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Public Engagement

Public Workshop #2, ByWard Market Public Realm

The second public workshops were held on Tuesday, May 28th 2019 in the Routhier Community Centre. Approximately 60 people attended one of two presentations made by the project team and provided thoughts and feedback through table group discussions. The presentation below outlines the current thinking on the design of streets and public spaces in the ByWard Market, envisioning the character and function of different areas. The team will refine and further detail these concepts, and present designs for the gateways, during the third public workshop.

If you would like a PDF copy of the presentation outlined below, please contact DesignByWard@ottawa.ca

Presentation

The design principles that will guide the development of the ByWard Market Public Realm Plan have been refined as follows:

  1. Create a bold and memorable public environment to celebrate the Market and the area’s unique character
  2. Put pedestrians first
  3. Enhance the experience year round
  4. Beautify the Market
  5. Welcome everyone
  6. Support businesses
  7. Balance the needs of residents/tourists and businesses/residents

A number of design targets have been identified to support these principles:

Greening

  • 33 per cent tree canopy cover within the Market Core, except Dalhousie

Pedestrian Priority:

  • 50 per cent pedestrian space market-wide
  • 2.0 m minimum clearway for pedestrians
  • 3.0 m + clearways for 90% of streets within Market Core
  • Public seating every 30 metres

Accessibility:

  • AODA/City of Ottawa standards

Lighting:

  • Minimum levels for visibility and feeling of safety
  • Special lighting for special places

Outdoor Market:

  • 1000+/- square metres of vending space

 

William and ByWard Market Square

William Street and ByWard Market Square are important streets at the heart of the market area. Framing the existing heritage market building and potential future Destination Building, they will be paved in decorative paving that creates a strong identity to the ByWard Market area within the City of Ottawa.

William Street will be pedestrian-only (except for deliveries and emergency vehicles). ByWard Market Square will be pedestrian-only in the summer, when it will have outdoor vending stalls, but open to traffic at other times of the year. Both streets will have catenary lighting overhead, helping to create a memorable atmosphere in the evenings. The lighting will be supported by multi-functional poles that act as traffic control bollards, pedestrian lighting, and places for signs and banners for the market and vendors. The intent is that these streets function as outdoor extensions of the market buildings.

Conceptual landscape plan for ByWard Market Square and William Street showing decorative paving and lighting poles.

 

Conceptual view above the existing market building in winter showing ByWard Market Square open to traffic, and holiday events on William.

Clarence Street

Clarence Street will be paved across the entire right of way in decorative paving that creates a strong identity to the ByWard Market area within the City of Ottawa. On the north side, a wide sidewalk will include a patio zone beside the buildings, a row of trees, and a wide sidewalk zone beside the road curb. On the south side, an on-street parking zone will be delineated by very low curbs, allowing parking spots to be used as patio space in the summer.

Conceptual landscape plan for Clarence Street showing decorative paving and street trees.

 

Conceptual view above Clarence Street (looking westward towards Sussex) showing a wide sidewalk with patios beside the building.

 

York Street

York Street is the preeminent street in the Market. It is proposed to have five different character zones along its length:

Conceptual landscape plan for York Street showing five character zones.

 

1. Gateway zone (Sussex to Clarendon Lane):

In the Gateway zone, a bosque of trees creates a green gateway to the ByWard Market from the York Steps, and helps create continuity to the treed landscape of Major’s Hill Park. A special, bold and unique decorative paving treatment extends across the entire right of way from building face to building face, eastward to Dalhousie, establishing a pedestrian character to the street.

Conceptual landscape plan for York Street at the Gateway showing the bosque of trees

 

Conceptual three dimensional view of York Street at the Sussex gateway showing the bosque of trees

 

Conceptual view of York Street at the gateway (looking westward towards Sussex) showing the bosque of trees

2. Flexible Space zone (Clarendon Lane to ByWard Market Square)

In the Flexible Space zone, a significant new public art element is proposed adjacent to the bosque of trees. This will help create a strong visual identity and anchor to the plaza area, which extends to the heritage market building. Trees on each side of the street frame the space. Benches and other street furniture line the street, but would be able to be moved for large public gatherings.

 

Conceptual landscape plan for York Street in the Flexible Space zone showing the public art location (in red) and trees on each side of the street

 

Conceptual three dimensional view of York Street in the Flexible Space zone showing trees on each side of the street and benches lining sidewalks

 

3. North Market Plaza zone (ByWard Market Square to William)

In the North Market Plaza zone, the design concept is very simple and flexible, to permit this space to be used in many different ways, such as for outdoor vending for the market, and for various public events and programming. The decorative paving surface would extend across the entire space without curbs, forming a table top plaza. Tall mast lighting would provide pedestrian, vehicular and special events lighting. Moveable furniture and tents could be added and removed depending on the needs of the space.

This plaza would help link the existing market building on its south edge with a new Destination Building on its north edge, which would replace the existing parking garage at 70 Clarence Street. The Destination Building might also have an indoor market or food-related experience on the ground floor. A rooftop public space is being considered above this potential new building.

Conceptual landscape plan for York Street in the North Market Plaza zone showing a simple approach to design.

 

Conceptual view above York Street in the North Market Plaza zone (looking westward towards Sussex) showing the space being used for outdoor vending tents.

 

Conceptual view above York Street in the North Market Plaza zone showing the space being used for outdoor vending tents and a rooftop public space on the New Destination Building

 

Conceptual three dimensional view of York Street in the North Market Plaza zone showing tall mast and catenary lighting with the space being used for outdoor vending tents

Conceptual view of York Street in the North Market Plaza zone showing the space being used for outdoor vending tents (looking at the NW corner of ByWard Market Square and York)

 

4. Promenade and Gardens zone (William to Dalhousie)

In the Promenade and Gardens zone, large, low planters with seating along their edges define a more intimate pedestrian space. Street trees will be tall, arching species that permit open views at ground level but create a strong green canopy above. The street trees all along York Street are intended to create a grand, formal character and help unify the entire street. A third row of trees reinforces this zone as a promenade.

 

Conceptual landscape plan for York Street in the Promenade and Gardens zone showing three rows of street trees with planters underneath.

 

Conceptual three dimensional view of York Street in the Promenade and Gardens zone showing three rows of street trees with planters underneath.

 

5. Promenade and Lawns zone (Dalhousie to King Edward)

In the Promenade and Lawns zone, the character of the street changes to respond to the increased residential uses around it. A wide pedestrian promenade is flanked by lawns which are set beside the primary driving lanes. This promenade can be shared by vehicles, which need to access properties or park in driveways on the north side of York Street. At King Edward Avenue, a small seating area provides a frame for a public art piece creating a gateway from the east.

 

Conceptual landscape plan for York Street in the Promenade and Lawns zone showing a shared pedestrian and vehicular promenade adjacent to the road, flanked by trees.

 

Conceptual view above York Street in the Promenade and Lawns zone showing a shared pedestrian and vehicular promenade adjacent to the road, and a new public art location at the end.

 

Conceptual three dimensional view of York Street in the Promenade and Lawns zone showing a shared pedestrian and vehicular promenade adjacent to the road, flanked by trees.

 

Street Furniture

Along York Street and George Street where the space is planned to be used flexibly, street furnishings can be modular and moveable, to permit a variety of configurations for both day-to-day use and special events.

Example of modular and moveable benches and umbrellas from Quartier des Spectacles, Montreal

 

Example of modular and moveable benches from Quartier des Spectacles, Montreal

 

 

George Street

George Street is proposed to have five different character zones along its length.

Conceptual landscape plan for George Street showing five character zones.

1. Gateway & Youth zone (Sussex to ByWard Market Square)

In the Gateway & Youth zone, a small bosque of trees creates a green arrival space. Decorative paving extends across the entire right of way, from building face to building face. This decorative paving pattern can be found on streets throughout the market (except York Street, which has its own unique paving). Within the pedestrian promenade area, trees help create an outdoor room. Within this room, street furniture and skateboarding elements support a youth-focused space.

Conceptual landscape plan for George Street in the Gateway and Youth zone showing a bosque of trees and special paving throughout.

 

Conceptual view above George Street in the Gateway and Youth zone (looking eastward from Sussex) showing skateboarding ramps and curbs within an outdoor room.

Depending on the timing of the streetscape improvements and the nature of shipping and receiving activities at Hudson’s Bay, it may be necessary to maintain access to The Bay’s loading docks for tractor-trailers. This plan shows how George Street can be realigned to accommodate this need. It would still function as a pedestrian oriented space when loading is not occurring.

 

Conceptual landscape plan for George Street in the Gateway and Youth zone showing George Street realigned northward to facilitate The Bay’s loading docks.

 

Conceptual view above George Street in the Gateway and Youth zone (looking eastwards from Sussex) showing George Street realigned northward to facilitate The Bay’s loading docks.

 

2. South Market zone (ByWard Market Square to William)

In the South Market Plaza zone, George Street will be designed with flexibility to accommodate a variety of public gatherings. This area would be a good place to relocate the ‘OTTAWA’ sign to, as it would create a landmark element at this busy arrival area. It would be complemented by a plaza water feature that can act as both a decorative and play feature for children. The water feature, and potentially the paving pattern, reference the former By Wash which is believed to have run along George Street in this area.

Conceptual landscape plan for George Street in the South Market Plaza zone showing a flexible plaza area and a water play area.

 

3. Family & Play Space zone (William to Dalhousie)

In the Family and Play Space zone, the pattern of street tree planting helps define outdoor rooms. Lining the edges of these rooms are playful furniture elements catering to families that could include seating, recliners, large picnic tables, games tables such as table tennis and chess, music stations, lookouts, and play structures.

 

Conceptual landscape plan for George Street in the Family and Play Space zone showing trees creating outdoor rooms.

 

Conceptual view above George Street in the Family and Play Space zone (looking westwards towards Sussex) showing different fall colours for trees creating outdoor rooms.

 

Conceptual view of George Street in the Family and Play Space zone (looking westward towards the existing market building) showing different winter activities like games and seating.

 

4. Gardens & Promenade zone (Dalhousie to Cumberland)

In the Gardens and Promenade zone, large, low planters with seating along their edges define a more intimate pedestrian space. A third row of trees reinforces this zone as a promenade.

Conceptual landscape plan for George Street in the Promenade and Gardens zone showing three rows of street trees with planters underneath.

 

Dalhousie Street

Dalhousie Street will provide new street trees at intersections, and wherever possible, at mid-block locations. Intersections will include the same decorative paving as will define the character of the ByWard Market. The same family of street furniture including benches and pedestrian lighting will line the edge of the street, reinforcing Dalhousie Street’s connection to the market.

At the Dalhousie and York Street and George Street intersections, respectively, the ‘carpet’ of decorative paving of those streets will extend all the way across Dalhousie to the other side, creating an inviting, visual entry to the market core.

The on-street parking along Dalhousie will be raised to the same level as the sidewalk with a roll curb and defined by bollards, to create flexible space for summer time patios or seating.

Conceptual landscape plan for Dalhousie Street showing trees planted where space is available, and decorative paving accents.

Conceptual view above Dalhousie Street showing trees planted at intersections (looking southward towards Rideau).

 

Parent Street 

Parent Street will be designed similarly to Clarence Street, with a patio zone and wide sidewalk zone, and a flexible summertime on-street parking zone. Decorative paving will extend across the sidewalk areas and the on-street parking. This will create a strong link to the north to connect with Lowertown.

Conceptual landscape plan for Parent Street showing decorative paving on sidewalk and on-street parking areas, and street trees.

 

Murray Street 

Murray Street will implement the City of Ottawa’s long term cycling plan by replacing a row of on-street parking with a bike lane. New street trees will be provided wherever possible. At intersections, the decorative paving defining the ByWard Market area will be used to link Murray Street to the broader market.

Conceptual landscape plan for Murray Street showing street trees and decorative paving accents.

 

St. Patrick Street 

St. Patrick Street already has a bike lane. Changes will include new street trees and using decorative paving that defines the ByWard Market area at intersections.

Conceptual landscape plan for St. Patrick Street showing street trees and decorative paving accents.

 

As we heard it reports

Online Public Consultation - As We Heard It #1

An online public consultation was held from July 31 to August 21, 2018. More than 640 residents filled out the survey and sent in comments. This As We Heard It Report [ PDF 4.5 MB ] outlines residents responses and ideas to help plan for the future of the ByWard Market’s public spaces.

Public Consultation - As We Heard It #2

Three in-person public consultation events were held between September and November 2018. More than 400 residents participated in the consultation events. This As We Heard It Report [ PDF 3.0 MB ] outlines residents responses and ideas to help plan for the future of the ByWard Market’s public spaces. Thank you to all who participated!

Find out what others envision by watching our video. Thank you to all who provided feedback!

Public Consultation - As We Heard It #3

Several public consultation events were held in January 2019 to inspire and to gather public feedback about the early design directions for the Public Realm Plan. More than 200 people participated in the consultation events. This As We Heard It Report [ PDF 4.3 MB ] outlines the feedback that will help guide the project team in refining ‘big ideas’ and will inform the functional designs during the subsequent phase of the study.

Public Consultation - As We Heard It #4

Public consultation events were held between May and August 2019 to gather feedback on the preliminary design concepts for the Public Realm Plan. This As We Heard It Report [ PDF 20 MB ] will help guide the project team in refining design concepts and will inform the functional designs.

Public Consultation - As We Heard It #5

In the summer of 2019 two Pilot Projects were launched in the ByWard Market to test new ideas arising out of the ByWard Market Public Realm Plan. This As We Heard It Report [ PDF 10 MB ] presents the findings from the Clarence Street and William Street evaluations.

Public Consultation - As We Heard It #6

The second Public Life Study in ByWard Market took place on Thursday, February 21 and Saturday, February 23. This As We Heard It Report [ PDF 4.1 MB ] provided a snapshot of ByWard Market’s usage in winter, where as the first study took place in late summer/early fall.

Public Workshop #1, ByWard Market Public Realm

The first public workshops were held on Wednesday, January 23, 2019 in Jean Piggot Place at City hall. Approximately 50 people braved the snow to hear one of two presentations from the consulting team and provide thoughts and feedback through table group discussions. The presentation below outlines early thinking on design principles that should guide the ByWard Market Public Realm Plan, the identification of character areas, and a design vision for the streets and spaces at the heart of the market. The team will present the refined concepts and design framework along with draft cross-sections in spring 2019.

If you would like a PDF copy of the presentation outlined below, please contact DesignByWard@ottawa.ca

Presentation

Guiding Principles

Six guiding principles will direct the design of the public streets and spaces in the ByWard Market area (they are not listed in order of importance):

Next Generation

  • Celebrate the market’s unique character
  • Define the gateways
  • Create bold and memorable public space

Pedestrians First

  • Increase pedestrian space
  • Provide amenities for pedestrians
  • Create a safe and accessible environment
  • Incrementally reduce vehicle travel and parking
  • Provide for all types of travel

Support Business

  • Support ByWard Market as a distinct food retail experience
  • Anchor the market experience with the Market building
  • Space for outdoor market stalls
  • Provide space for great patios
  • Accommodate deliveries and loading

Beautify the Market

  • Plant more trees
  • Improve pedestrian lighting and nightscape in the Market
  • Enhance seasonal and event lighting
  • Use of high quality materials

Enhance the Experience

  • Increase programming, events, arts and culture year round
  • Design public spaces to reinforce the market’s image
  • Provide infrastructure for events
  • Clean and well maintained

Welcome Everyone

  • Design for Accessibility
  • Provide activities for all ages
  • Attractions for kids
  • Create space for everyone
  • Attract all cultures, ethnicities, genders

Character Areas

Character Areas represent the unique types of streets and spaces in and around ByWard Market that have a distinct identity, role and function in the City of Ottawa. Identifying these areas will help the design team create public realm designs that are appropriate for each.

The Character Areas include:

  1. The Capital Landscape
  2. Confederation Boulevard
  3. Rideau Street
  4. King Edward Street
  5. Dalhousie Street
  6. Residential Focused Streets
  7. Market Core Streets and Spaces
  8. Pedestrian Portals (or Gateways)
  9. The Courtyards

Character areas map

ByWard Market Public Realm Plan Character Areas map legend

Market Core Streets and Spaces

In the heart of the market, George Street, much of York Street, ByWard Market Square and William Street are great opportunities to reinforce a highly pedestrian approach to public space design. In addition, Clarence Street and Dalhousie Street can help reinforce this pedestrian shift.

Map of Core Market Area primarily including ByWard Market Square, William Street, William Street Mall, York Street, George Street, Clarence Street and Dalhousie Street

The vision for the Market Core area is: “a vibrant central hub, always busy. A destination, meeting place, marketplace and heart of the city.”

Christmas market in the Distillery District, Toronto
Christmas market in the Distillery District, Toronto

Ideas for the Market Core

  • William Street is closed to traffic year round (except delivery vehicles)
  • ByWard Market Square becomes a seasonal street, closed to traffic in the summer (except delivery vehicles)
  • There is a strong pedestrian focus from the new Rideau Station to Clarence Street
  • Special pedestrian road crossings give pedestrians the clear and obvious priority

The team is considering two options for the city parking garage and retail space at 70 Clarence Street. One option replaces the building with a new destination building with market and/or retail uses at ground level. Another option replaces the building with a public square.

Option #1: Concept for the Market Core with a new destination building at 70 Clarence Street

Drawing of pedestrian space around existing market and potential new destination building.

These images show the kind of public spaces that can be created around the new destination building.

Market building and pedestrian space in Torvehallerne Market, Copenhagen.
Torvehallerne Market, Copenhagen.

Street patio in pedestrian area of Gastown, Vancouver
Gastown, Vancouver

Market stalls along ByWard Market Square, Ottawa
ByWard Market Square, Ottawa

Option #2: Concept for the Market Core with a new public square at 70 Clarence Street

Drawing of pedestrian space around existing market and potential new public gathering space.

These images show the kinds of public spaces that can be created around the new public gathering space.

Christmas Market in Zurich
Christmas Market in Zurich

Market Square, Guelph, in summer with wading pool

Market Square, Guelph, in winter with ice skating
Market Square, Guelph, in winter

Market Square, Guelph, in summer with movie night
Market Square, Guelph, movie night

The Grand Boulevards: York and George Streets

These streets have double-wide rights of way that present unique opportunities for public space design. While they can accommodate all modes of travel, including on-street parking, the parking lots should be removed to make room for generous sidewalks and flexible public space that accommodates a wide variety of events, activities and programming, large and small, including market stalls and outdoor patios.

By placing the vehicle travel lanes and on-street parking on the south side of the rights-of-way, it frees up a large area of pedestrian space on the north side for these activities. This is the sunniest side of the street, which creates greater comfort for people enjoying the spaces through Ottawa’s colder weather.

The following images show a host of potential configurations for York and George Streets.

Drawing of wide sidewalk, empty
Wide sidewalk

Drawing of wide sidewalk, with cluster of trees
Wide sidewalk, with cluster of trees

ByWard Market Public Realm Plan - York - George sidewalk concept and market tents
Drawing of wide sidewalk, with market tents

Drawing of wide sidewalk, with small stage and crowd
Wide sidewalk, with small stage and crowd

Drawing of wide sidewalk, with café seating
Wide sidewalk, with café seating

Drawing of wide sidewalk, with play fountains
Wide sidewalk, with play fountains

Drawing of wide sidewalk, with moveable street furniture and exhibits
Wide sidewalk, with moveable street furniture and exhibits

Drawing of wide sidewalk, with temporary play equipment
Wide sidewalk, with temporary play equipment

Drawing of wide sidewalk, with a combination of cafés, trees, play equipment and market tents
Wide sidewalk, with a combination of cafés, trees, play equipment and market tents

York Street

The vision for York Street is a street of the highest order, a flexible platform and long public plaza.

Photo of beautiful paving and seating on Slovenska Boulevard, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Slovenska Boulevard, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Concept for York Street with a linear public space along the north side.

Drawing of York Street with a wide, linear public space along the north side.
York Street with a wide, linear public space along the north side.

These images show the types of public spaces that might be created.

Photo of market stalls and café seating in The Hague, Netherlands
The Hague, Netherlands

Photo of the shared street Mariahilfer Strasse, Vienna, Austria
Shared street Mariahilfer Strasse, Vienna, Austria

George Street

The vision for George Street is a space for greater programming and larger events, fun and family focused, that has memories of its history with water.

Photo of illuminated teeter totters, Place des Spectacles, Montreal
Illuminated teeter totters, Place des Spectacles, Montreal

Photo of water feature in the main square of Bergen, Norway
Water feature in the main square of Bergen, Norway

Concept for George Street with a linear public space along the north side.

Drawing of George Street with a wide, linear public space along the north side.
George Street with a wide, linear public space along the north side.

From historical maps, it appears that the ByWash (excess water from the canal that ran through Lower Town and emptied into the Rideau River) was located along George Street. This would be an interesting historical reference to celebrate with a water feature, that could be both visually memorable and provide family-focused fun.

The illuminated fountains of Miroir d’eau, Nice, France, at night
The illuminated fountains of Miroir d’eau, Nice, France

Kids playing in the fountains of Miroir d’eau, Nice, France
The fountains of Miroir d’eau, Nice, France

This image shows how simple structures can accommodate a variety of programming, including arts, street festivals, play and educational exhibits.

Changing exhibits in Quartier des Spectacles, Montreal
Quartier des Spectacles, Montreal

Clarence Street

The vision for Clarence Street is an intimate street to support vibrant sidewalk life whose design is simple, elegant and flexible.

Photo of Argyle Street, Halifax, at night
Argyle Street, Halifax

This example shows how a pedestrian treatment along Clarence can enhance the experience for people walking or sitting in patios. During special events or over the summer months, the street could be closed to traffic.

Photo of shared street of Argyle Street, Halifax
Argyle Street, Halifax

Small crowd in Argyle Street, Halifax during a performance
Argyle Street, Halifax

The following images show a host of potential configurations for Clarence Street

Drawing of Clarence Street with café seating on the north side
Clarence Street with café seating on the north side

Drawing of Clarence Street closed to traffic, with café seating on both sides and people walking in the middle
Clarence Street closed to traffic, with café seating on both sides

Drawing of Clarence Street in winter with no café seating
Clarence Street in winter

Drawing of Clarence Street with café seating on the north side and an area on the south side
Clarence Street with café seating on the north side and an area on the south side

Dalhousie Street

The vision for Dalhousie Street is a vibrant main street with wide sidewalks.

Sidewalk of King Street, Kitchener
King Street, Kitchener

A zone beside the vehicle travel lanes can be paved with special materials. This zone would be flexible to accommodate on-street parking, patio or retail space in the summer months, or street tree planting.

Sidewalk and parking in winter, King Street, Kitchener
King Street, Kitchener, winter

The Vision for the Heart of the Market

These are the “Big Moves” for the heart of ByWard Market. At this early stage, they are conceptual in nature. In the coming months, the team will explore their designs more carefully. The intent to create great pedestrian focused public space will be considered within the context of vehicle movement, parking and ensuring a successful business environment.

The team will present the refined concepts and design framework along with draft cross-sections in spring 2019.

Drawing of the pedestrian spaces in the heart of the market including William Street, William Street Mall, ByWard Market Square, York Street, George Street, Clarence Street and Dalhousie Street
Pedestrian spaces in the heart of the market

The Gateways

Public space design at the intersections of Rideau/Sussex/Colonel By and St. Patrick/Murray/Sussex will be linked to a broader transportation analysis of how these intersections fit within Ottawa’s street network. This analysis will be undertaken in the coming months, with conceptual public space designs to follow.

Early thoughts for the Rideau/Sussex/Colonel By are to create a continuous, ground-level public space by removing the vehicular slip lanes from Rideau to Colonel By and the pedestrian tunnel known as the Rideau Underpass. This would provide opportunities for significant public art, greening, and the creation of an active building edge along the former train station in the long term.

Concept for the Rideau/Sussex/Colonel By intersection that removes the slip lanes and creates a ground-level public space.

Drawing of a plaza area beside the former train station at the intersection of Rideau Street, and Colonel By Drive
Intersection of Rideau Street, and Colonel By Drive

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) we’ve heard so far

The FAQs include questions from Gil Penalosa’s ‘Big Ideas’ talk on January 22, 2019 and from the public workshops held on January 23, 2019. The questions are not verbatim.

What are key design directions for the ByWard Market from Gil Penalosa’s keynote presentation?

Ottawa is the nation’s capital and sets the example for Canadian cities in many different ways. ByWard has an important role in the capital city, and a special status in Canada. We must set the bar high for this key destination.

Half of the Byward Market study area is streets. Gil’s presentation highlights cities from around the world that use streets as neighbourhood amenities. It’s not about copying ideas from elsewhere, but about making those ideas fit for Ottawa. The gentle majority of people are children, the elderly and people with limited economic choices. Public spaces need to be designed to improve the health, safety and enjoyment of the gentle majority.

Projects and visions don’t happen without alliances among residents, business leaders and the city. We must keep building these conversations and alliances through the Public Realm Study and other initiatives.

Programming of public space is important. The George Street plaza became the #1 pedestrian area in the Market within a year of opening.

Everybody talks about pedestrian priority – and how to reclaim public space in the market. There are two areas to think about:

  1. Streets are multifunctional at different times of day and year. Successful streets provide flexibility.
  2. York Street and George Street have wide right-of-ways; they are double the width of most streets. They have a huge potential to be an impressive part of the public space network and the transportation network.

Focusing on project benefits is a great way to get things built. Better health (both physical and mental) is a benefit of an active and social lifestyle that can be supported by good design and programming. The benefits of good design are both improved happiness and economic development.

 

How can design ensure people with disabilities are welcomed and accommodated? How can the public realm facilitate people of all abilities coming together?

We must plan for people with all abilities. People with disabilities are some of our most vulnerable populations. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act sets out clear performance standards that new public space design must meet. The City of Ottawa has made this mandatory for public realm design.

The use of the market building has changed over the years. What is its role today?

Ottawa Markets is responsible for the market building and its immediate surroundings. We are looking forward to collaborating with them as the key directions of their work are determined.

Where should the cycling streets go in the Market?

Cycling is a critical component of active transportation and necessary to ensure a balanced transportation network. The team will be determining options for ensuring safe and efficient cycling routes through the Market over the next few months.

How can the plan respond to the needs of Indigenous Peoples? Are there any cities that do this well?

It is important to reach out to Indigenous People and ask them how they want to participate in the Public Realm Study. The City has a protocol for consultation with Indigenous Peoples and will connect with them as partners. We are committed to involving Indigenous Peoples in the Study.

How can the Market be more liveable for pedestrians and cyclists when the current priority is on driving and parking?

The division between the sidewalk area and space dedicated to cars reflects the Market’s past and a legacy of vehicular use. This doesn’t necessarily reflect its current use. We need to change the paradigm to focus on walking and active use. For example, William Street is an important walking street that connects to the Rideau Centre. One option is to re-imagine it as a pedestrian street.  We recognize the imperative of accommodating vehicle travel and parking in the Market. However, in order to give priority to pedestrians, which we know is important to the community, we have to find the right balance of car place versus pedestrian place. 

How can we stop the proliferation of bars and patios?

The focus of Public Realm Study is on the design of the public realm – streets, courtyards, gateways. A key principle of our work is to enhance the experience in the market and to support businesses. Part of the experience is the range of shops, businesses and cultural attractions in the Market. Restaurants with outdoor patios are an important component of the experience of the market.

How do we accommodate the homeless into public space, since it is not ethical to push them out?

The design of the public realm must be inclusive for all to use and enjoy. The design of high quality public space is important no matter what background someone has. People deserve wide sidewalks, comfortable places to sit, and access to sunlight, shade and weather protection. A vibrant street life where everyone mixes is an outcome of a healthy urban area.

Feeling safe in public space is also an important principle, and there are ways of designing public space that make it safe for everyone. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) has many design strategies that seek to increase the feeling of comfort, control and observation to help reinforce a sense of safety for everyone.

There are many people looking for information about what to do in Ottawa. How can we showcase Ottawa tourism in ByWard Market?

A component of the Public Realm Study is wayfinding and signage. Over the next few months, the team will make recommendations to enhance the identification of key facilities and attractions and wayfinding through the Market. These recommendations will coordinate with the greater wayfinding efforts underway for Ottawa.

Creative ideas that capitalize on new or existing partnerships, alliances and platforms between the ByWard Market and other places in the city can also help us leverage the many exciting tourist options that Ottawa has to offer.

What observations or advice does Gil Penalosa have to translate vision into action?

We should start with actions that are low risk, low cost, and high reward that create visible positive change. We don’t want to start with the most controversial project because if that fails, then all can fail. We need to create alliances and move together to create synergies and identify projects that a variety of stakeholders could implement – the City, National Capital Commission, Ottawa Markets, the Business Improvement Associations, the business owners, residents, community groups, etc.

If you remove parking in the Market, you will destroy the Market. How can you even consider removing any parking?

The Public Realm Plan will identify on-street and off-street parking. People want the Market to be pedestrian focused. In order to make the Market more pedestrian focused, the project team will look at options for balancing space dedicated to cars and space dedicated to pedestrians.

How will your plan accommodate loading and deliveries if you change traffic operations?

A principle of the Public Realm Plan is to support businesses in the Market. Options being considered will clarify how loading and deliveries will be accommodated.

Why have more events and programming?  There’s no room, no one has the capacity to manage this and it’s too disruptive to the Market.

Gil Penalosa’s keynote presentation illustrated the role of programming and events in creating a memorable experience in urban places such as ByWard Market. The project team will carefully assess the opportunity for various sized events and programs to occur in newly created public space in the Market. The Public Realm Plan will also identify what’s required to ensure successful management and operation of events and programs in the Market.

I don’t understand how you can design the public realm of the Market without first starting with a clear vision. When will we see the vision for the Market?

What we’ve heard so far from the community has helped shape the overarching design principles for the Public Realm Plan. The team is now in the process of developing the vision statement that will frame the direction for improvements to the public realm and have long lasting relevance, as the Market will continue to evolve over the coming decades.