Ottawa gender and sexuality museum proposed for LeBreton Flats

Claridge East Flats / LeBreton Flats
A rendering of Claridge Homes' proposed East Flats development.

A national advocacy group is looking to raise $10 million to create Canada’s first museum dedicated to gender and sexuality and plans to house the facility on LeBreton Flats.

The Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity announced Thursday that the LGBTQI2+ Museum, which explicitly includes representation for intersex and two-spirit identifying persons, will take up 15,000 square feet on the western edge of downtown Ottawa as part of Claridge Homes’ mixed-use development at LeBreton Flats.

The facility will feature three museum galleries, spaces for theatre performances, education and community gathering and a healing room for Indigenous individuals identifying as two-spirit.

Representatives for the group said in a release that the museum will curate Canadian LGBTQI2+ stories, culture and art.

"When we started doing workshops in schools 14 years ago, we were explaining basic LGBTQI2+ terms and experiences. Today, we have Canadians who are hungry to learn about LGBTQI2+ history, culture, and art – and as an educational institution we see this as a natural evolution of our work,” said CCGSD executive director Jeremy Dias in a statement.

With this latest piece, the shape of the LeBreton Flats redevelopment is coming a bit more into focus. Claridge Homes’ latest plans, submitted in March, will see five mixed-use towers ranging from 25 to 45 storeys. Dubbed East Flats, the development will feature 1.5 million square feet of residential space alongside nearly 230,000 square feet pegged for commercial use.

Elsewhere on the Flats, RendezVous-LeBreton group has also proposed a variety of retail spaces, 4,4000 residential units and a new arena for the Ottawa Senators NHL team.