Ottawa Byward Market

Ottawa Byward Market; it boasts well more than a century of bringing rural and urban Ottawans together.

When Ottawa was just growing it’s first humble logging-town roots, the Ottawa Byward Market, established by Lt-Col. John By back in 1826, was formed. And now, with Ottawa being truly one of the great cities of the world, the Byward Market bustles on, bringing ever more to the visitor and native alike.

From in front of Parliament Buildings and facing the Peace Tower, look to your right. You will see where Wellington Street becomes Rideau St. in front of the Chateau Laurier hotel. Walk a few hundred meters (yards) that way, past the Chateau, to either turn left on Sussex Drive or carry on down past the first building on the left. The Ottawa Byward Market is in behind the first building.

 Byward Market - Ottawa

You need only walk into the Byward Market to find – at last count – more than sixty restaurants, dining establishments and pubs located throughout the market, places where you can slake your thirst – well deserved for walking all this way 🙂 – fill your belly, purchase fresh fruits, veggies and flowers in season, or see and buy the latest in high fashion!

A Little Culture

Time to visit some of the cultural establishments at the Byward Market. There are many boutiques and galleries within the Market, such as:

  • Artisans arts & crafts at 55 ByWard Market
  • Galerie 240 at 240 Guigues Ave
  • Galerie St-Laurent and Hill at 293 Dalhousie Street
  • Karsh Masson Gallery at 136 St. Patrick Street

…to name just a few of them.

A Little High Byward Market Fashion

Ready for a little high fashion? How about stopping in at some of the more than 80 specialty shops, dress shops, footwear stores, jewellery shops, book stores, news kiosks and much more?

Ottawa’s Byward Market truly is an all-day destination.

So much covered already, and I have not even mentioned the market stalls as yet. These stalls, some of them owned by the same families for generations, are the reason that the Byward Market even exists.

Whether it is early spring or late fall flowers, many market stalls are burgeoning with floral display. As the year advances the stalls will offer vegetables in season, the benches and tables groaning under their load of tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage, celery, green and yellow beans and squashes of all kinds.

A lot of the stalls now offer artistic works, crafts of all kinds as well. As you wander, keep your eyes open for real deals on home-made and imported….well… almost anything!

Ottawa is a great city to bicycle in too. If you are bike-touring Ottawa and cycle to the Byward Market, you will find supervised bicycle parking spots where you can leave your two-wheeled trusty steed as you wend your way through the buildings on the nine or so streets that make up the greater Byward Market area.

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Annual Events

In an effort to draw visits from locals and tourists alike, the Byward Market Association hosts annual events. Just a few of these events are…

  • Stew Cook-Off (first week of February)
  • Auto Classic (first week of June)
  • Oktoberfest/Volksmarch (third Saturday of October)
  • Christmas Programming (month of December)

Get the picture yet? Well, let me leave you with one more. Do not visit the Byward Market (or during the winter on the frozen canal) without tasting one of Ottawa’s most well known treats; a Beaver Tail! This delightful concoction is a pastry which is flattened somewhat into the shape of a… well… er …. a beaver tail. The beaver is Canada’s national animal. The faux animal tail is cooked with almost any topping you can think of.

It can be a dessert with icing and maple syrup, it can be a meal with pizza sauce and toppings. It’s good to eat, soul satisfying…and no, it’s probably not good for you! But heck, you are on holiday, right?

Night Time At The Market

So far I’ve only talked about the day-time activities.

The Byward Market is surrounded by excellent hotels, motels and other lodgings where you can stay and be in close proximity to the wide variety of night life that the Market boasts. That way, no need to drive anywhere after an evening of frivolity and indulgence in your favourite libation.

Visitors to the Byward Market night life scene have more than twnty places to enjoy what the evening and late night has to offer. And that is not counting some of the more liberal or alternative night spots.

There is lots more information available for you about one of Ottawa’s favourite spots from their official site: www.byward-market.com. Enjoy, and I will see you at the Market, yes?


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