June is National Pride Month! You can celebrate this month and every month by supporting queer-friendly businesses in Ottawa. The city prides itself on being a welcoming and safe destination that celebrates inclusivity and diversity with a vibrant culinary, cultural and arts scene as well as many outdoor adventures.
Explore the Village on Bank Street—you'll know you’re in the right place when you see the rainbow-coloured crosswalk. Don’t forget to check out some of the incredible museums and galleries located in the nation’s capital — they’re all queer-friendly too. Below are just a few of the many inspiring and inclusive businesses Ottawa has to offer.
Little Jo Berry’s
This bakery and coffee shop on Wellington West is proudly owned by a queer and non-binary entrepreneur. Not only is Little Jo Berry’s committed to creating delicious vegan goods but is also committed to creating a safe and welcoming space for all. The shop offers a wide selection of mouthwateringly unique treats like homemade poptarts, gluten free cookie sandwiches and savoury items like pizza rolls, as well as coffee, soda, seltzers and more. With a strict ‘no food or body shaming’ policy, everyone is welcome to feel good about themselves and what they eat at Little Jo Berry’s!
Escape Bicycle Tours
See Ottawa city on two wheels with Escape Bicycle Tours & Rentals! This proudly LGBTQ+-owned and operated tour company offers bike and e-bike tours of the city's landmarks, history and culture. You can also rent scooters and boats to create your own adventure in the city. With knowledgeable guides and a focus on safety and comfort, Escape Bicycle Tours is a great option for anyone looking to explore Ottawa's vibrant neighborhoods and attractions. They welcome everyone to their cozy shop on Sparks Street where they have a diverse team who are dedicated to creating a safe and welcoming environment for the LGBTQ+ community.
Black Squirrel Books
Whether you’re looking for your next great read or your next comforting cup of joe, Black Squirrel Books on Bank Street has you covered. The bookstore doubles as a coffee shop, making it the perfect spot to hangout with friends or curl up with your new favourite book. With many options for queer literature lining the shelves, Black Squirrel Books is a welcoming and inclusive space for everyone. The store regularly hosts events that celebrate queer culture, including readings, workshops and performances.
Milk Shop Ottawa
In the heart of the iconic ByWard Market neighbourhood you’ll find Milk Shop, a vibrant and inclusive store that sells clothing, stationary, fun greeting cards and home and body products. Celebrating the LGBTQ+ community no matter what month it is, you’ll find local items created by queer artists year-round. The welcoming and affirming atmosphere at Milk Shop makes it a safe space for people of all gender identities and sexual orientations to express themselves authentically. If you’re searching for your new favourite piece of clothing or a one-of-a-kind item, be sure to check out Milk Shop.
Plan your next date night or your next event at Parlour. With over 5,000 square feet of space, the venue can accommodate up to 250 guests for social, corporate, music and private programmed events. This queer-friendly restaurant in the Westboro neighbourhood offers an incredible dining experience. The restaurant takes pride in its diverse and thoughtfully curated menu. Whether you're visiting for lunch or dinner, the culinary creations at Parlour are sure to satisfy.
In Bloom Tattoo Co.
In Bloom Tattoo Collective is a queer and trans-owned tattoo shop in downtown Ottawa that provides trauma-informed tattooing. With a team of two talented resident artists, as well as guest artists, who specialize in a variety of tattoo styles, In Bloom Tattoo Co. offers an accessible and inclusive experience for everyone. The shop takes great care to ensure clients feel comfortable and respected throughout the entire process. Whether you're looking for a small tattoo or a full sleeve, In Bloom Tattoo Co. is a great queer-friendly and socially conscious option.
Located on the cusp of Ottawa’s Chinatown, the Vanitea Room is a gorgeous tea salon and eatery. This elegant spot is not only known for its delectable high tea service and menu, but the Vanitea Room also hosts weekly drag dinner shows and a monthly drag brunch show you won’t want to miss out on! Here, everyone is allowed to express themselves freely. The drag shows showcase incredible talent, creating an entertaining and inclusive environment. Whether you’re enjoying a delightful cup of tea or experiencing an empowering drag show, you’ll want to add the Vanitea Room to your list of Ottawa restaurants to try.
Motif! in Ottawa is a queer-friendly store in the Westboro neighbourhood that celebrates and embraces the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community. This inclusive boutique offers a wide range of clothing, accessories, and gifts that are thoughtfully curated to reflect various identities and expressions. From pride-themed apparel to gender-neutral fashion, Motif! ensures that everyone can find something that resonates with their unique style. Motif! not only offers exceptional products but also actively supports local LGBTQ+ artists and creators, showcasing their work and contributing to the community.
Located in the heart of downtown Ottawa, the iconic Swizzles Bar has been in business for over 30 years. Known for its lively atmosphere, affordable drinks and fantastic drag shows, Swizzles is a staple in Ottawa's nightlife scene. The bar is committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment for everyone. In addition to its legendary drag shows, Swizzles also hosts a variety of other events, including karaoke nights and comedy. Swizzles Bar is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to have a fun night out in Ottawa's queer community.
Ottawa Tourism is proud to be an accredited Rainbow Registered organization, recognized by Canada’s 2SLGBTQI+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC) for meeting stringent criteria attesting to diverse and inclusive practices. Rainbow Registered is a national accreditation for 2SLGBTQI+ friendly businesses and organizations. When you see a Rainbow Registered symbol, you know the business or organization meets a stringent set of standards to ensure 2SLGBTQI+ customers feel safe, welcomed and accepted.