Wicked Wanda’s is on the move. The Ottawa adult shop, known for its selection of kink and fetish gear, as well as its salacious window displays, has occupied its current digs at 382 Bank St for the last five years.
But it takes only a glance around the store, which is stocked from floor to ceiling with everything from dildos and floggers to lingerie and bondage gear, to see it’s cramped for space.
On Sept 1, the store will move into its new location at 327 Bank St. Directly underneath the iconic Barrymore’s Music Hall and double the size of the current shop, the space was once known as the Imperial Arcade.
While the store isn’t moving far, manager Nathan Lockhart says the new location will open up a world of possibilities for the store. The increased space and a large back room will allow for an expanded product line, as well as more workshops and events once they’ve settled in.
Other adult stores are close by, including Wilde’s and Venus Envy, but Lockhart says Wicked Wanda’s tends to cater more specifically to the kink and BDSM communities. The move will allow the store to remain in the Village, keeping it a part of the Bank Street landscape and close to its established clientele.
“The Village is very nice for us because kink people do come down and . . . expect there to be a kink store,” Lockhart says. “It doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight or bisexual; we cater to everybody.” He adds that the store employs gay, straight and trans associates. “We kind of have a little bit of everybody on staff.”
In addition to toys and gear, Wicked Wanda’s offers workshops to clients, covering everything from bondage and electrical stimulation to burlesque. Lockhart says the new space will allow for even more events.
“There’s a whole back room there, so we plan on putting [in] a dungeon, a medical room and I think a boudoir section, too.” The back room will also be available to community organizations in the evenings, he says.
Lockhart, who is trans, says he hopes to see the product line expand to better include the trans community. He says the back room will afford trans customers more privacy if they want to speak to an associate.
“That’s a big thing where I think that we could have a niche,” he says. “[If] you’re trans [and] you’re too uncomfortable to talk to anybody to get what you want, I’ll help you out.” Special orders, something that Wicked Wanda’s does regularly for customers, will also continue at the new location.
In addition to being closer to the heart of the Village, Wicked Wanda’s will benefit from the historic architecture of the Barrymore’s building. “That space is perfect,” Lockhart says, adding that the landlords plan to restore the storefront prior to the move. “It has a lot of character to it; the architecture itself inside of it is beautiful.”
The building’s history also includes some otherworldly rumours, he says. “It should be interesting, because apparently it’s haunted.”