Parkdale Market Generates More Revenue Than ByWard Market in 2022

ABOVE: Seasonal markets like The Ottawa Farmers’ Market: Westboro are allowing consumers to obtain fresh produce away from the downtown core. 

Ottawa Markets Chair Bryan Chandler gave a presentation on the state of Ottawa Markets at today’s Ottawa City Council meeting and the various areas inside the city that fall under the group’s authority, including the Parkdale and ByWard Market markets.

Chandler spoke about the amalgamation of the group with the ByWard B.I.A. into the newly formed ByWard Market District Authority. He called it a good move that would expand areas of responsibility.

Councillor Stephanie Plante asked Executive Director Zachary Daylar about various operational components regarding the running of Ottawa Markets. Notably, Daylar acknowledged that the Market Building is the only public washroom in the district. As a result, the wear and tear is quite substantial, with plumbers being called at least twice a week to keep the facilities running.

Councillor Jeff Leiper asked to review the financial slides presented during the annual report, which showed that the Parkdale Market made more revenue than the ByWard Market in 2022. Daylar attributes the downturn to the harsh economic impacts of the pandemic on the ByWard Market and the higher incomes in the Westboro area. He also said that “perceived and actual safety concerns” in the ByWard Market impact how people feel about “going out and participating in their public market.”

The news is significant as it signals the continued decline of the ByWard Market and a shift towards the city’s west end, where Westboro is becoming an economic centre.

Councillor Ariel Troster asked if there was a plan to remove the farmer and food stalls that line the streets around the ByWard Market building but are no longer in use due to the lack of vendors in the area.

Councillor Marty Carr asked what the city could do to facilitate the production of more Ontario-grown produce to revive the downtown market, as regulations stipulate that only Ontario-grown products can be sold in the district. Daylar pointed out that while he agrees more must be done, it is the responsibility of the Provincial Government, and with the Green Belt in the province being used for building housing, a continued reduction in Ontario cultivated fresh produce will continue.

Mayor Sutcliffe asked Interim City Manager Wendy Stephenson to present the Term of Council Priorities for the remaining 2022-2026 term. Stephenson’s presentation included several core categories: A city with more affordable housing that is more liveable for all residents; effective infrastructure, and reliable mobility options to connect the city; making the city greener; and creating a prosperous economy.

It was noted that these policy lines would be the top priority but will not represent all the work and policy choices made by Council and city staff throughout the remainder of the term.

Councillor Riley Brockington brought forward a motion to give authority to the Ottawa Fire Chief to determine when and where fireworks can be set off in the city. This motion came due to the open-air fire ban.

Brockington noted that the only body in the city that can implement a ban on fireworks and consumer-grade pyrotechnics is Council. Brockington said that allowing the Fire Chief to determine what was in the public interest when Council cannot meet is a smart move. His motion was brought forward at the request of Ottawa By-laws. The motion was carried.

Ottawa City Council meets again on July 12, 2023.