Insider Tips for Exploring Gay Ottawa

Guest blog by Daniel Drolet

There’s more to Ottawa than Parliament Hill. It’s an outdoorsy city whose residents embrace the changing seasons. It’s also a city with much to entice LGBT visitors. Here are some local tips for your trip:

Discover the Canal

The Rideau Canal is a UNESCO world heritage site and in the winter is the world’s largest outdoor skating rink. All seasons you’ll see locals enjoying this waterway, whether by boat, skate or bike.

Rideau Canal - Ottawa Tourism

Martinis, anyone?

The historic ByWard Market is the hub of Ottawa’s nightlife. Mercury Lounge is a local institution, a combination jazz club and performance venue. Wednesday is Hump Night for the LGBT crowd. There are also monthly LGBT events at Babylon Night Club.

Ontario Travel

Photo: Mercury Lounge

Get rested

ARC The.Hotel, bills itself as Ottawa’s first luxury boutique hotel. Its retro-feel lounge is just the place for smart cocktails; try their signature ARCtini, a green apple martini. ARC is a member of Preferred Pride, a world-wide network of gay-friendly hotels and has been Ottawa Pride’s hotel partner for a number of years.

Arc Hotel

Get visual

Ottawa has many art galleries. One of the most edgy is La Petite Mort Gallery on the fringes of the ByWard Market. “There are no boundaries here,” says owner Guy Bérubé, who won Capital Xtra Hero Award for his work. “My gallery is very influenced by the European esthetic; you don’t only just see art, you also get a sense that you are stepping into someone’s personal aesthetic.”

La Petite Mort Gallery

Photo: La Petite Mort Gallery

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