Marketing at the ByWard Market

I decided to go downtown on the market to watch it wake up today. Parking is free on streets Sunday, and in many underground parking lots, ie Trade Center. But please call ahead to confirm, I’d hate for you to go for nothing.

Truthfully, I rarely go to the market to shop, gawk yes on my random drives that take me there, but shop no. Mostly it’s inconvenient since I do not live near downtown. I never considered prices that much better to travel the distance.  Tho, today I did see some good deals. I do understand that supporting local farmers is a good thing to do, but I’m not rich and need to keep my grocery budget as low as possible. When the kids were young I never came down here, occasionally to the Rideau Center for Wendys back in the day. Back then, Wendy’s was still only out on Carling so when it hit the mall I was happy. Never frozen meat really does taste better. Anyway, back to my point, I never brought the kids here. I wanted them to avoid seeing the packs of lost youth pan handling or simply sitting around smoking, hoping only just weed. But I’d heard about Oktoberfest and thought I’d take a peek.


Pulling into the parking spot on York, I did realize I was way early, lol, the ‘omm pa pa’ music probably only silenced hours before. However, this is when I had some spare time and assumed by lunch it would be revved up again.

It was still pretty quiet, most of the vendors were only just opening the cages and setting up. 


The parking spot was still fairly empty so I chanced it and drove back to Rockcliffe Park, the moon still looked quite full in the early morning sky, and I’ve always liked that contrast.


Not the best pics, my camera is old, but I like being able to see the caverns on the moon.


Back to the market I claimed my parking spot and went on another scouting looksee. There were a few people roaming around by then, but mostly it was still just vendors.

At one of the stalls there was a 904.05 lbs.  Wowzers!

DSCF1029Claire Lavoie’s stall

Security guards guarding the empty stages looked cold.

With the brisk wind it was very cold, so after once again walking up and down from Rideau to Clarence Street, and once again checking out all the remnants of Oktoberfest I returned to my car to escape the wind a bit and began this post.


I’d realized by this point I was even super early for the Market Vendors.  My memory of hustle and bustle before 9 am seemed to be actually just a dream so I decided to check out  Major’s Hill Park. Getting there moments before the Peace Tower chimed 9 am. The 9 dongs of the bell echoing through the silence.

DSCF1027 DSCF1033 DSCF1034

Wonderful view.

Beside me was the John By statue and I noticed one of those Scan thingies by its base.

DSCF1032 Apparently using your phone to scan that gives you a story about the statue.  What a great idea!  However, with my phone broke, and with no job, there’s none planned to buy.   But the concept sounds great, makes the city a museum in itself.

Walking back up Sussex to York Street, I walked past a Barber Shop and saw this:

DSCF1035Get it?  Ha!  Made me laugh out loud, but I like Christopher Walkens, I’d always thought he was an awesome actor.  But seeing him in the fun video “Weapon of Choice” FatBoy Slim made me like him even more. No I do not like Rap music.  The video isn’t really rap.

9:45 am

Noticing the parking lot was now full, I was back to the car for a brief break from the wind. Then it was another roam of the whole market.  People were starting to gather.  Luc LeDuc, the Magician was beginning to set up, so I knew that was coming.

This time past the vendors I noticed the brussel sprouts branch, it looked awesome and for only $3 I thought a great deal as well.


I seem in a minority for brussel sprout lovers. 🙂 If you dislike them, try roasting them with lemon and garlic.  Yum!


It was nice hearing all the area church bells giving a bell symphony.  I’m unsure which churches were sounding, but I’m sure there was more than one.


After a few bumps, magician Luc LeDuc performed for all 12 of us, fortunately half children, since his act was definitely for children. It was simple, but enjoyable until he began to whine he was not getting enough support from the crowd.. even saying “oh i get it you’re thinking I get paid for this”.  I just didn’t feel it professional.  He was at least humble while placing his magician hat on the ground and asking for tips.  Unlike a later busker that asked the crowd “Who here knows French”.. of course many put up their hands.. he says “good.. Poutine.. as in Put in”, and puts a bucket on the ground.  Sad, just sad.

After the show I wandered over to the BeaverTail  hut and tried a Garlic Cheese tail today. <I should have taken a picture!> Overall, I probably wouldn’t try it again.  Probably would have been better if the cheese was melted a bit, but mostly I decided the Beavertail should be sweet and will probably stick with the maple butter version.  I am curious though, if the girl who took my money should have been the one to prepare my food.  No hand cleaning necessary at Beavertails after touching money?


Over to McDonalds to use the facilities and try to send a tweet.  I thought they had wi fi, if they do, I couldn’t get it to work.  Coming out of the toilet, of course there’s  male in there washing his hands.  Typical downtown stuff.  I didn’t say anything, washed my hands and left,  I avoid interactions with apparent looking homeless people.  Seems a stereotype, but most suffer mental illness, and I prefer to avoid that. I did check, it was the female’s bathroom.

I didn’t notify anyone since he followed me out, but I was glad it was just me seeing this and not any children.


I decided to walk through the Le Moulin de Provence Patisserie  because I felt like some fudge.  At one end I did find some, but at 4.99 and 8.99 I decided I didn’t want fudge. Strolling through I saw many tasty looking treats and some jewelry too. Down at the other end where it looks like a cafeteria I peered at all the yummy desserts, debating longer than most as the prices nearly made me leave.  But then I saw it, a black forest cheese danish <should have took a picture of that too!>.  Being a fan of anything black forest, I was excited.  The girl that asked if I needed help was so friendly and polite, but the girl on the cash wasn’t and the arrogance she showed toward the one that served me was nasty. Not to mention <but I obviously am> she didn’t speak to me at all aside to tell me the total.  But I was determined to have a nice morning and moved on, enjoying my danish as I walked towards the ommm pa pa music. It was pretty tasty, needed a little more chocolate but still very good.


DSCF1040I barely made it in time to see the last performance end with a cheery announcement they’ll be back at 2.  I knew I wasn’t going to be there then, and honestly the few minutes of the music was enough really. Maybe it’s because I don’t drink beer?

Walking back towards the Vendors I walked past these guys,

DSCF1042Interesting sound. Called an Alpenhorn.

If you’re curious what they sound like,

This time with my stroll all around the market I purchased a huge cauliflower and broccoli,

DSCF1071both only a dollar each.  Both a great savings.  And a pack of pitas at the Cheese Store for dinner <left over homemade donair meat.. yum!>  Everything in the trunk, I moved on.

1:00 pm

While at the magician show earlier they advertised free walks with The Haunted Walk group.  I’d only just talked about that with my husband the evening before and was excited to get a free sample.  It ended up only being a Heritage Walk with one ghost story.  Apparently there’s a whistling ghost in the stairwell at the Chauteau Laurier.  I admit Denis, The Haunted Walk tour guide, probably taught me more in thirty minutes about the Byward Market than I learned in history classes, but I still felt mislead, nonetheless.

After the tour it was time to pack up and return to regular activities.  Overall the experience was pleasant and the vegetables look great!

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