ByWard Market is both a market, filling the block bounded by ByWard, William, York and George streets, and the name for the surrounding neighborhood. This is where Ottawa began, an area laid out by Lt. Col. John By who oversaw the construction of the Rideau Canal. The name comes from By Ward, that is the ward laid out by Lt. Col. By. Once the home of the city’s Catholic working-class residents, today this is the center of Ottawa’s nightlife and restaurants. In the summer, the market building and the open-air markets on George and York streets are crowded with shoppers, vendors, artists and strollers. By one count, more than 100 restaurants are located here. Cari will steer you to ones that best suit your tastes, and make sure there’s a table waiting.
AFAR’s Travel Advisory Council is eager to send you to their favorite markets, restaurants, and other culinary destinations in Canada. Read more about Cari’s itinerary and others to the country’s other provinces at AFAR Journeys.
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The Byward Market in downtown Ottawa is a great place to stroll on the weekend. It gets pretty busy with locals doing their weekly grocery shopping (the selection of fresh fruits and veggies is fantastic and there are great bakeries, a butcher shop, a fish shop and a cheese shop - among other things - tucked in there too!) and tourists checking out the local offerings, but it's definitely a must-do when you're in town. For those of you who like to sample different types of food, there is a little plaza in the centre of the market with little food restaurants representing regions from around the world. So tasty!
In the spring, you can also pick up a wide variety of flowers, plants, fruits and veggies to fill your gardens with. Really, you can't lose when you visit the market (just go with an empty stomach and some space in your truck).
If you're in Ottawa for a while and craving some fresh fruits and vegetables as an alternative to restaurant fare (or if you want a private couple's evening alone in your room), you can find your ingredients at the stalls in the ByWard Market. Hand-picked berries from Quebec and Northern Ontario, maple syrup from Ottawa's nearby sucreries, and other fresh produce are available almost year-round.