Xtra Ottawa
Owner(s)Pink Triangle Press
PublisherBrandon Matheson
EditorMatthew DiMera
FoundedSeptember 1993
Ceased publicationFebruary 12, 2015 (print)
OCLC number259372779
WebsiteXtra Ottawa

Xtra Ottawa (formerly Capital Xtra) was a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community newspaper published in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It was launched in 1993. Unlike its biweekly sister publications Xtra in Toronto and Xtra Vancouver in Vancouver, Xtra Ottawa, started as a monthly, and was later published 17 times a year, with a publication schedule of every three weeks. The Ottawa edition had a circulation of 20,000 copies which reached 36,000 readers.

Printed on newsprint in tabloid format from its establishment in 1993, Pink Triangle Press announced on January 14, 2015 that the paper edition would be discontinued and the publication would continue in an exclusively digital media format.[1]

Xtra Ottawa also published a gay tourism map, Out in Ottawa, every spring; the Ultimate Pride Guide in mid-July; and the Index gay business directory in December.


Xtra Ottawa was launched by Pink Triangle Press as Capital Xtra in 1993, shortly after the organization learned that Ottawa's existing LGBT publication, GO Info, had largely collapsed and was publishing irregularly with only a skeleton staff. Brandon Matheson, then a freelance journalist working in the Parliament Hill Press Gallery, was chosen to launch the project in conjunction with George Hartsgrove, then an administrator at the University of Ottawa.[2] GO Info briefly tried to beef up its content in the face of its new competition, but folded in early 1994.

In 2007, Ottawa City Council attempted to pass restrictions on the paper's distribution in public facilities after a complaint was filed by Greg Evans. Evans, a father who sat down to read the newspaper while his eight-year-old son was participating in basketball practice at the Hunt Club-Riverside Community Centre, was reportedly offended by the sexually explicit nature of two advertisements in the publication.[3] Evans stated that he was LGBT-friendly and that his complaint was not motivated by homophobia, but by a concern for the possibility of exposing children to sexually explicit material regardless of whether that material was gay or straight in nature.

In March 2010, Capital Xtra was renamed Xtra Ottawa with the launch of a redesign of the Xtra papers in the Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver markets.

The paper's final print edition was published on February 12, 2015.


Early contributors to the magazine included Irshad Manji, Alex Munter, David Pepper, Andrew Griffin and Don McLean.[2] Other contributors have included Glenn Crawford, Suki Lee, Blaine Marchand, Ariel Troster and Bradley Turcotte. Photographic contributors have included Pat Croteau, Eric Faure, Phillip Hannan, Shawn Scallen and Ben Welland.

Because of its location in Canada's capital, the paper also published extensive coverage of LGBT issues in national politics, which was also reprinted in its sister publications in Toronto and Vancouver. The chain's first national political journalist was Neil Herland.

Gareth Kirkby was the associate publisher and managing editor from 2005 until August 2008.

Community involvement

Xtra Ottawa put on a series of events every year for the Ottawa queer community: the LGX business & consumer expo each spring, the Transgress Festival as part of the Ottawa International Writer's Festival each October, and the Capital Xtra! Community Achievement Awards ceremony to acknowledge local volunteers and activists.

See also


  1. ^ "Gay newspaper Xtra to stop printing, go digital only". Toronto Star, January 14, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Dale Smith, "Looking back on issue #1 of Capital Xtra!. Capital Xtra!, February 11, 2009.
  3. ^ Jake Rupert, "Rights versus 'wrong'". Ottawa Citizen, March 10, 2007.