Opinion
2 min

Our spaces, September 1993

A look back at where Ottawa's gay community gathered 20 years ago

Le Club
77 Wellington St, Hull
Afterhours club. When the bars closed at 1am there would be a mass exodus to Le Club, which was open until 3am. It mysteriously burned down and the owner disappeared, then checked himself into the hospital a few days later.

Taktiks
151 George St
Ottawa’s premier gay dance club. Also the host of Capital Xtra’s launch party.

Centretown Pub
340B Somerset St W
Located on the first floor of the three-storey complex including Cellblock and Ozon. A community gathering space in the heart of the gay village, it still serves today.

Cell Block
340B Somerset St W
Located on the second floor of the three-floor complex including Centretown Pub and Ozon. Dance club featuring cruisy events, leather nights and host to the line-dancing group Bytown Boots.

Wilde’s
367 Bank St
Wilde’s was the first adult shop to target Ottawa’s gay community. It still exists today and sells sex toys, porn and clothing.

Club Ottawa
1069 Wellington St
A “health club” that was part of the Club chain (including Club Vancouver and the defunct Club Toronto). Smaller, basic bathhouse, still in business today.

Ozon Bar & Grill
340B Somerset St W
Located in the basement of the three-floor complex including Centretown Pub and Cell Block. Piano lounge and restaurant, later transformed into Silhouette Piano Bar.

Pink Triangle Services
251 Bank St
A community-services spinoff from Gays of Ottawa, PTS was the first gay Canadian organization to become a registered charity. PTS features the Gayline telephone support line, discussion groups, seniors’ groups, counselling and more.

Association of Lesbians and Gays of Ottawa Centre
318 Lisgar St
Used to be the Gay Centre. Birthplace of Gays of Ottawa and Pink Triangle Services, organizer of a number of social events for the gay and lesbian community, such as Lavender Laundrette, an all-women’s event, and men’s and women’s discussion groups.

ByTowne Cinema
325 Rideau St
Independent cinema that featured — and still does — movies with LGBT content. Screenings of The Crying Game and Apartment Zero were included in the event listings of Capital Xtra’s first issue.

After Stonewall
105 4th Ave
Gay and lesbian bookstore and culture hub. Possibly the only place in Ottawa you could find books, clothing, CDs and lube all in the same store. Regularly harassed by Canadian Customs, which would detain “obscene materials.”

More on Xtra Ottawa's 20th anniversary:

20 years of shining the light: Practising community journalism is vital, but it's a difficult task

Thinking back to Frontlash  — a column that sparked discussion and ruffled the status quo

Whither Ottawa's gay community — the early gay movement's shared aim is disappearing

Headlines from 10 years ago — Some of the stories from the 10th anniversary issue, Sept 11, 2003

Headlines from 20 years ago — some of the stories from Capital Xtra's first issue

Memoirs of an Art Fag — this '90s scenester column tackled both politics and culture