New Ottawa Attraction: William Street Pedestrian Plaza

There’s a new cool attraction in the Byward Market! I attended the official opening of the William Street Pedestrian Plaza Monday morning. It looks like it’ll be a great addition to an already fantastic part of the city! The even have a rail system (see photo below).

Official Press Release:

New pedestrian-friendly spaces open in the ByWard Market

@OttawaMarkets #Williamstreetpedestrianplaza #OurByWard

Ottawa – At a celebration held today, Mayor Jim Watson, Peter Hume, Chair of Ottawa Markets, and Rideau-Vanier Ward Councillor Mathieu Fleury officially opened the new William Street Pedestrian Plaza in the ByWard Market.

William Street has been closed to cars for the summer to create a new place for visitors to the Market to sit, stay and relax. The plaza, which stretches from George Street to York Street, provides a wide promenade with more seating and greenery, activities for children and space for entertainment. This space was created by Ottawa Markets, with support from the City of Ottawa, and is a joint effort inspired by early ideas coming out of the City’s ongoing ByWard Market Public Realm Study.

This new hangout, which will remain open until the fall, is one of two new pilot projects set to help improve public spaces in this iconic Ottawa destination.

On Clarence Street, the City is working with local businesses to provide more accessible pedestrian space between Parent Avenue and Dalhousie Street. Ramps and temporary promenades will be in place until November, making more space for people to move during patio season. Business owners are beautifying the area with decorative planters to help create a more inviting pedestrian experience. This pilot came about from new accessibility requirements in the City’s Right-of-Way Patio By-law, as well as some of the early ideas from the ByWard Market Public Realm Study.

Both pilots are a chance to try easy, innovative ways to expand spaces for pedestrians in the Market, before making any long-term investment to renew the street. The City will be evaluating both pilot projects.



“The ByWard Market is one of the city’s great destinations for both tourists and residents, to which the William Street and Clarence Street pilots are vibrant and inviting additions. I’m delighted that we were able to work with Ottawa Markets and local business owners to make this very special place even more pedestrian-friendly.”

Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa

 “In support of the City’s public realm study we will take our first steps in testing out an improved market environment. William Street will, for the summer, be a place for people. To walk, to sit, to enjoy the heart of the City. It will be free of cars and parking. It will be a summer home for people. More importantly it is a step towards making the By Ward Market a more inviting people place.”

Peter Hume, Chair of Ottawa Markets

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