A ByWard Market Affair
Lydia Bociurkiw was born and raised in Ottawa. She works for a national television network and moonlights as a photographer and blogger of Ottawa Girl. She loves using big, bright colours in her photographs and creating whimsical images that make you smile.
My love affair with the ByWard Market began when I was a little girl. Every Saturday morning my mother would take me there to buy an array of fresh and delectable cheeses, meats and bread. The sound of eccentric buskers and entertainers would fill the air. Fruit and vegetable stands stood out like colourful gems with rambunctious farmers luring us to to indulge in their fare.
As I grew older, I learned to appreciate the rich history of this place.
Lieutenant-Colonel John By was one determined man as he laid out his plans to create a common place that would bring together Lower and Upper Town Ottawa. In 1827, the first market building on George Street was built. Five different versions of this building came and went, several destroyed by fire and rebuilt from scratch. To this day, the market building is still the center of the action, bustling with art, food and curious faces.
Architecturally, clues remain as to what kind of place this once was. The Château Lafayette House still stands whispering ancient tales of those who have come and gone. Opening its doors in 1849, it’s the oldest tavern in Ottawa. Rumour has it that it’s not unusual for a few ghosts to stop by for a pint now and again.
And of course there are an endless amount of restaurants, bars and cafes. Some, like the Fish Market Restaurant, have stood the test of time. Others that have long come and gone, such as Café Wim and Bagel Bagel, were the places to be seen in the ’80s and ’90s.
Nearly two centuries later, the ByWard Market continues to thrive and endure, adhering to the ever-changing needs of its patrons. I encourage anyone new or old to Ottawa to explore the streets of this historic treasure…perhaps beginning their own love affair with the ByWard Market.
Thanks for sharing your photographs and love for the ByWard Market Lydia! We hope to see you here again soon.
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