I learned something new about the city I have lived in for over 20 years on a recent stay in the Byward Market (you can read more about my stay at Courtyard by Marriott HERE). The discovery, I won’t spoil the surprise just yet, reminded me to make time to be a tourist in my own backyard, chat with people and be willing to explore! There are surprises waiting and you may be missing neat ones.
While walking around the market looking for a spot to have lunch we stumbled upon Patty and her clipboard. Patty was taking names of those interested in taking a horse-drawn carriage ride around the Byward Market. Cundell Stables and the Byward BIA offered free rides to the shoppers and tourists.
“The ByWard Market is Ottawa’s premier destination for shopping, dining, arts, entertainment and professional services for residents and visitors. This area averages 50,000 visitors per weekend in the summer months. It is home to both a local farmers’ market and artisans with over 260 stands, as well as over 600 businesses. In 2017, the ByWard Market will play host to the almost 10 million visitors expected to visit the Nation’s Capital.” — Byward Market BIA
While talking with Patty we learned her husband’s, John Cundell, family has had stables in the Byward Market since 1890. John’s grandfather bought and traded horses and even used workhorses when the family held the garbage contract for Ottawa. When I asked Patty where the horse’s stables were today, she pointed down towards York Street, “See the red building? The stables are just behind our home there.”!
Nestled between a hot night spot and a building apartment block is a stable and permanent home to 6 horses. The Cundell stables were grandfathered in with old permissions and there is no way anyone else will be able to get a similar permit today. The business of the stable owner in the Byward Market has changed since 1890, moving from supplying horses for the fire department to offering horse-drawn carriage rides to locals and tourists.
I will be heading back to explore the stables again soon. Hopefully, my excitement will not be as tough on my photography.
John and Patty told me they offer private rides for hire. Graduations, weddings, anniversaries are all excellent reasons for a horse-drawn carriage ride. Next winter we are thinking a horse-drawn carriage ride to Parliament Hill to see the light displays is in order. What a perfect way to celebrate! You may also catch the horses at local fairs and carnivals in the summer. While you are enjoying your carriage ride have a chat with John, you will learn a little bit about horses and Ottawa’s history.
Connect with Cundell John Stables
Follow on facebook HERE
Address 113 York St, Ottawa Ontario
Phone (613) 241-8054