ByWard Market

ByWard Market is a district in Downtown Ottawa, Ontario located east of the government & business district, surrounding the market buildings and open-air market on George, York, ByWard and William Streets. The district is bordered on the west by Sussex Drive, on the east by Cumberland Street. It stretches northwards to Cathcart Street, while to the south it is bordered by Rideau Street. The name refers to the old 'By Ward' of the City of Ottawa. The district comprises the main commercial part of the historic Lower Town area of Ottawa.
The market itself is Canada's oldest continuously operating farmers' market, regulated by the City of Ottawa's Markets Management group, which also operates the smaller west-end Parkdale Market. The market building is open year-round, and open-air stalls are operated in the warmer months offering fresh produce and flowers.
In 1826, Lieutenant Colonel John By of the Royal Engineers was sent from England to oversee the construction of the Rideau Canal system, which was designed to connect the Ottawa River to Kingston, on the St. Lawrence River. It was out of this massive project that the small community of Bytown grew into a flourishing commercial and economic centre. Colonel By prepared plans for two village sites: one on the west side of the Rideau Canal, which was known as Upper Town; and one to the east of the canal, called Lower Town.
The land was cleared and surveyed. Both villages were laid out in a grid system and divided into building lots. The Village of Lower Town was originally bounded by the Rideau River and Sussex, Clarence, and Rideau Streets. This town plan also included an area designated as a commercial section within the block bounded by George, Sussex, York and King Streets. Lt.-Col By designed George and York Streets 132 feet (40 m) wide in order to leave room for a proposed market building and courthouse, and also to leave room for the flow of the By Wash.
Most of the Lower Town site was covered with swampland, which had to be drained. Excess water from the canal was released through a sluice gate. This became known as the By Wash, which ran through Lower Town and emptied into the Rideau River. From the beginning Bytown was divided, not only physically by the canal but racially, politically and economically. Upper Town was settled by officers, tradesmen and professionals, most of whom were Protestants and Anglicans of English or Scottish descent. On the other hand, Lower Town was settled by laborers who had come to Bytown seeking employment during the building of the canal. These inhabitants were mainly Catholic Irish immigrants and French Canadians. In 1827, the two towns were connected along Rideau Street by Sappers Bridge, which spanned the canal.
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 298 Dalhousie Street Ottawa, ON K1N 1B4, Canada (613) 562-3325
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