Ottawa Tulip Festival 2017

The Canadian Tulip Festival is also known as the Ottawa Tulip Festival and is held in Ottawa every year during the middle of May.  For 2017 over 1 million Ottawa tulips will be on display between May 12 and May 22.  Over 50 varieties of tulips will flourish in over 250,000 flower beds along dozens of kilometers and several routes through Ottawa, which you can walk, bike or jog.

What’s With All the Tulips?

The Ottawa tulip festival 2017 is the 65 anniversary of this festival and commemorates the gift of 100,000 tulips by the royal Dutch family to Canada as a symbol of international friendship.  Canadian troops played a pivotal role in the liberation of the Netherlands in WWII, and during this terrible time Canada was home to the royal Dutch family who were exiled from their homeland during the war.  Indeed, while in Canada, Princess Juliana gave birth to a daughter, Princess Margriet, and as a gesture of respect the Dutch flag was flown a-top the Peace Tower, marking the ONLY time Canada’s Parliament Buildings has ever flown a foreign flag.  In fact, Princess Margriet is the only royal personage to ever be born in North America. So now, each year, the royal Dutch family and the Dutch Growers Association send a gift of 100,000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa as a sign of friendship and respect.

Largest Tulip Festival in the World

Now the Canadian Tulip Festival is the largest in the world and attracts over 600,000 visitors annually.  Indeed, Ottawa will host the 15’th bi-annual World Tulip Festival from October 5 to 7, 2017 during which 16 member counties promote the tulip as a symbol of international friendship and peace.  There are now 26 countries with International Peace Gardens that promote international peace and friendship.

Malak Karsh and The Tulip

In 1937 Malak Karsh was an immigrant to Canada from Turkey and made Ottawa his home.  Karsh became a world renowned photographer, famous for his photographs of all things Canadian.  He strived to make each photograph of his beloved Canada meaningful and significant, documenting the strength that was Canada using scenes, people, culture and objects (like tulips).  After the gift of tulips from the Dutch queen, Malak championed and became one of the founders of the annual Ottawa Tulip Festival which is now the largest tulip festival in the world.  He would often say “keep a tulip close to you at all times”.

The Gardens and Ottawa Tulips

The main showcase for Canadian tulip bulbs are: Commissioners Park Tulips, Lansdowne Park Tulip Gallery and The Garden Promenade.  You can enjoy the explosion of colors by booking one of the many guided tours available at these parks.  There are also bike tour operators that will guide you through several parks and routes that will amaze you with color and fragrances. This year a gift of the special white and red tulip was made by the Netherlands to Canada to commemorate the 150th birthday of Canada. 

There’s no better way for you and your family to enjoy this spectacular tulip festival than by booking one of the many vacation rentals by owner in Ottawa as your economical hotel alternative.  Check out the many vacation rental Ottawa at Sunrise Vacation Home Rentals.