canadian tulip festival ottawa

There's a massive tulip festival in Ontario this spring

Despite a brief return of winter weather this week, recent warming trends have fixed my mind on the arrival of spring and all the various day trips and getaways to be embarked upon.

Of the destination events on the horizon, few rival the Canadian Tulip Festival for its unfettered celebration of the season as a period of rebirth and beauty. Spread across multiple venues, there will be over a million tulips in bloom as part of the festivities. 

The event takes place in Ottawa and Gatineau between May 11 and 21, with various programming across the two cities. The highlight, however, is surely the display at Commissioners Park at Dows Lake, where there's a one kilometre stretch of tulip beds to explore. 

It might not out-tulip Holland's world renowned festival, but this is the biggest event of its kind in Canada, and it dramatically marks the height of spring in Ontario. 

Beyond Commissioners Park, you can also soak up tulip displays at Byward Market, Lansdowne Park, and even tulip-infused culinary offerings at Zibi Gatineau. If there was a time to check out the Ottawa area in the next little while, this would be it.

A post shared by Iman Said (@iman1708) on

There are various shuttles from downtown Ottawa to the main festival sites, though you can also drive direct to Dows Lake and park nearby for $15. From there, the choice is yours whether you want to explore on your own or in a guided tour. 

The countdown to spring is on. 

Lead photo by

@cdntulipfest


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Sports & Play

Toronto's most over-the-top backyard skating rink is back for another season

New Team Canada hockey jerseys revealed and some fans aren't feeling it

Toronto is getting a rooftop skating rink with skyline views

Toronto showcased to soccer elite as potential FIFA World Cup 2026 host

Toronto is hosting a major world championship for an unlikely sport

Toronto's most picturesque skating rink in an old brick factory opens next month

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. didn't win the AL MVP and Toronto Blue Jays fans are angry

A Toronto Maple Leafs fan is trying to undo a hero's Hall of Fame snubbing