A Seasonal Delight for the Eyes

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When I first came to Ottawa, the Byward Market was my favourite neighborhood. It had (and claimed) a European flair with its small open-air fruits-and-vegetables market, eclectic boutiques, Italian and French delis and bakeries, and historical buildings. I liked to stroll around the market and the surrounding streets, pretending I was still in Europe. I liked eating overpriced 100% non-buttery croissants and buy $10 thumb-sized pieces of cheese. In my wildest dreams, there were no huge SUVs parked on George and York Street but small German and French cars, and smoking was allowed everywhere.

What can I say, I was new to Canada.

And then I stopped being homesick and looking for an ersatz of France. I embraced what Canada had to offer, and even though I still buy a few European products here and there, I’m generally happy with the local equivalent. Hint: croissants, crêpes and French cheese are best eaten in France. In Canada, enjoy sugar pies, banana bread, peanut butter and Philadephia cream cheese.

These days, I don’t like the Byward Market that much. I see it as a tourist trap, where most restaurants and shops don’t try hard because many visitors are not repeat customers. Even the fruit and vegetable market fell out of favour with me—too many times I was handed out boxes of bell peppers that looked good on the outside just to realize that the produce was rotten—what a cheap trick!

Yet, the market is a gorgeous display of local products and colourful fruits and vegetables, especially toward the end of the summer. Just for the (free) pleasure to the eyes, it is worth a stroll.

You can set the com­plete set of Ottawa — Sum­mer pic­tures on Flickr.

Maple Syrup

Maple Syrup

Cucumbers, Radishes and Cantaloupes

Cucumbers, Radishes and Cantaloupes

Blueberries

Blueberries

Blueberries

Blueberries

Strawberries

Strawberries

Berries and Apples

Berries and Apples

Apples

Apples

Spanish Onions

Spanish Onions

Carrots

Carrots

Blueberries

Blueberries

Cauliflowers

Cauliflowers

Beans

Beans

Beans

Beans

Vegetables

Vegetables

Strawberries

Strawberries

Raspberries

Raspberries

Corn

Corn

Garlic

Garlic

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

16 Comments

  1. Haha the market scam is pretty universal I guess, that’s why we don’t frequent Parisian markets or fruiteries where you cannot touch the fruits or vegetables.

  2. Well it is a treat for eyes for sure, I waited quite long to be there and in spite of the risen expectations, I loved the place. It has a nice vibe going on there. Although I will have to visit it another 100 times to completely know it 🙂 however we had a pretty good start, we had a very good guide 😉

    Nevertheless I wouldn’t be buying strawberries there, not just yet.

  3. Ahhh Byward Market ! When i first arrived here, i expected it to be huge like the one in downtown Baltimore. But i still enjoy it, though not so much when it is crowded as it is tough to navigatr with a stroller.
    I also LOVE the bakery inside !! So far, all of our birthday cakes come from there 🙂

  4. I remember buying fresh fruit from the orchard stands in B.C. It was the same price as the supermarket and it was fresh alright, fresh from California, the local fruit wasn’t ready yet.

  5. Great photos, I loved the Byward Market when I stayed in Ottawa, so that is so sad to hear! I can imagine if you live in Ottawa how you would view it as being a bit of a tourist trap though.

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