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flar

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OTTAWA | ByWard Market

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ByWard Market

The ByWard Market is Ottawa's most vibrant district, ofering shopping and dining
for tourists and residents alike. A farmer's market has operated here since the
mid-1800s, but today the area is dominated by restaurants, pubs and night clubs.
Architecturally, there is a successful blend of old and new to create an attractive
and lively urban environment.


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Hipster Duck

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Byward market is Canada at its best and worst.

On one hand you have a truly vibrant neighbourhood with varied historical and modern architecture that all fits together, and a true market at its centre. Unlike most of Toronto, the commercial vibrancy spreads over the entire district rather than being confined somewhat one-dimensionally to a main street. This adds to the feel of the neighbourhood.

On the other hand, amidst all this, you also have all the worst of urban Canada: tacky, garish urban signage that ruin entire facades, rip off douchebag bars that only sell Canadian and Rickard's Red in bottles and blast "Home for a Rest" or Nickelback, and tacky souvenir stands that sell mountie T-shirts and beaver tails.

It probably is to Canada what New Orleans' French Quarter is to the United States.
 

ganjavih

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I agree with Hipster's assessment, although I think its charms outweigh its cheese. It's a fun vibrant place to hang out on a beautiful summer day.
 

Tewder

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There is more than a little 'judging' in that assessment. I like the diversity and the little bit of cheese thrown in. If it were all yuppified it would feel fake, and not like a neighbourhood at all. There are a few good gay bars in the area too as I recall?

The Byward market seems like it would make a good template for may of the smaller regional centres in Ontario, many of which are dying. Places like Brantford or downtown Niagara Falls could probably do something similar, if not on the same scale to revitalize their heritage urban cores.
 

taal

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I find the streets in the area don't really help out either ... they're too large given the size of the buildings and that takes away from the intimacy of the area. Also, it's a bit sparse (kinda like one would expect downtown area of a smaller city ... although for the most part that's what it's going for)... not sure how to describe it ... it's still very nice though ...
 

Tewder

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It doesn't look any more low-rise than many of the urban village areas in Toronto outside the CBD.
 

flar

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I think they've done a nice job with infill in the market. You can see in the pics quite a number of modern buildings, mostly low-mid rise buildings that blend in nicely with the streetscapes. Some high rise condos have even went up in the last few years. Niegbhourhoods like this need local residents, and the condos appeal to those who prefer an urban lifestyle, which the Market offers.

Some of the roads are very wide, this is the legacy of the old style open market where farmers would have park their wagons to sell produce along the street. Now, in the warmer months at least, there are tents set up. Despite the wide roads, traffic control is another thing the city has done a great job with. As a pedestrian in the Market, I always feel I have priority over vehicles and there is generally no problem of speeding cars running people down.
 

ChrisR

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My past and present workplaces accounted for! While I like working in the Market for its centrality, the summers are packed beyond capacity.

The width of the streets in the Market were a deliberate ("two surveyors' chains") design decision to accommodate the commercial activities.

...and indeed, the pedestrian more or less gets precedent in the market.
 

kEiThZ

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I wish they'd simply ban cars from the core of the market. And I say that as a person who occassionally does drive to the market. They need to ban cars and relocate the parking out of the market.
 

nrb

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I doubt it would be possible to ban cars in the market, for one thing it would be impossible for all the restaurants and bars to restock, for another it is actually a major throughfare to get to gatineau and eastern ottawa. Murray street, dalhousie and king edward are all very important streets, and they bisect the market.
 

waterloowarrior

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I doubt it would be possible to ban cars in the market, for one thing it would be impossible for all the restaurants and bars to restock, for another it is actually a major throughfare to get to gatineau and eastern ottawa. Murray street, dalhousie and king edward are all very important streets, and they bisect the market.

Pedestrian streets usually allow deliveries at certain times (e.g. Sparks Street in Ottawa). I don't think Murray and King Edward usually come up when talking about pedestrianizing the market, they're more on the edge.

There are plans to pedestrianize a small part of the market...

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Once the new Interprovincial Bridge is built and trucks are rerouted from downtown, I think there will be a better case for expanding pedestrian areas in the market.
 

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