As many of you know, I am great fans of visiting markets during my travels. Besides the beautiful assortment of food and goods, markets are a wonderful place to watch people and relax with coffee and a tasty fresh snack. On a cold winter’s day, it’s often good to see the fresh bounty of summer (or in the case of our visit, fall).
Byward Market is a well known and long established market in Canada’s national capital, Ottawa. The market was begun in 1826 by John By, who gained fame as builder of the Rideau Canal. Mr. By laid out the street plan of the market, creating extra wide streets to facilitate the market as a gathering place for the area’s residents. It’s one of Canada’s oldest and largest public markets and is only a few blocks from Parliament Hill.
The market spans several blocks and has a lot of interesting attractions, including many restaurants, cafes, specialty food shops (eg. cheese, meats), boutiques, etc. During summer weekends, 50,000 people visit this easily accessible market, a significant number given the small nature of the city. The market is opened every day of the year, although vendors set their own hours.
There are fresh produce vendors who sell locally grown fruits and vegetables and these are always of greatest interest to me. The wild blueberries and strawberries were especially amazing. Fresh offerings are obviously seasonal (e.g. Christmas trees in December, cherries in the summer). We visited the market in September and this is some of what we saw:
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