ByWard Outdoors History

ByWard Market is one of Canada’s oldest and largest public markets. Originally and as far as the 1980’s, in addition to produces, the farmers sold cattle, livestock, hay and seeds. First established in 1826 by Lt. Col. John By, founder of the Rideau Canal and its waterway system linking Ottawa to Kingston, ByWard Market is located in the old part of Ottawa in an area close to the Rideau Canal and locks, close to the Ottawa River which separates Ontario and Quebec. It has numerous parks, museums and old buildings in its vicinity, restaurants, pubs, horse drawn carriages, buskers and our famous Beaver tails.

Outdoors vendors are an integral part of the ByWard Market experience. Unlike other markets, you will find some ByWard Markets vendors outside, rain or shine, 363 days a year (closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day).


Although the ByWard Market was founded in 1826, the Market Square did not have a building until 1848, which contained opened stalls for horses. The current building was built in 1926, renovated in 1975 and 1997. In the new building, the opened stalls for animals have been replaced with stores offering handcrafted Canadian items as well as a food court and public washrooms.