Bettering the ByWard Market: Jessica shares her thoughts (and tells you how you can too!)

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The beautiful ByWard Market has a lot to offer -- and should be a first stop for both local and traditional tourists exploring Ottawa

Jessica aspires to be an event coordinator in Ottawa. She loves new and exciting activities happening in the city, and letting loose with a dance party or two. Plus, she’s a first-time blogger.

I’ve lived in Ottawa for my entire life and still find myself exploring new things to do and see in my very own hometown. It’s exciting when someone comments on this being the city “fun forgot” because I take so much pleasure in proving people wrong. Now, of course there are a variety of places in Ottawa I could spend my downtime wearing the “I love being right” smirk with these “non-believers,” but the place I love taking them most is the ByWard Market.

Now, let’s go back a few … ok, a lot of years to when I was just a little tot, being driven to my dance classes by my mother, where we would pass the University of Ottawa campus and I would say “Mom, one day, I’m going to go to school there and live in the Market with all my friends.” Little did we know that it actually would happen just like that.

I’ll be honest, my first choice was to leave the city and experience university out of town. However, when that didn’t pan out, I decided to make the most of my stay in Ottawa. I made a bunch of new friends that were from outside Ottawa, and decided to show them the great things downtown Ottawa had to offer. I was inspired by a trip to Europe with my two girlfriends where we vistited five countries in 32 days. It was one of the best experiences of my life, and made me think “Why don’t I treat Ottawa as an unknown destination and see all it has to offer, just like we did when we are travelling around the Euro?”

So, that’s just what I did. Starting with all the museums I could get to, revisiting Parliament Hill, and seeing all the ByWard Market has to offer. Living here, you forget that there’s so much to do and see in your very own city.

My reccommendation: Explore the ByWard Market — day or night — because there’s always something happening. The beauty of the ByWard Market’s historical Farmers’ Market, the mix of vintage and trendy boutiques on Dalhousie Street, the exclusive art galleries that emcompass the entire Market and the six quaint courtyards from George Street to St. Patrick, are only the beginning of the top things I love to bring the “non-believers” to prove Ottawa has fun times to offer all visitors and residents alike.

The top restaurants and nightlife in the ByWard Market have something for everyone whether it’s a dinner date for two, or a night on the town with your friends. The best part: if ever I want something new and exciting to try, I visit the ByWard Market website to research the next great thing to experience.

Just recently I was planning my next visit to the ByWard Market and came across a survey they were distributing on their website. As it turns out, I have a lot of opinions about Ottawa and the ByWard Market, so I took the survey. Be still, readers. You actually get to tell them your opinions and exactly what is important to you. I personally love shopping at local merchants and scouring the racks for Ottawa designers and artisans. To me, buying locally is like lending your neighbour a cup of sugar when they are mid-recipe. You never know, they may bring you a slice of cake as thanks for your help — as I know from experience.

Anyways, I know many people have thoughts and suggestions on how to make the Market an even better place to visit, but no change will happen if opinions are not shared with the right people … so here’s your chance:

Now, not only can I show my friends a great time in the ByWard Market, I can have my opinions heard about what I like and what minor changes I think could happen to make my life and the ones I’m entertaining even better! Now there’s a survey i’m willing to take AND suggest. Don’t you think? 

Here’s hoping you feel the need to do the same and fill it out, and get out exploring the greatness of our city and the ByWard Market!