How we branded Ottawa’s first food hall

Case Study

Located in the heart of downtown Ottawa, Queen St. Fare is the city’s first food hall boasting over 8,500 square feet of space.

Queen Street Fare - Header



Queen St. Fare


  • Branding
  • Website Development
  • Product and Brand Launches
  • Logos and Corporate Identities
  • Marketing and Communications Strategy
  • Graphic Design
  • Email Campaigns
  • Website Planning
  • Media Relations
  • Website Design
  • Content Strategy and Creation
  • Copywriting
  • Video
  • Social Media
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)


Create a brand for Ottawa’s first food hall and introduce it to the world. Located inside the Sun Life Financial Centre in Ottawa’s downtown core, the food hall will be not only a food destination but also a live music venue with a licensed capacity for 390 people.


This project needed to attract the attention of three main audiences:

Millennials & DiNKs (Double Income, No Kids):

These are the people who spend money on food and entertainment while driving what’s fashionable for those around them.

Downtown Lunch Crowd:

There are over 20,000 office workers within a block of the Sun Life Financial Centre and they need to know where the hot lunch spots are.


Most of Ottawa’s visitors come from Ontario and Quebec so they need to know where they can eat, drink and experience what’s great in Ottawa.


It was essential for us to come up with a name and visual theme that would set the tone not only for the brand identity, but also for the entire space itself. Queen St. Fare was chosen as the name so that we could frame the conversation around this formerly iconic downtown street.

In addition, we sought to portray an image that would connect with our target audiences through the use of non-traditional media, tactics and channels to get their attention.

As the city’s first food hall, we also need to initiate a launch strategy to introduce Queen St. Fare to our target audiences, educate them about what a food hall is and generate excitement for the opening in December 2018.


Media and Influencer Relations

At the heart of our launch strategy was social media. Instagram, in particular, helped build the brand, promote events, tell Queen St. Fare’s story and engage with influencers. We also used Facebook to target a broader audience and Twitter to connect with media and the downtown lunch crowd.

We built a mobile responsive email template to promote what’s happening in and around Queen St. Fare. Then. We sent bi-weekly emails to keep subscribers informed as there is something happening almost every day at the food hall.


We were able to grow the food hall’s Instagram followers from zero over 3000 in just over six weeks with no paid media budget. Over 80% of the followers were from Ottawa with over 70% of them being female and under the age of 35 years old. The website was visited by over 20,000 people in first two months with an average time on site nearing two and half minutes. We also earned media placements in almost every major Ottawa media outlet, including prominent stories in the Globe and Mail.

The response from the public to Queen St. Fare has been fantastic. Most people can’t believe how amazing it is for Ottawa to have a project like this happening here.

Every element was communicated very well… and it was quite evident that this was a team approach by everyone at Cyan.

  • Sean O’Sullivan
  • Vice-President & General Manager, Bentall Kennedy

Discover what Cyan can do for you

We want to get to know you better so we can understand what services are going to help you meet your goals.