1984: A history

A month after the ‘We Demand’ demonstration on Parliament Hill in 1971, a political, social, and health organization was born – Gays of Ottawa (GO).

13 years later, GO made a decision to start a new organization that would take on the social and health programming and that would be eligible to receive charitable status, apply for funding, and grant tax receipts to donors. On March 29, 1984 Pink Triangle Services (PTS) was granted charitable status, the first 2SLGBTQ+ organization in Canada to do so. 

In 2015, the organization embarked on a new direction, undergoing a rebranding process from PTS to Kind Space with a radical re-visioning of community engagement and participation, values and commitments, and collaborative partnerships. 

Little Known Facts

  • First 2SLGBTQ+ organization in Canada to be granted charitable status
  • Originally going to be called “Changing Times” but the name wasn’t available
  • Operated a Gayline until the early 00s
  • Has operated out of at least 8 locations:
    • 175 Lisgar Street
    • 318 Lisgar Street
    • 71 Bank Street
    • 177 Nepean Street
    • 251 Bank Street
    • 331 Cooper Street
    • 222 Somerset Street West
    • 400 Cooper Street (current)
  • AIDS Committee of Ottawa began as a sub-committee of PTS in July of 1985 before becoming a separate organization in 1987
  • Sponsored the the LGBT Youthline when it began in 1993 until it became independent in 1996
  • We launched our first website in 1995 – pinktriangle.org 
  • First participated in the Ottawa Pride parade in 2000
  • The PTS library was re-named the Dr. Kelly McGinnis Library in 2000 after his death on Christmas Day 1999. Dr. Kelly McGinnis was an active member of the Ottawa-Carleton H.I.V. Primary Care Group and was a beloved friend, colleague, and care provider for many. 
  • Though the organization has hired many staff over the years to lead programs and projects or provide administrative support, it was not until 2004 that the organization hired its first Executive Director. Since then the organization has had 6:
    • Maura Volante [2004]
    • Michelle Reis-Amores [2005-2006]
    • Wayne Adams, interim [2006-2007]
    • Kenneth Mews [2007-2009]
    • Claudia Van den Heuvel [2009-2014]
    • Carling Miller [2014-present]