3 min

Park cruisers talk about their favourite haunts

Warm spring means the boys have been out early & often

Hooray! Hooray! It’s the month of May! Outdoor fucking starts today!

An early and overly warm spring means that park cruising season started early this year.

In a downtown gay porn shop, Xtra asked three veterans for advice on finding Ottawa’s cruising hotspots — and what to do once you’re there. In spirit of park sex anonymity (and because folks can still get tickets for cruising), their names have been changed for this story.

Jacques-Cartier Park, Bate Island, University of Quebec and Meech Lake came out on top. And the boys were quite helpful in providing education on getting buggered in the bushes safely, which enemies to look out for and how straight people will sometimes join in.

On a late summer night last year, Brian went to his favourite cruising place, Bate Island. All of a sudden, a straight man and his girlfriend opened the hatch in the back of their truck and called on a group of guys to run a train on her. Brian was surprised when he saw a few of his fellow gay cruisers jump at this opportunity.

James says he tans in the buff at Meech Lake every summer, where gays and straights, men and women alike, do the same.

“They never bother you at Meech Lake. No one seems to care,” says James.

When cruising during the day at Meech Lake, James says to be tactful in your approach. A simple crotch grab or starting up conversation after brief eye contact goes a long way.

During the conversation, all three cruisers agreed people need to be mindful of cameras and police when they’re groping around in the dark; authorities can dole out $125 fines and/or arrest any bush-beaters they happen to snare.

In most cases, the best time to go is late at night.

Old-time cruiser Richard remembers the Remic Rapids days, where gay men came in droves and fucked as many people as they wanted to in a night. This place is not busy, he says, because there isn’t enough vegetation to hide in.

“[At Remic Rapids] I remember having sex with at least 10 people in a night. On a hot evening, orgies were all over the place. No one bothered us,” says Richard. 

Richard says the National Capital Commission (NCC) is one of the biggest enemies of outdoor cruisers. Over the years, in a failed attempt to stop bush-fucking, he says the Crown corporation has trimmed away all of nature’s best.

To get rid of these outdoor cruising hotspots, he says the City creates false propaganda, telling voters about how these places attract intravenous drug users, leaving needles and condoms all over the place.

“In the old days, straights had sex in their cars all the time. They called it ‘Lover’s Lane.’ And if a police officer saw anything, he’d tap the window and that would be it. Nothing happened. The couple would drive off,” says Richard.

On more than one occasion, Richard says police caught him with his pants down in the bushes. The worst to ever happen to him was getting fined — but they usually let him go.

“The cops hide in the bushes and they will sneak up on you. One time, I had just got my pants down and this guy was giving me head. All of a sudden, these police officers scared the shit out of me with their bullhorn. They were hiding three feet behind me and I didn’t even know it. But what can I say? I’m an animal. I like fucking in the woods like an animal. And if they want to fine me, go ahead,” says Richard, adding his current favourite cruisy place is Jacques-Cartier Park.

Another word of advice James, Richard and Guy agreed on is to check the internet for any new outdoor cruising places popping up. They say as the NCC keeps trimming trees, new cruising areas keep materializing. One of these cruising websites is (owned by Xtra publisher Pink Triangle Press), which has photos, maps, descriptions, cruising tips, warnings and comments from users.