Hume: We're already improving Ottawa's ByWard Market. Here's how

By Peter Hume, Ottawa Citizen, May 24, 2019

When Ottawa Markets gave its annual report to city council in June 2018, it was uncharacteristically blunt.

“Competition from the 19 urban and suburban farmers markets continues to erode our market share. Regulations are stifling and the lack of public infrastructure like modern accessible public washrooms and public spaces doesn’t help to attract both vendors and people to our flagship public market.”

The reason Ottawa Markets could say those things is that Ottawa council did something courageous. It recognized its shortcomings and limitations and gave up on its efforts to bureaucratically control market activities.

(...)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. This is a bold move for a staid Ottawa. More importantly, it is a step towards making the ByWard Market a more inviting people place.

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