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Pictures of The Ottawa Tulip Festival

Updated on April 24, 2015

Celebrating Multi-Cultural Friendship

Ottawa's Tulip Festival is an annual event in Ottawa; more than just tulips - though tulips are the theme for the month of May until Victoria Day.

The history of Ottawa's tulips is well known in Canada.

In 1945 the Netherlands sent 1,000,000 tulips to thank Ottawa for giving safe haven for Dutch Princess Juliana during the Nazi occupation of their homeland.

The tulip has come to symbolize friendship among different cultures. Fitting since Canadian culture is multi national in its origins. The new logo created in 2012 for the Tulip Festival is two tulips, a yellow one symbolizing Holland, a red one Canada. The stems form a heart.

The festival was celebrated at various locations through the city: the Byward Market, Little Italy, Sparks St., Eglinton St. and Chinatown.

Each year, city of Ottawa anticipates about half a million local and out of town visitors to arrive to view the profusion of colours and varieties of tulips, all sent from Holland!

Tulips Everywhere

The Festival usually kicks off with an opening party, followed by satellite parties at participating clubs in the downtown Ottawa core throughout the festival.

There will be displays of over one million tulips all over the capital with the "feature" display at Commissioners Park at Dow's Lake, which has 300,000 tulips, 60 varieties in 30 flower beds! The gardens will have early, middle and late blooming tulips so more than one visit is worthwhile as different varieties come in bloom. Fortunate if you happen to live in or near the capital region!

Other displays will be at Major Hills Park along the Rideau Canal. Elgin St will feature the "Boulevard of Blossoms". There is also the Tulip Promenade at ByWard Market, a heritage district.

Scenes of Tulips in Ottawa

Many Different Events

Besides opening night parties, there were parties at participating clubs during the festival and performances. Last year they were held at the Sparks Street Mall, Little Italy and in Chinatown. There was a Mad Hatter's Tea Party on Mother's Day weekend, which was an "Alice in Wonderland inspired" theme party event with artisans on hand to help visitors create their own inspired "Mad Hatter's hats" with free craft supplies at the George street entrance to the Rideau Centre. Participants then joined the Parade of Hats.

All the events were free with the exception of the Electrik Tulips concert at the new CE Centre.

At the end of the festival, a fireworks show finished off the festivities, as it does every permitting!

I will leave you with some pictures of the tulips that were part of last year's display that I had the pleasure to see for myself....enjoy!

Fireworks at Dow's Lake

Dow's lake Ottawa Ontario:
Dow's Lake, Ottawa, ON, Canada

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The Fireworks Display Location: Dow's Lake

ByWard Market, Ottawa

ByWard Market, Ottawa, Ontario:
Byward Market, Ottawa, ON, Canada

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Little Italy , Ottawa

Little Italy, Ottawa:
Little Italy, Ottawa, ON, Canada

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Chinatown, ottawa

Chinatown, Ottawa:
Chinatown, Ottawa, ON, Canada

get directions


Submit a Comment

  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Hi prasetio! It is a nice ritual of spring and also signifies a bond between the Netherlands and Canada...besides just being so pretty. Nice on so many levels!

    Thank you for your comments!

  • prasetio30 profile image


    5 years ago from malang-indonesia

    I love flowers and Tulip is one of beautiful flowers in the world. I had never heard about the festival before. Thanks for share with us. Voted up!


  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Hi Grace! So glad you enjoyed the tulips! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Thank you Peggy! This year I was a little late to visit so I missed some displays since many varieties has already bloomed...but there were still these wonderful blossoms left!.

    I never knew tulips were considered annuals in Texas. Here they are one of the first blossoms in spring and I suppose they like the cold dormant period since they last for years (if the squirrels don't dig them up)

    Thank you for your comments and the share!

  • Grace Whites profile image

    Grace Whites 

    5 years ago from Manalapan, New Jersey, USA

    Awesome. Love those flowers. :)

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 

    5 years ago from Houston, Texas

    One of my husband's favorite flowers is the tulip and both of us would love to see this spectacular display in Ottawa during the Tulip Festival. I grew tulips which naturalized in Wisconsin, but sadly they are treated as annuals here in Houston, Texas. The greenery may return a second year but they seldom if ever bloom. So now we just purchase the tulip bouquets when they are seasonally available. Enjoyed this hub and voted up, beautiful and interesting. Will share.

  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Hi Movie Master! well, most of the events are free...the concert isn't, but it is nice that people visiting the capital can enjoy almost everything free as well as look at the huge variety of tulips!

    As always, I enjoy your comments! Thanks!

  • Movie Master profile image

    Movie Master 

    6 years ago from United Kingdom

    Displays of one million tulips sounds absolutely awesome, wish I wasn't so far away! I was amazed to read all the events were free, now that wouldn't happen in the UK!

    Thank you, I enjoyed reading and voted up.


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