Best places to meet trans in Ottawa

Navigating the trans social scene in Ottawa comes with its challenges.

The community is small and distant, and the lack of social spots doesn’t make it any easier.

But that’s exactly why I’m here.

Whether you’re leaning towards online platforms or prefer meeting in person, this guide has got you sorted.

Read on as I share the most effective ways to connect with trans individuals in Ottawa.

List of TG Friendly Venues in Ottawa

1. Bars and Clubs

Tranny friendly bars and clubs in Ottawa

Ottawa isn’t exactly known for its nightlife. But you might meet trans people in its LGBT+ district, around Bank and Somerset Street.

The bars I’m going to mention are all located in this area and they often host drag shows so you can potentially bump into TG individuals. 

But note that, I say “potentially” because Ottawa’s trans community is small and there’s no guarantee.

Anyway, here are some of your options.

T’s Pub – Located at 323 Somerset St W, it’s a small pub that can get extremely packed during its Friday night drag shows.

The crowd was mostly gay men in their 30s, but there were a few trans people too.

However, making conversation was hard due to the noise so I left early. It’s better to go on weekdays if you want to make friends.

Swizzles – Located at 246 B Queen St, an amazing LGBTQ+ karaoke bar, everyone is so welcoming that it makes me feel like it’s my second home!

Comedy nights kick off the week on Mondays, while Thursdays are all about drag. There’s even a monthly Basement Burlesque show.

But the real highlight? Karaoke nights on Fridays – these are super popular and often draw in a diverse crowd, including some trans folks!

The Lookout Bar – Located at 41 York St 2nd floor, a cool little spot that heats up as the night goes on. Need to take a break from the dance floor? Their balcony is the perfect chill-out zone for some good convo.

The place usually draws a young, fun mix of queer and cis folks, especially on Saturday nights when the drag shows turn up the energy.

Wanna see what it’s like? Check out this video to get a taste of their Saturday vibes…

2. Community Centers and Organizations

Ottawa has several organizations that offer great support for trans people. Let’s start with Kind Space. It’s a welcoming center for queer and trans people, offering lots of different programs.

One of them is GenderQuest, a support and social group that’s open to all trans, two-spirit, and gender-diverse individuals.

They meet online every second Monday from 7 to 9 PM, and in person on the last Wednesday of each month from 6 to 9 PM.

The meetings start with group discussions and then shift to more relaxed activities like mingling, games, or smaller conversations.

Then there’s MAX Ottawa, an organization for gay, bisexual, two-spirit, queer, and trans men.

They focus on health and wellness, so you can expect workshops, support, and heaps of resources. It’s a solid place to meet folks and get whatever support you need.

3. Trans Dating Sites

Shemales online in Ottawa

The nightlife options are a bit limited in Ottawa, so online dating can come in handy for meeting trans people.

Although make no mistake, it’s still not straightforward but your chances are better than just waiting around in nightspots.

And if you’re going to give online dating a shot, OkCupid is a solid choice.

It has a long list of gender options and you can filter out trans profiles which makes things a whole lot easier.

Just make sure that you’re honest while creating a profile, and the type of relationship you’re seeking.

If you’re after hookups, then I’d suggest hopping on to a different platform like TSDates.

It’s focused more on T4M casual dating but just a heads up that it has a lewd interface so it may not be for everyone.

4. Online Groups and Pages

If you’re looking to connect with trans people in Ottawa via social media, there are a few good places to start. The first one is Ottawa’s Queer Events Facebook group.

With over 4,000 members, it’s a bustling community where you can stay updated on the latest LGBT events happening around the city.

Then there’s Queering613 on Facebook. They’re known for hosting really fun queer events every month.

And if you’re still looking for more options, you can try posting on the Queer Ottawa Subreddit.

Just introduce yourself nicely, you never know, and you might end up making a bunch of new trans friends!

5. Other LGBT+ Spaces

Trans Library Ottawa

Ottawa’s got some great LGBT+ spaces beyond the usual bars and clubs. For starters, there’s a new Trans Library at Somerset Street.

It’s an awesome spot filled with books and materials by TG authors. The staff are trans too, and you’ll find lots of people from the community hanging out there.

Anyone looking for an LGBT+ friendly space is welcome to drop in.

And if you’re on the lookout for a trans-friendly gym, GoodLife Fitness could be just what you need. I recommend The Lansdowne and Queen Street locations.

While I haven’t personally visited them, I’ve heard good things from my trans and gender non-conforming friends who go there regularly.

They find it to be an accepting and comfortable place to work out and connect.

What It’s Like to Be Transgender in Ottawa

Ottawa isn’t a bad city for trans people but the biggest problem is that there aren’t many opportunities for social interactions.

The lack of LGBT+ spots isn’t even the biggest issue, rather, the trans community is just distant.

It’s probably because those who are interested in socializing normally move to bigger cities like Toronto.

Ottawa, in contrast, tends to attract people looking for a quieter, more affordable lifestyle.

That said, Ottawa ranks pretty high in terms of safety for trans people.

Acceptance levels are generally good, though, like anywhere, you might run into the occasional transphobia.

But overall, if you’re looking for a peaceful, safe space, moving to Ottawa is a sound choice.

Wrapping Up: Enjoy Meeting Trans in Ottawa

I get it, connecting with Ottawa’s trans community isn’t always a walk in the park.

There might be times when it feels like you’re not meeting anyone new for weeks.

But with the info shared in this guide, your life is about to become a whole lot easier.

If the usual nightspots aren’t doing the trick, you can check out one of the support groups. They’re pretty much a surefire way to meet trans folks.

And for those who prefer a more relaxed route, there’s always the option of online dating sites. The important thing is patience.

Keep trying, and before you know it, you’ll be meeting trans men and women in Ottawa!

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