Two of Ottawa’s oldest surviving LGBT businesses are planning a merger.
Two of Ottawa’s oldest surviving LGBT businesses are coming together to preserve Ottawa’s gay history and remain a destination in the city’s future.
Trevor Prevost, owner of Wilde’s adult store, and Michael Deyell, owner of After Stonewall gallery, plan to move the stores into one location at 370 Bank Street next month.
Both businesses have a long history in the community, but when they recently went up for sale (Wilde’s in 2015 and Stonewall in 2012) many feared for the worst. Though they were both bought and remain open, Deyell admits it hasn’t been easy.
“It was harder than I thought,” said Prevost. “Small business is difficult right now and it’s been a difficult year, and not just for us. This is another way to save the businesses. We don’t know – if things continue it would be hard to say what would happen in the next six months.”
Both owners are hoping the plan to raise $12,000 on crowd-funding site IndieGoGo for renovations and expand Wilde’s into the basement will put an end to that uncertainty.
Merging the businesses together will cut down on overhead costs like rent while enabling more opportunities to create product lines together, expand online and open the space to events.