/ #news #byward market 

City turns William Street into a space for people, not cars (at least until fall)

The ByWard Market, seen from atop the Andaz Ottawa hotel. (Photo/Devyn Barrie)

William Street has been closed to cars for the summer to create a new place for visitors to the Market to sit, stay and relax. The plaza, which stretches from George Street to York Street, provides a wide promenade with more seating and greenery, activities for children and space for entertainment. This space was created by Ottawa Markets, with support from the City of Ottawa, and is a joint effort inspired by early ideas coming out of the City’s ongoing ByWard Market Public Realm Study.

This new hangout, which will remain open until the fall, is one of two new pilot projects set to help improve public spaces in this iconic Ottawa destination.

On Clarence Street, the City is working with local businesses to provide more accessible pedestrian space between Parent Avenue and Dalhousie Street. Ramps and temporary promenades will be in place until November, providing more space for people to move during patio season. Business owners are beautifying the area with decorative planters to help create a more inviting pedestrian experience. This pilot came about from new accessibility requirements in the City’s Right-of-Way Patio By-law, as well as feedback gathered as part of the ByWard Market Public Realm Study.

Both pilots are a chance to try easy, innovative ways to expand spaces for pedestrians in the Market before making any long-term investment to renew the streets. The City will be evaluating both pilot projects throughout the summer.