Eat, drink and shop at Byward Market, the most popular market in Ottawa. During the summer months, 50,000 people visit each weekend to browse the stalls, sample produce and enjoy the lively atmosphere. Both a marketplace and a large commercial district just east of the city’s historic center, Byward Market offers enough attractions to take up a whole day of your stay in the city.
Established by Lieutenant-Colonel By in 1826, Byward Market is one of the oldest public markets in Canada. The surrounding area is filled with historic Ottawa buildings. These include Clarendon Court, which has served as a tavern, a hotel, a barracks, an art academy and a hospital during its lifetime.
Start at the market building where vendors sell agricultural goods and handicrafts. Taste fresh produce from the farms outside the city. During summer, browse the outdoor stands surrounding the market.
Explore the narrow streets and alleyways around Byward Market to find several exquisite courtyards. With shady trees, fountains, sculptures and cobblestones, these courtyards are a glimpse of the market as it once was. Visit the Tin House Court and note the metal hanging on the building’s façade. It was hung as extra insulation by the blacksmith who once worked there.
The neighborhood around Byward Market features specialty food shops, art galleries, cafés and fashion boutiques. Spend an afternoon browsing the shops and buying souvenirs. Return after dark to get a taste of Byward Market’s nightlife. Have a drink at a tavern, enjoy some live music at a bar or dance to a live DJ at a nightclub. Stay out late then grab a midnight snack from one of the 24-hour restaurants that operate in the area.
Located just east of the National Gallery of Canada, Byward Market is easily accessible on foot from Ottawa’s historic center. If you are driving, park in one of several parking facilities or along the streets around the market. The market is open daily.