Peace and tranquility. Arts and culture. Historic walkways. High-end shopping. If these things sound appealing, maybe the Lowertown/market area is right for you.

Lowertown is actually the oldest part of the city. It is bounded roughly by Rideau Street to the south, Sussex Drive and Ottawa River to the north, the Rideau Canal to the west, and the Rideau River to the east. It includes the commercial Byward Market area in the south-western part, and is predominantly residential in the north and east.

It was historically French Canadian and Irish (as opposed to English and Scottish Upper Town, a term no longer in use) and is to this day home to many Franco-Ontarian families, businesses and institutions. According to the City of Ottawa website, there are roughly 4180 native English-speakers in Lowertown, 3530 Francophones, and 2235 with other mother tongues. Lower Town is home to a wide variety of immigrants and visible minorities, of which there are 2495.

Lowertown’s diverse population makes it one of the city’s more interesting neighbourhoods. Its main stretch along Rideau Street is very bustling and includes many African, Asian, South Asian,Caribbean, and Lebanese businesses, a large grocery store, the Rideau Branch of the Ottawa Public Library, and an Orthodox Jewish synagogue.

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