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Merchants air frustrations about state of ByWard Market



Merchants in Ottawa's ByWard Market are voicing their frustrations over the deteriorating state of the area, attributing it to escalating drug use and homelessness. During a recent meeting, merchants and residents expressed concerns about increased crime, break-ins, and thefts, contributing to an unsafe environment in the market during the day. Business owners are seeking solutions to address these issues, including improved bylaw enforcement, security, and a decline in family-friendly activities. The demand for immediate safety plans has been emphasized, as businesses grapple with the challenges posed by homelessness and addiction.


Despite acknowledging the complexity of the situation, merchants are pushing for ways to enhance safety and well-being in the ByWard Market. Police acknowledge the need to connect individuals facing these challenges with appropriate services rather than relying solely on enforcement. Changes to the emergency response system, such as introducing a dedicated line for mental health crises, are being discussed.


The newly established ByWard Market District Authority is aiming to revitalize the area by bringing organizations together and generating revenue. The authority plans to establish advisory and safety committees to guide its efforts, along with considering short-term security enhancements. Long-term solutions involve reevaluating the concentration of social services and business types within the market.


The meeting brought to light the concerns and frustrations of business owners who are deeply invested in the ByWard Market's well-being. Despite the challenges posed by homelessness, addiction, and increased crime, merchants are determined to collaborate on strategies that will improve the overall situation and restore the market's vibrancy.


In conclusion, the recent meeting of ByWard Market merchants has shed light on their frustrations and concerns regarding the deteriorating conditions in the area. The meeting highlighted issues such as increased crime, break-ins, and an unsafe environment during the day. Business owners are seeking immediate safety plans and long-term solutions to address challenges posed by homelessness and addiction. The newly established ByWard Market District Authority is actively working on revitalization efforts, including advisory and safety committees. Despite the complexities, merchants are committed to finding effective strategies to restore the market's vitality and address the concerns of all stakeholders.


 

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