Market (named for John By and sometimes
called By Ward Market, ByWard Market or
simply The Market) is a neighbourhood
in Ottawa, Ontario located just east and
north of downtown. It is bordered on the
west by the Rideau Canal and on the east
by the Rideau River. To the north it stretches
to the Ottawa River area while to the
south it is bordered by Rideau Street.
The area is named for the small open air
market located near its south west corner.
During the growth of Bytown (the former
name for Ottawa) in the 19th century the
Byward Market area was called Lowertown
and most residents were Irish or French.
The battles between these communities
became the stuff of legend, although,
as Catholics, both united in common cause
against the wealthier Protestants.
large Catholic community attracted Notre
Dame Cathedral, one of the biggest and
oldest Roman Catholic churches in Ottawa.
The shape of the cathedral was taken into
account when the National Gallery of Canada
was designed and built across Sussex Drive.
A multitude of restaurants and specialty
food stores have sprouted around the market
area, making this neighborhood one of
the liveliest in Ottawa after normal business
hours. A four block area around the market
provides the densest concentration of
eating places in the National Capital
Region, but the areas beyond this zone
also offer boutiques and restaurants in
abundance. Over the years the city has
developed a series of five small, human-scale,
open air courtyards, immediately east
of Sussex Drive, stretching from Saint
Patrick Street to George Street. These
cobblestone courtyards are filled with
flowers, park benches, fountains and sculptures.
Several of the houses surrounding them
are historic buildings.