About Us

Experience the ByWard Market

Shop. Taste. Live.

Join some friends for brunch, lunch or dinner, and then hit the shops for the highest quality food products, fashions and cutting edge trends.

See and be seen until the wee hours at one of our hip nightspots.

Morning, noon and night the ByWard Market has something just for you.

Within an area roughly four blocks square, you’ll find museums, cafés, specialty food shops, boutiques, galleries, restaurants, pubs, hair & aesthetics salons and more! Easily accessible on foot, by transit or by car, the ByWard Market offers a unique experience for all.

 

History

The ByWard Market is where Ottawa was born.  Established by Lt-Col. John By in 1826, the ByWard Market is one of Canada’s oldest and largest public markets.  The legendary builder of the Rideau Canal; Lt-Col. By himself laid out the street plan of the Market, designating George and York Streets to be extra wide to accommodate the horse-drawn carriages that brought foodstuffs to the market every day.

 

Today

The ByWard Market is Ottawa’s number one tourist attraction, and is the premier destination for shopping, dining, arts, entertainment and professional services for residents and visitors.
This area averages 50,000 visitors per weekend in the summer months.
It is home to both a local farmers’ market and artisans with over 260 stands, as well as over 500 businesses. In 2014, the ByWard Market will play host to 6.3 million of the 7 million visitors expected to visit the Nation’s Capital in 2014.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About the ByWard Market

What Streets Are Included in the BIA?

The ByWard Market includes George Street North, Dalhousie Street from George to Cathcart, and Sussex Drive East to Cumberland Street West. Rideau and Mackenzie are beyond the ByWard Market’s jurisdiction.

What is a BIA, and what is its mandate?

BIA stands for Business Improvement Area. The primary role of a BIA is to enhance the area it represents.  Business people within a specific geographical location join together with the help of their municipality to improve the area through initiatives such as marketing and events and by protecting its interests in government and business arenas.
ByWard Market BIA Values & Principles:

  • Preserving the unique character of the ByWard Market as possessing a wide variety of owner-operated businesses and a farmers’ market that make the Market rich in heritage, activity and animation.
  • Supporting efforts to protect the long-term viability of the farmers’ market and the selling of food
  • Recognizing that unique owner-operated businesses contribute something special to the Market
  • Ensuring fairness and equity to all members such that the benefits to a single member business never outweigh the mutual benefits to all member businesses
  • Focussing on residents first and then visitors
  • Promoting the Market as a safe place to live, shop, visit and operate a business
  • Being socially responsible business people
What BIA events are planned for this year?

The ByWard Market BIA plans events throughout the year designed to enhance the ByWard Market experience for tourists, locals, and businesses alike.

Annual events include: 

  • Stew Cook-Off (first week of February)
  • Auto Classic (first week of June)
  • Oktoberfest/Volksmarch (third Saturday of October)
  • Christmas Programming (month of December)
Can you tell me a few ByWard Market factoids?

Absolutely.

  • Founded by Colonel John By in 1826, and subsequently named “ByWard Market,” a combination of By and Ward. The “Ward” is always capitalized.
  • 50,000 visitors per weekend in the summer months.
  • Over 500 businesses including food retailers, restaurants, professional services, and more!
  • George and York Streets were designed extra-wide to accommodate the creation of a public market and gathering place.
The ByWard Market is home to many establishments. Can you list what types of businesses the BIA represents?

The ByWard Market represents several categories of businesses:

  • 88- Restaurants, including 3 – 24 hour restaurants (Mello’s, Zak’s and Dunn’s)
  • 35 – Food Retail Establishments
  • 23 – Nightlife and Entertainment Venues – including: The Chateau Lafayette – Ottawa’s oldest tavern, established in 1849, and the home to the ‘Lucky Ron Show’
  • 25 – Arts, Culture and Education Facilities – and home to:The National Gallery of Canada Notre Dame Basilica – Ottawa’s oldest and largest church – opened in 1885
  • 11 – Books and News Shops
  • 57 – Fashion Shops – Home of designer Richard Robinson’s shop and haute couture school
  • 18 – House and Home Shops
  • 19 – Boutiques
  • 39 – Health and Beauty Salons
  • 43 – Professional Services
What time does the ByWard Market open?

The ByWard Market is open 7 days a week year-round. Generally, the outdoor market is begins at 6 a.m. and can remain open until 6 p.m., but hours can depend on the weather and vary from stand to stand. Individual businesses set their own hours. Please see the directory for business contact information.

How do I set up a stand in the ByWard Market?

You must contact Markets Management at 613-244-4410.

Where can I park in the ByWard Market?

You can choose from two City of Ottawa parking towers, two private parking towers, and thousands of on-street parking spots. In total, there are over 3,100 parking spots in the ByWard Market, and many 15 minute courtesy parking spaces for quick errands.

What is a BIA?

BIA stands for Business Improvement Area.

The primary role of a BIA is to enhance the area it represents.  Business people within a specific geographical location join together with the help of their municipality to improve the area through initiatives such as marketing and events and by protecting its interests in government and business arenas.

Through their membership in the BIA, local businesses become more involved and informed about plans and developments that affect them. These include issues such as parking, safety concerns, marketing initiatives, urban planning and transportation, development and construction, tourism and economic development.  The BIA provides an opportunity for local small businesses to speak with a united voice on issues of common concern and interest.

How does a BIA operate?  A BIA is a membership-based non-profit organization formed in a commercial area to promote the area as a whole.  A BIA is created through a municipal by-law, and is funded by levies collected from all commercial properties within its boundaries.  The ByWard Market BIA was formed in 1993, and is administered by an elected 12-member Board of Management and two full-time employees – an executive director and a communication and special events coordinator.

Who are the members?  Each commercial property within the boundaries of the BIA pays a levy toward the BIA which is collected along with property taxes by the municipality – both tenants and property owners are members of the BIA!  The ByWard Market BIA represents over 600 businesses and 200 properties, all located within an area of roughly four square blocks.

Values & Principles:

  • preserving the unique character of the ByWard Market as possessing a wide variety of owner-operated businesses and a farmers’ market that make the Market rich in heritage, activity and animation.
  • supporting efforts to protect the long-term viability of the farmers’ market and the selling of food
  • recognizing that unique owner-operated businesses contribute something special to the Market
  • ensuring fairness and equity to all members such that the benefits to a single member business never outweigh the mutual benefits to all member businesses
  • focussing on residents first and then visitors
  • promoting the Market as a safe place to live, shop, visit and operate a business
  • being socially responsible business people

For more information on the ByWard Market BIA, or to sign up for our e-newsletter (as a member of a Marketophile), contact bia@byward-market.com