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The Jewish Community of Lowertown, Ottawa
Ottawa Jewish Archives
Ottawa , Ontario


   The story of the Jewish
community in Ottawa is a
story of survival. As new
Jewish immigrants who had
recently fled pogroms and
economic hardship arrived in
Ottawa, they encountered
freedom from oppression and
fresh opportunities to
establish family businesses.

Through a combination of hard
work, cohesive religious
traditions and the presence
of early social services, the
Ottawa Jewish community
flourished over the years in
an atmosphere of relative
tolerance and optimism. This
virtual exhibit presents
historical images and

information about Jewish
families and the businesses
they established in Lowertown
from the late 1800s to the
middle of the 20th century.
The Jewish population of
Ottawa ballooned from 20
families in 1889 to
approximately 5,500 in 1961.
Jewish merchants dominated

Ottawa’s Byward Market
between the First and the
Second World Wars. Throughout
the Market area there were
many kinds of Jewish-owned-
and-operated businesses from
produce merchants, butcher
shops, bakeries, dairies,
furniture stores, corner
groceries, pawn shops, second

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