Unveiling Ottawa's Quirky Marvel The Tin House of ByWard Market

Unveiling Ottawa’s Quirky Marvel: The Tin House of ByWard Market

When discussing Ottawa’s many attractions, you’ll likely hear locals and tourists mention locations such as Parliament Hill, Rideau Canal, Alexandra Bridge (Can you walk across Alexandra Bridge in Ottawa?), and so on. 

These are just a few examples of the city’s many wonders. 

Of course, plenty of hidden gems are in the capital’s premises, just waiting to be found. One notable attraction that comes to my mind is the Tin House.  

This landmark is truly a marvel. Unlike most tourist attractions, the Tin House isn’t exactly a building, despite what its name implies. 

As a matter of fact, it’s one of the few attractions in Ottawa that lacks an interior. At most, you can stay in its courtyard and snap a few photos. 

But despite that, this is still a beloved attraction among us locals. It’s a stunning work of art that we can’t help but marvel at, and I’m sure you will love it once you see it up close. 

So if my description of the attraction has caught your attention, let me give you an overview of the Tin House before you go and visit it.

Overview of Ottawa’s Tin House 

Overview of Ottawa’s Tin House

The Tin House is a bit of a hidden gem. This interesting site near the ByWard Market might not be on every tourist’s list, but those who want to learn more about the city’s history will find it a truly unique and enriching experience.

Let’s go back in time to the early 1900s and learn about Honoré Foisy, a skilled tinsmith who left a lasting mark on the architecture of Ottawa. 

Foisy used his skill at working with sheet metal to make a wall that looked like it was made of wood and brick. This was a great example of his skill, and to this day remains a marvel to both locals and citizens.

The original Tin House, which was at 136 Guigues Avenue, was torn down in 1961, which was a shame. But that wasn’t the end of the story. 

The metal beauty was saved thanks to the hard work of the National Capital Commission. In the year 1973, it was moved to a charming courtyard in the ByWard Market.

Overview of Ottawa’s Tin House

The Tin House is now happily standing at 449 Sussex Drive, between the pretty streets of Murray and Clarence. It calls people from all over the world to look at its facade and learn about its history. 

Access to the Tin House is not limited so that curious minds can discover its beauty any time of the day or week.

As soon as you step into the Tin House’s patio, you’ll be drawn in by its mysterious beauty. 

The calm light blue color and clean white trim on the front give off a classic charm that takes you back to another time. The chimney and peaked roof add to its quaint look, and the glass windows and wooden shutters give it a feeling of cozy luxury.

In fact, the door itself is a work of art. It is made of beautiful wood and has a brass knocker that welcomes guests with a sense of pride. 

One can’t help but want to softly knock on the door and enjoy the spirit of the place.

The Tin House is also very appealing to photographers because it has so many great places to take pictures. Its sheet metal facade, which is textured to look like wood, is a blank slate for all kinds of creation. 

Whether you are a professional photographer or a beginner looking for the perfect shot, this historic building will inspire you and help you show your creativity.

Things You Can Do in the Tin House

Things You Can Do in the Tin House

Being one of Ottawa’s many beautiful attractions, there are plenty of things for you to do in the area to have a great time. Here are some activities I can recommend to create incredible memories in the Tin House.

Take photos of the facade.

First things first—snap those photos! The Tin House is an absolute favorite for photo enthusiasts, and it’s easy to see why. 

Strike a pose in front of the quaint facade, or get up close and personal to capture all the mesmerizing details. Trust me; your Instagram feed will thank you for these picture-perfect shots.

But hey, don’t just settle for the ordinary. Get creative with your photography skills! 

How about capturing the play of light and shadows on the Tin House’s beautifully embossed surface? Or maybe try some candid shots of fellow visitors admiring this metal masterpiece. 

The possibilities are as vast as your imagination!

Learn the house’s history.

Learn the house’s history

Now, let’s pause for a moment and soak in the story behind this charming place. Step into the courtyard and find a plaque waiting to regale you with tales of yesteryears. 

It’s time to learn about the creator of this time-traveling wonder—Honoré Foisy, the ingenious tinsmith. Let your curiosity guide you through the rich history of the Tin House and the fascinating journey it has taken to reach its current abode.

Enjoy the atmosphere.

Enjoy the atmosphere

Speaking of abodes, have a look around you. The Tin House is not just a solitary attraction—it resides in a beautiful courtyard that offers a slice of tranquility amidst the bustling market. 

I recommend that you take a seat on one of the benches and bask in the warm embrace of fresh air. And hey, why not do some people-watching while you’re at it? 

Trust me; it’s a fantastic pastime, observing the diverse characters that grace this vibrant neighborhood.

Explore the ByWard Market.

Explore the ByWard Market

Here’s an insider tip from me to you: don’t limit yourself to the Tin House alone. The ByWard Market beckons you to explore its treasure trove of shops, restaurants, and cafes. 

You can go on a shopping spree, indulge in some retail therapy, and find unique souvenirs to take home. And while you’re at it, do treat yourself to the delicious offerings of the local eateries. 

Read a book.

Read a book

Ready for more fun ideas? How about immersing yourself in a good book? 

The Tin House courtyard provides a perfect setting to escape into the world of your favorite authors. 

Grab a novel, find a cozy spot, and let the story carry you away on an enchanting adventure.

Have a picnic.

Have a picnic

Feeling a bit peckish? No worries! 

Pack a delightful picnic and savor it in front of the Tin House. The courtyard is an inviting haven for foodies to indulge in a moment of delicious relaxation.

Play some games.

Play some games

Traveling with family or friends? Bring along a deck of cards or some fun travel games to play in the courtyard. 

Challenge your companions to a friendly match and let the laughter fill the air as you enjoy each other’s company.

Relax within the Tin House’s vicinity. 

Relax within the Tin House’s vicinity

Sometimes, the most meaningful moments come from simply slowing down and savoring the present. Find a peaceful bench, close your eyes, and let the lively spirit of the ByWard Market seep into your soul. 

Feel the energy of the city, the laughter of its people, and the stories echoing in the air. Sometimes, relaxation is the most rewarding adventure of all.

Tips for a Great Tin House Visit

Tips for a Great Tin House Visit

Check the weather forecast.

Checking the weather forecast is key! If the skies are weeping or the snow is falling, postponing your Tin House adventure might be wise. 

The courtyard is uncovered, so you’ll want to be prepared for the elements.

Visit during the day.

Visit during the day

Timing is everything! The Tin House is an absolute stunner when the sun shines its brightest. 

So, grab your shades and plan your visit during the day to get a good look at the facade’s intricate details. You’ll be mesmerized by the play of light on the embossed metal surface—perfect for those Instagram-worthy shots!

Plan your visit in advance.

Planning is the name of the game. If you’re visiting the Tin House as part of your grand Ottawa tour, make sure to plan your visit in advance. 

The ByWard Market is a hub of activity, and during peak seasons, it can get bustling with fellow adventurers. So, having a well-thought-out plan will help you make the most of your time.

Get there early.

If you’re not a fan of huge crowds like me, it’s always a good idea to arrive early.  Get there early in the morning so you can enjoy the space for a little longer while there are barely any people yet.

Alternatively, you can visit later in the evening. While not as magnificent during the day, the Tin House is still a marvel to look at, even during dusk. 

Wear comfortable shoes

Wear comfortable shoes

The courtyard may be a bit uneven, and you don’t want your fancy shoes turning into aching feet. So, put on those trusty kicks and get ready to explore the surrounding area with ease and style.

Be prepared to share the space. 

Let’s talk etiquette, shall we? The Tin House is a public space, and that means we must treat it with the utmost respect. 

Be mindful of other visitors and allow everyone their chance to bask in the magic of this historical gem. And, of course, let’s do our part to keep the environment clean and pristine for future generations to enjoy.

Bring a camera.

Bring a camera

Don’t forget your camera! The Tin House is a photographer’s dream come true, so be sure to pack your trusty camera or smartphone to capture every beautiful moment. 

Your future self will thank you for preserving these precious memories.

Be respectful of the space.

The Tin House is a public space, meaning we must treat it with the utmost respect. Be mindful of other visitors and allow everyone their chance to bask in the magic of this historical gem. 

And, of course, let’s do our part to keep the environment clean and pristine for future generations to enjoy.

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