It's Almost Tulip Time in Canada's Capital
OTTAWA -- Springtime in Ottawa is synonymous with the Canadian Tulip Festival (May 11-21, 2018).
The tulip is Ottawa’s official flower, stemming from World War II, when the Dutch Royal Family took refuge in Ottawa and Princess Margriet—the younger sister of the recently retired Queen Beatrix—was born during their stay.
Canadian troops played a pivotal role in the liberation of the Netherlands, so when the war ended and the Royal Family returned to Europe, they sent a gift of 100,000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa. The gift of tulips continues to this day.
This year, the 66th annual festival, with the theme A World of Tulips, extends over 5 official sites: the main tulip beds at Commissioners Park at Dows Lake; tulip art and programming curated by artist Monique Martin in the ByWard Market neighbourhood; fun family programming, performance, art and more at Lansdowne; tulips sprouting throughout the city along the Garden Promenade.
And . . . new this year a location at the Zibi site in Gatineau! Zibi, located just past Chaudière and Victoria Islands on the Gatineau side of the Ottawa River, that's a sustainable community and redevelopment project which during the Canadian Tulip Festival will become a site for foodies with tulip-inspired culinary offerings prepared by local chefs.
Also new this year is the Tulip Trail, which links Commissioners Park to Lansdowne Park with fun facts, animation, and more along the way that make this 20-minute walk from one site to the other a quick, fun trip!