Founded in 1826, ByWard Market is one of Canada's oldest and largest public markets and remains a main attraction for tourists and locals alike. In recent years, the Market began to change from a traditional food market to a night-life hub. Clubs and restaurants came to dominate the district, resulting in littered or damaged vendor stalls, loss of profitability for local food vendors and decreased priority of residents' needs over those of tourists. While the City was preserving historic Ottawa buildings, the traditional identity and utility of the neighborhood and Market was faltering.
In response to the shifting dynamics of the Market, the City of Ottawa and the ByWard Market Business Improvement Area (BIA) hired Project for Public Spaces to advise on solidifying the future of the Market. Stakeholder engagement and expert site observations led to a series of recommendations for a new management structure and strategic design modifications for the Market. Project for Public Spaces then translated these recommendations into a strategic implementation plan with a modified business plan and transition strategy.
The City of Ottawa adopted the plan in 2017, establishing a not-for-profit municipal services corporation called "Ottawa Markets" to run the Market, with a full management transition in early 2018. The corporation's creation included the appointment of a Board of Directors and an Executive Director to guide the Market's future, and represents a city-wide dedication to getting the ByWard Market back on its feet. Ottawa Markets hopes to develop a long-term strategy for the Market that will prepare it for healthy growth and success well into the future.
Public Market Services
Place Evaluation & User Analysis
Community Engagement & Visioning