UPDATED: OTTAWA sign to remain in the ByWard Market

The ByWard Market BIA has announced the OTTAWA sign, which currently sits in the middle of Inspiration Village on York Street, will remain in the Market, after Inspiration Village is dismantled.

In a newsletter to area businesses, the BIA says, after working with the City through the Councillor’s office, they’ve come to an agreement to keep the letters on York Street, just a few meters away from their present location.

BIA Executive Director Jasna Jennings confirms to CFRA the plan is still in its early stages, but they’re aiming to move the letters to the western edge of York Street, near Sussex Drive.

“We’re looking at creating a permanent spot for those letters,” she says. “With that, they need to create kind of a safe zone around the letters, for people who want to take photos and all that. They’re looking at some minimal impact down there; a small programming space that they’re currently in the process of finalizing a layout.”

The plan includes room for seasonal décor, seating, and the ability to provide lighting for the sign. It would also give the letters a more picturesque backdrop, with Sussex Drive and the steps leading up to Parliament Hill in the background.

20 parking spaces (ten per side) will be eliminated to create this programming space. However, Jennings says it’s a worthwhile trade-off.

“It still leaves 80 per cent of the existing parking inventory available along that stretch of York,” Jennings says. “Quite frankly, it’s seen as a huge win and a trade-off to keep those letters.”

This new space would also connect the Clarendon and Jeanne D’Arc courtyard entrances via permanent crosswalks.

The letters will be removed from the Market as Inspiration Village is dismantled after Labour Day. On-street parking in the area is scheduled to return by September 20.

Jennings estimates the sign will return to its new, permanent home by early October.

“We hope to have those in place in time for the Thanksgiving season and the Christmas season and then, as we get into Winterlude, we certainly expect they’ll be a big hit and a big draw for all those tourists coming to town for Winterlude,” Jennings says. “As we move into 2018, and people worry about a lull or a void after all the excitement of 2017, this is seen as a really big win, bringing something new and exciting to the Market for 2018 and beyond.”

The BIA says businesses in the area can expect visits from City Staff over the next few days to discuss the plan.