: 123 Metcalfe

... you can hang out with all the boys...

The YMCA moved to this location on Metcalfe and Laurier (then called Maria Street) from O'Connor and Queen in 1906. A men's-only athletic club was naturally very popular with gay and bisexual men. It was equipped with a pool, billiards room, shooting gallery (!) and athletic facilities in the ground floor and basement, with 97 dormitories above.

It was said that the material that bathing suits were made of at the time would shed and clog the vents of the pool, so men were expected to swim naked in the early days. Clearly, there was an immediate appeal and cruising was known to happen throughout its time here until it was turned into the Hotel Roxborough in the 1960s.

The hotel has changed names a few times since, mostly recently the Hotel Indigo and currently The Metcalfe.

If you know more details about this place, please email info@bankstreet.ca to share dates, facts, images or more.



123 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa, ON K1P 5L9