Ottawa in Bloom

The many tulips of the Canadian Tulip Festival

I just got back from the Canadian Tulip Festival and the tulips did not disappoint.  Ottawa has the largest festival of its kind and they showcase over 50 varieties of tulips.  The flowers are blooming all around town, but the main display is in Commissioners Park at Dows Lake.

Below is my own display of the tulips- through photographs!  I’m still learning how to use my Nikon, but I think this is a nice representation of the different varieties on display!

Why Ottawa’s obsession with the tulip?  It goes back to the special relationship that the Canadians made with the Dutch during WWII.  The Princess of the Netherlands was kept in safety in Ottawa during the war and even had a child, Princess Margriet there.  Once Princess Juliana became queen, she sent the city of Ottawa tulips each year as a gift.  You can read more of the story here, but the commission now plants close to 1 million tulip bulbs annually!

These first two photos are from Parc Major’s Hill Park.  This is a beautiful park that overlooks the Rideau Canal locks and the National Gallery.



The best photo I have of the tulips on Parliament Hill is this one with C.  They were appropriately colored red and white.

This photo below was outside of the Library and Archives.  The kids weren’t impressed, they wanted to go in and check out a book.  Ha!

As aforementioned, the main display is at Commissioner’s Park.  The park is a 10-minute drive from Ottawa, but the Festival provides a shuttle for $2/person.  The shuttle was a double-decker bus and it was definitely the highlight for 5-yr-old Jackson.  He squealed in delight the entire time!

This photo is to show you the crowd at Dows Lake- but also to show you how funny it is to try to get a picture of the kids by themselves.




We saw sooo many tulips, and we only made it through 1/3 or so of the park before the kids started getting tired.  Because we had to take the shuttle, my giant double stroller wouldn’t fit on it, so we were outnumbered by littles and they had to walk a lot!

Do you think you’d like to visit the Canadian Tulip Festival?  Have you been to any other flower festivals?  Or maybe you’re interested in Ottawa? 

We stayed at the Residence Inn by Marriott– very convenient location and tons of space for our family!

A Walking Tour of Ottawa with Kids – My post @ Suitcases and Sippycups

For your continued reading:

Canadian Tulip Festival website

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3 thoughts on “Ottawa in Bloom

  • June 30, 2015 at 1:13 am

    I love tulip festivals! My ancestors came directly from Holland and we grew up very near the village they settled in the United States. They still have a distinct dutch feel and have a tulip festival every year. What a fun trip for your family!

    • June 30, 2015 at 7:35 am

      Thanks Michelle, that is really neat about your ancestor. The trip to Ottawa definitely piqued my interest in flower festivals all over the world!

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