A Sunday Afternoon in the ByWard Market (Ottawa)

A Sunday Afternoon in the ByWard Market (Ottawa)

Ottawa’s ByWard Market – a Trendy Place

Downtown Ottawa’s ByWard Market Area is a city within a city. It has its history with all the victories and defeats that come with age and transformation. It has a fairy-tale quality with some sinister twists which brings magic and tradition together.

Visiting the Ottawa ByWard Market is fun and exciting for people of all ages. As a small child, I always anticipated Sundays, especially the warm and sunny ones. My mother would bring me to the Cathedral so we could collect ourselves, then off we were to peruse the market stalls. I would love sitting in a courtyard eating a sandwich and watching the throng of people roaming about. I imagined what purchases each person had in their fancy bags and where they were going next. There are often festivals just around the corner on Major Hill’s Park. One can listen to the trickle of music wafting down to the Market or watch the children bounding about with their face paintings and balloons in hand.

William Street

Ottawa ByWard Market – William Street

As I got older, I loved learning about the rivalry between the Lowertown Catholic working class of Irish & French and the Uppertown Protestant wealthy Englishmen. Their rivalry, which is very much part of my family history is fascinating. Later, as a mother, I organized a haunted walk group tour for my daughter’s birthday party (her birthday being 3 days before Halloween, it offered a wonderful opportunity). The little girls were spooked by stories of ghosts and gallows while walking through the dark streets of Ottawa’s downtown and visiting the old Carleton County jail. They learned about the Ottawa ByWard Market history and the fate of the famous Thomas D’Arcy McGee, a great Canadian political figure. We all had a blast.

If history and shops are not your thing, however, you can easily be swayed by the great culinary experience of this trendy area. There are dozens of great restaurant and pubs to choose from in the Ottawa’s ByWard Market. If nightlife is what you are looking for, despair not, the Market offers a wide segment of diverse dance bars, alternative jazz joints, basic rock places and everything in between.

To help travelers visiting my hometown or for my fellow Ottawans, I have written a self-guided walk to (re)discover the Ottawa ByWard Market. This self-guided walk is available in English and in French:

Here are two customer reviews I received on Amazon for the 2015 version of the walk:

5.0 out of 5 stars An engaging account of one of the Ottawa’s charming corners, July 8, 2015

By Ruth Marfurt
Verified Purchase
This review is from: Ottawa’s ByWard Market: A Self-Guided Walk (Kindle Edition)
It is always the locals who know best the beautiful spots, treasures and historical background of their cities, which is certainly true for this guide. Through her own experiences, Ottawa author Anne Donovan leads fellow citizens and tourists to discover the richness of one of Ottawa’s main attractions, the ByWard Market, and draws attention to places and details that could easily be overlooked. An interesting and helpful personal guide when walking through the market!
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful tool to discover Canada’s capital, July 2, 2015

By Martyboy23
Verified Purchase
This review is from: Ottawa’s ByWard Market: A Self-Guided Walk (Kindle Edition)
I’ve lived in Ottawa for ten 10 years and I truly concur with this entire guide. Having discovered these gems over the last decade, I am glad A. Donovan took the time to write it all down so others could experience our city! What a pleasant way to see our capital through the eyes of a tourist… I know what I’m doing next weekend… It’ll be gluttony!

If you have done the walk, I would appreciate your comments. Simply visit www.WalkingDiscoveries.com to leave a review.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *