With Parliament overlooking Downtown and Byward Market. The 200 year-old area is full of character compared to other bustling cities, and it hold its own quite well. The food scene is thriving with top chefs. TV personalities, gold medal plate winners are all opening restaurants in and around the market, taking advantage of the locally grown produce right at their finger tips, to 100 year old fish mongers and butchers still practicing their crafts. Locals flock to the market for entertainment and local products.
Central Ottawa has beautiful views of the Gatineau Hills. It’s the home of Bluesfest, Canada’s largest outdoor music festival. There’s a plethora of Farmers markets in every different area of the city. Each area being its own place, unique in its own way. Central Ottawa is full of great culture and art. There is a pathway that allows you to safely run from one end of the city to the other if you care to do so. There is something here for everyone from any age. When it comes to Ottawa, Central is the best of the best.
The district is bordered on the west by Sussex Drive and Mackenzie Avenue, on the east by Cumberland Street. It stretches northwards to Cathcart Street, while to the south it is bordered by Rideau Street. The name refers to the old ‘By Ward’ of the City of Ottawa (‘By’ deriving from the surname of the engineer, Colonel John By, who was the area’s original surveyor). The district comprises the main commercial part of the historic Lower Town area of Ottawa. According to the Canada 2011 Census, the population of the area was 3,063.
The market itself is regulated by the City of Ottawa’s Markets Management group, which also operates the smaller west-end Parkdale Market. The market building is open year-round, and open-air stalls are operated in the warmer months offering fresh produce and flowers.
Traditionally, the ByWard Market area has been a focal point for Ottawa’s French and Irish communities. The large Catholic community supported Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the largest and oldest Roman Catholic churches in Ottawa. The shape of the cathedral was taken into account in the design of the National Gallery of Canada, which was built across Sussex Drive.
The ByWard Market has constantly been an area of fluid change, adapting to the increasingly cosmopolitan nature of downtown Ottawa, as well as trends in Canadian society as a whole. Recently, a multitude of restaurants and specialty food stores have sprouted around the market area, making this neighbourhood one of the liveliest in Ottawa outside of normal business hours. A four-block area around the market provides the most dense concentration of eating places, bars and nightclubs in the National Capital Region. The areas beyond this zone also offer boutiques and restaurants in abundance, and are frequented by a considerable number of buskers (street performers). Having acquired a reputation as the city’s premier bar district, Byward Market is thronged at night with university students and other young adults.
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.
At the other extreme on the west side of Sussex Drive is the United States Embassy. The building’s design, by noted architect David Childs, was somewhat controversial in Ottawa. Others complained that the structure overshadowed the historic market.
The neighbourhood is today markedly heterogeneous, being visited by a mix of young professionals, many families and some homeless people. At one time, the area had a serious prostitution problem, which was remedied by a controversial rerouting of traffic through much of the residential area. The area is mainly English-speaking but there exists a significant francophone population as well. The Market is located in close proximity to the downtown, to the Rideau Centre shopping mall, to Parliament Hill and to a number of foreign embassies.
Centretown is marked by a mix of residential and commercial properties. The main streets such as Bank Street and Elgin Street are largely commercial, while the smaller ones, notably MacLaren and Gladstone are more residential. Much of the area still consists of original single family homes, but there are newer infill and town house developments and low-rise and high-rise apartment buildings. A construction boom that began in the late nineties significantly increased the number of condominiums and other residential and commercial high-rise buildings north of Cooper Street. Landmarks include the Canadian Museum of Nature, Dundonald Park, Jack Purcell Park, the Ottawa Curling Club, the Sens Mile and the Ottawa Central Bus Station.
Centretown West is composed largely of low-density residential commercial properties, and some light industrial uses. Somerset Street West is dominated by Chinese and Vietnamese businesses, and it is considered to be Ottawa’s Chinatown. It also retains a large Italian-Canadian population in Little Italy centred on Preston Street, which is also called “Corso Italia”. A portion of Gladstone Avenue is also called “Via Marconi”, after the Italian inventor who completed some of his work in Canada. Its population in 2011 was 10,693.
The Glebe has a strong community association which, in addition to running a large community centre, lobbies the local government on issues such as traffic calming and neighbourhood development. The Glebe has a community newspaper, Glebe Report, that has been published independently since 1973.
The Glebe is mostly populated by families; the area has many children, and consequently its social services are oriented towards youth. The Glebe lies in the federal riding of Ottawa Centre, and the same Provincial electoral district.
The stretch of Bank Street that runs through the Glebe is one of Ottawa’s premier shopping areas, with many small stores and restaurants offering a wide variety of services. Much of the rest of the Glebe consists of detached homes, many of them constructed in the early decades of the 20th century. Some of these homes are owner-occupied family residences, while others have been subdivided into multiple rental apartments.
The Glebe is home to Landsdowne Park which contains TD Place Stadium, where Ottawa’s Canadian Football League (CFL) football team (the Ottawa Redblacks) and the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees play their home games. Lansdowne Park also contains the Ottawa Civic Centre, which is the permanent home of the Ottawa 67’s and was the temporary home (1992–1995) for the Ottawa Senators before Canadian Tire Centre (originally called The Palladium) was completed. The area that became the park was purchased from local farmers in 1868 by the City of Ottawa Agricultural Society.
From the canal two bodies of water jut into the Glebe: Patterson Creek and Brown’s Inlet. These areas are surrounded by parks and some of the city’s most expensive homes.
The last Saturday in May of each year brings the “Great Glebe Garage Sale” to the neighbourhood; every household that participates puts items out for sale, attracting a large contingent of bargain hunters to the area. Sellers are expected to donate a portion of the proceeds to a designated charity.
Originally a residential area, most of the Flats are now taken up by the Canadian War Museum and the Lebreton Flats bandshell. About half of the total area, on the southern side, is undergoing redevelopment. The population was only 373 (2011 Census), up from 57 in 2006, and 50 in 2001.
It was historically French Canadian and Irish (as opposed to English and Scottish Upper Town, a term no longer in use) and is to this day home to many Franco-Ontarian families, businesses and institutions. Its total population according to the Canada 2011 Census is 12,274 (including Porter Island).
Old Ottawa East
This small neighbourhood was originally the suburban community of Archville that was incorporated as the village of Ottawa East in 1888. In 1907 it was amalgamated with the growing community of Ottawa. Running through the centre of the neighbourhood is Main Street, which was the central road of Archville, but which is not particularly central to modern Ottawa. The neighbourhood is home to Saint Paul University, Lady Evelyn Alternative School, St. Nicholas Adult High School and Immaculata High School and St. Pat’s College, now a part of Algonquin College. The southern part of the neighbourhood is sometimes referred to as Rideau Gardens.
Old Ottawa South
Today, Old Ottawa South is an upper middle class area. Proximity to the university has meant that the neighbourhood has been a haven for professors and students, although rising housing prices are driving out the latter. It is also one of Ottawa’s more politically progressive neighbourhoods and has been a stronghold for the New Democratic Party.
Many neighbourhood businesses line Bank Street, including several pubs, the Mayfair Theatre, and some Lebanese stores towards the Southern end. This section of Bank Street is also well known for its antique stores. As part of a 2004 Bank Street redesign, inlaid metal maple leaves were added to the sidewalks inscribed with the names of Canadian folk musicians. Other new features included the removal of over-head powerlines, “traffic calming” measures, and the addition of more brick to the sidewalks.