ByWard Market: One of Canada’s oldest and largest public markets – a home to both local farmers and artisans
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, Colonel By himself laid out the street plan of the Market, designating George Street and York Street to be extra wide to accommodate the creation of a public market and gathering place. The City of Ottawa has been managing the outdoor market since its beginning. This was one of the first services offered by the municipality, providing a much needed connection between rural and urban life that still remains in the 21st century. Outdoor vendors are an integral part of the ByWard Market experience. Unlike some other market experiences, you’ll find ByWard Market vendors outside no matter the weather, 363 days per year (closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day)! Typically, agri-food vendors are open May to November, 7:00 a.m. and remain open until 5:30 p.m. Bad weather will rarely disrupt selling. Art and craft vendors usually operate May to October and start at 9:00 a.m. sometimes until 8:00 or 9:00 p.m.
How to tell if it’s local? Look for the Savour Ottawa logo. It identifies food grown or raised in or near Ottawa. Vendors are also identified by category – green signs can be found on the farmers’ stands. The Savour Ottawa Farm Stand is a new initiative launched in 2014. You’ll find it on the corner of George and ByWard streets. The stand offers a variety of products by different Savour Ottawa verified producers under one roof such as dairy, meat, eggs, juice, and more!
The Demo Corner
Are you looking for something to do while in the ByWard Market? You may want to watch one of our chefs in action at the Demo Corner! Different fresh market products are also sampled every week to let you taste new things or give you an idea of what to do of that vegetable you just bought at one of the stands! Check back here for a schedule of activities at the Demo Corner.
The Author’s Market
The ByWard Market and its Author’s Market regularly welcome regional authors from all horizons and different languages in order to promote their books. This initiative offers local residents and visitors a unique opportunity to meet local authors, discuss their work, receive an autograph or obtain a copy of their book. For more information, click here.
What’s on the menu? See below to find out what type of produce is available on the ByWard Market at various times of the year. It should be noted that these dates are approximations. The actual availability may vary year to year, depending on the weather conditions. Contact Markets Management for up-to-date information at 613-244-4410. Click here for the produce availability list.
Hours of Operation
The Markets Management office, located at 55 ByWard Market Square, is open 363 days per year (closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day). The hours vary with the season. For exact times, please contact Markets Management at 613-244-4410. May 1st – Thanksgiving weekend 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Become an Outdoor Vendor!
Throughout the year, vendors selling a variety of items ranging by purple cauliflower to artwork, as well as Christmas wreaths and centerpieces, make their way to the ByWard Market to display their products. Two categories of products can be sold on the ByWard Market: art & crafts and agri-food. Different sub-categories have different criteria and applications are reviewed by independent selection committees. Generally speaking, good quality products or items not currently being sold on the Market are of particular interest.