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ByWard Market bars and restaurants prepare for COVID-19 Canada Day
Fireworks explode behind the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill during Canada Day celebrations, in Ottawa on Wed., July 1, 2015. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang)
OTTAWA -- Canada Day is usually the busiest day of the year for bars and restaurants in the ByWard Market.
However, with the in-person Canada Day festivities at Major's Hill Park and other venues cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, business owners are waiting to see what the crowds will be like on Wednesday.
"We think it's going to be a bit of a wild card," said Johnny Bonney, Assistant General Manager of The King Eddy on Clarence Street.
"We are anticipating to be busy. Probably not to the level we have seen obviously in past years."
Canadian Heritage cancelled the Canada Day festivities in downtown Ottawa and Gatineau on Wednesday due to the COVID-19 measures. Instead, the federal department is hosting events online. Museums that normally offer free admission on Canada Day are also closed.
"Usually downtown is our go to. We spend the day down there and the evening but this year is a bit different," said Jennifer.
The Rideau Centre and businesses in the ByWard Market are allowed to open on Canada Day. Bars and restaurants can open for dine-in service on the patio, as well as take out and delivery.
The Aulde Dubliner and Heart and Crown in the ByWard Market will open for the summer on Monday.
At the King Eddy, Bonney is hopeful people who are staying in Ottawa for Canada Day will get out of the house and head down to the ByWard Market.
"Those who aren't able to go to a cottage or necessarily make it out of town, I think there will be people down here looking for a nice old beverage and a great meal. So we're gonna go at it as if it's gonna be a busy day," said Bonney.
"It's always exciting on Canada Day, no matter the circumstances."