When people think of visiting the capital of Canada, a trip to the Byward Market in Ottawa is always at the top of their list. With a plethora of things to do, exclusive cafes and restaurants to explore and multiple stores to shop from, Ottawa Byward Market is a spot that you should never miss visiting. Almost 600+ businesses call the market area home and it’s all spread across four city blocks.

No matter whether you are a food lover or a fashion enthusiast or simply want to experience the vibrant social life in Ottawa, a walk through the streets of Ottawa Byward Market has got something for every visitor. And luckily, if you are a night owl, then you will for sure love the party spots in this area.

If the briefing on Byward Market is so exciting, then imagine how exciting it will be to get the complete details about this marketplace? So, without wasting more time, let’s move ahead and explore Byward Market in detail.

Overview of Byward Market- The Oldest Market in Canada

Market overview

Are you new to Ottawa and don’t know much about the premier shopping and dining destinations within the city? If so, then we have got you covered! Byward Market in Ottawa is a place that every Ottawa resident and visitor loves visiting repeatedly. With diverse restaurants, culinary treats, independent shops, colourful nightlife and appealing street art, Ottawa’s Byward Market presents a remarkable outing in the town.

Byward Market in Ottawa isn’t just one of the biggest and busiest markets in the town, it’s actually the oldest market in entire Canada. The market boasts plenty of shops and dining places spread out in a four-block radius involving York Street, George Street, and Dalhousie Street. You can visit with your friends to spend the day eating and shopping. And at night, the market makes a perfect spot for a date night, with fun, music, and dance.

History and Evolution of Ottawa’s Byward Market

Evolution of Ottawa’s Byward Market

In 1826, Byward Market in Ottawa was established by Lt. Colonel John By. This legendary Rideau Canal builder laid down the complete plan of the marketplace by himself. While deciding the layout, Lt. Colonel John By designated George Streets and York Streets more space in order to shelter the carriages that were used to bring food and other supplies to the marketplace on a daily basis.

Initially, the area was established as a commercial sector to support the builders of the Rideau Canal. Later, stores, residents, hotels and industrial buildings came up, and Rideau Canal labourers settled in. When the area evolved with time, the architectural styles evolved too. And you will be surprised to know that many of the original buildings still make room for businesses that contribute to the extensive charm of the area.

Now, let’s get a glimpse of the shops, restaurants, and nightlife at Byward Market in Ottawa.

Shopping in Ottawa Byward Market

Shopping experience

In every nook and corner of the Byward Market in Ottawa, you can find independently-run boutiques, galleries and shops. Walk through the excellent Sussex Drive and explore international brands at Trustfund or Schad, special creations at Kaliyana and Farah Studio, eye-catching home designs at the Modern Shop and Zone, and breathtaking works of art at the Gordon Harrison Canadian Landscape Gallery. Altogether, there are over 100+ shops and boutiques dedicated to both vintage and trendy fashion. Furthermore, don’t forget to browse hidden gems like Milk Shop on William Street, Librairie du Soleil on York Street and Roadtrip in Clarendon.

The Farmer’s Market is the centrepiece of this space in Ottawa. It is a huge indoor market that features a wide range of food sellers, artisan products, local farmers, flowers, handcrafted items, etc. If you want to get fresh produce, you must reach the marketplace early.

Dining in Ottawa Byward Market

Dining in Ottawa Byward Market

If you are a foodie, then Byward Market in Ottawa will surely make you fall in love with its dining options. When it comes to food, the culinary treats found in the marketplace are limitless. On your visit to Ottawa’s Byward Market, don’t forget to try popular Canadian foods like Beaver Tails pastry and poutine. Even if you visit this place during the morning hours, you can enjoy a delicious breakfast in Byward Market’s top restaurants.

With around 100 eateries, you will for sure find something that will appeal to your taste buds. In addition to local Canadian cuisine, you can find Italian, Mexican, Texas BBQ, Thai, and other mouth-watering options at Ottawa’s Byward Market. Some of the top restaurants in Byward Market involve Restaurant E18hteen, Chez Lucien, Courtyard Restaurant, The Scone Witch, etc.

Nightlife in Ottawa Byward Market

Nightlife in Ottawa Byward Market

Nightlife in Byward Market is something that you can’t just miss! In the evening, all the pubs, cafes, and restaurants in the nearby area fill up with people who enjoy themselves in a lively way. During summer, most of the outdoor patios in Byward Market offer a great setting for visitors. Some of the famous local haunts, like the Mercury Lounge or the Rainbow Bistro, welcome people with live music and DJs that keep them dancing. Apart from this, you can also enjoy Irish pub hospitality at spots like Lowertown Brewery or Heart & Crown. You can also visit Chateau Lafayette for a mesmerising local experience.

Ottawa Byward Market Operating Hours

Ottawa Byward Market Operating Hours

If we talk about the Byward Market hours, the outdoor market operates between 6 A.M. and 6 P.M for all 7 days of the week. Please note that this time may vary from one shop to another, and operating hours are dependent on the weather as well.

Reaching Ottawa Byward Market

Reaching Ottawa Byward Market

The Ottawa Byward Market is located in the heart of Downtown Ottawa and is close to the banks of the Ottawa River. The great location of Byward Market makes it easily accessible from almost all means of public transportation within the city. The marketplace can also be reached effortlessly by OC Transpo buses and train services. In the market, you can also find multiple free and paid parking spots that make parking hassle-free for you!

In Conclusion

Your search for exploring Byward Market ends here! No matter what time of the year you are visiting Ottawa, a visit to Byward Market will undoubtedly leave you with wonderful memories. With plenty of things to do, eateries to eat at, and nightlife to enjoy, Byward Market is worth visiting.

So, stop by this extraordinary place and grab some appetizers to later indulge in some shopping. We are sure you will have a great time here with your friends and family!

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What time does the Byward Market open?

Byward Market is open 7 days a week all year round. The outdoor market generally starts operating at 6 A.M. and closes at 6 P.M. But one thing to note is that Byward Market hours may vary depending on the weather. Also, the hours may vary from one stand to another. Also, the individual businesses in the marketplace set their own hours.

Where can I park in Ottawa Byward Market?

When it comes to parking your vehicle in Ottawa Byward Market, you can choose to park in any of the multiple parking towers or thousands of on-street parking spaces. As a whole, there are nearly 3100+ parking spots in the entire Byward Market.

How big is the ByWard Market?

Byward Market in Ottawa is roughly four blocks square in size. In such a massive market, you will find cafes, museums, galleries, pubs, salons, and much more.

Why is it called ByWard Market?

The name ByWard Market refers to the old ‘By Ward’ of the City of Ottawa, where the word ‘By’ is derived from the surname of the engineer, Lt. Colonel John By. He was the original surveyor of the area.

What is the ByWard Market in Ottawa famous for?

The Byward Market in Ottawa is famous for everything that it offers visitors. This renowned marketplace is well known for its indoor food vendors, unique shops, and an outdoor market loaded with amazing artisan products and handcrafted items.

Is Ottawa Byward Market a good and safe place to live in?

Yes, the Byward Market in Ottawa is a safe and good place to live. It is one of the town’s biggest tourist attractions and is busy as well as vibrant. From cafes and restaurants to clothing shops, you will find everything in this area without any hassle.