Tulip Festival
Ottawa Tulip Festival
photo by: Ken Watson, 2001

A typical sight is tourists taking photos, in this case a mother is working hard to make her child smile for the camera. When walking by the tulip beds be prepared to be handed a camera and asked if you will take a picture of a couple or family grouping.

The tulip festival is held in May, culminating on the Sunday of the May long weekend with a flotilla of brightly decorated boats travelling down the Rideau Canal from Dows Lake to the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

The Canadian Tulip Festival is the largest tulip festival in the world. It had its beginnings in the fall of 1945 when Princess Juliana of the Netherlands presented Ottawa with 100,000 tulip bulbs. The gift was given in appreciation of the safe haven in Canada which Holland's exiled royal family received during the Second World War and in recignition of the role which Canadian troops played in liberating the Netherlands. In 1953 the first official Canadian Tulip Festival was held.

Although there are tulip beds throughout the city, the most traditional location, containing some of the nicest beds, is where these photos were taken, along Queen Elizabeth Drive beside Dows Lake.

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This page was last updated on: May 18, 2001
URL: http://www.rideau-info.com/canal/images/img-tulip1.html
© 2001 Ken Watson