Tour Locations | Ottawa: Pioneering Days

  • LOCATION 25 | Ottawa: Pioneering Days

    Byward Market District

    Keep going straight.

    This the Byward Market district in lower town.

    This six by six block area is still a bustling beehive of commercial and social activity, just as it was 200 years ago.

    Bytown in the 1800s was a rough, hard living, hard drinking lumber mill town. Feelings ran high between the French and Irish Labours who competed for jobs in the forest and lumber mills. One colourful character here was the French logger's unofficial leader, big Joe Mufferaw. He led fights against the competing Irish, called the shiners. He was so nimble that he could do a back flip and leave boot prints on the ceiling. Another was Mother McGinty, who ran a bar where she chalked the tab of delinquent drinkers on the wall and shamed them into paying up.

    Continue walking toward the corner ahead.

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