The Lowertown-Byward Market area is probably the most well known community in Ottawa. It is one of the oldest communities in Ottawa and was originally a cedar swamp that was clear cut and given an grid system layout. While the Rideau Canal was being built in the 1820s-1830s a large amount of Irish and French Canadian workers moved into the affordable Lowertown. The current layout of Lowertown is a result of the Gerber Plan, a renewal and improvement plan that was meant to accommodate growth by giving the downtown area a more practical area. This plan resulted in many people's homes being demolished in Lowertown and was stopped when people from other communities saw what happened in Lowertown. Considered to be the birthplace of Ottawa, the Byward Market was established in 1826 by Colonel John By as a large public market and public gathering area. The neighbourhood has recently made a strong effort to develop and grow its residential areas making it a commercial, residential, and industrial hub in the city.
Over a quarter of the residents speak French as their primary language with the rest speaking English primarily. The neighbourhood has the largest amount of restaurants and bars in the city with an impressive 105 restaurants and 79 bars or nightclubs. This high amount of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs makes it a very popular location for people looking to enjoy themselves by dancing, discovering new foods, and hanging out with friends. Along with the food and the market the neighbourhood is home to many specialty food stores, cafes, shops, and salons.
The Lowertown-Byward Market community is unique to other City of Ottawa neighbourhoods. The neighbourhood is home to the ByWard Market which is Ottawa's largest indoor and outdoor market featuring street vendors selling everything from fresh vegetables and maple syrup to handmade jewelry and clothing. Every year the market draws a huge number of tourists whether school trips or family vacations. The neighbourhood is also home to the largest amount of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs which makes it a popular area for people looking to enjoy some food and drinks or go dancing. The community is fortunate to have a community garden available to its residents. There are baseball diamonds, basketball courts, an outdoor rink, sports field and a tennis court for the sports enthusiast and an outdoor wading pool, play structures, a sledding hill, and a splash pad for all ages to enjoy. Lowertown holds an annual Winterfest that includes bouncy castles, wagon rides, food, and music. Finally, the National Gallery of Canada and St. Brigid's Centre for the Arts bring art and culture to the neighbourhood.
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