Today's letters: Mayor Jim Watson thanks Ottawa's flood workers and volunteers

By Nancy Biggs and Ross Meredith, Ottawa Citizen Letters to the Editor, May 18, 2019

(...)Let’s make the ByWard Market a focal point for our city

Re: The birth and death of the ByWard Market, May 13.

Barry Padolsky has it right. The ByWard Market has the potential of becoming a vibrant part of our city. More people are choosing to live and work in the city centre. With 55,000 people living within two kilometres of the market and 98,000 employees working in the downtown core, as well as the nearby location of an LRT station, this is a wonderful opportunity to make this an amazing place.

Imagine if we got rid of on-street parking and made it truly a place for people, like the wonderful plazas in Europe, and not a parking lot. More trees and planters would add to the experience. The 1,200 local farmers who employ 10,000 people in Ottawa could be invited back to the market to sell their produce. For much of the year people could enjoy sitting in sidewalk cafés. The season could be extended with a little ingenuity like in Scandinavia with the use of windscreens, awnings, heat lamps and blankets.  Don’t Canadians pride themselves on being resilient?

(...)Let’s clean up the Market, and expand it

Congratulations to Barry Padolsky for his thoughtful and timely column on the ByWard Market, home of Ottawa’s Bytown roots.

With the market’s 200th birthday celebration in 2027, the members of the Capital 2020 Task Force asked themselves what kind of ByWard Market should this nation’s capital have? We all agreed it should be a thriving economic zone with a wide range of public uses and programming; however, the present danger of gangs and criminal activity had to be addressed as a priority.

We also want to open the market to the 20 per cent of our population who have a disability so they can access restaurants and shops. We need a sustainable plan that provides easy, pedestrian movement, while accommodating cyclists and vehicles.

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