The Canadian Tulip Festival, Ottawa’s celebration of spring and the arrival of sunny, warm weather, begins on Friday. Citygoers have a chance to explore many local parks and waterfront trails to see an array of vibrant tulip gardens and displays totalling over 1 millions tulips in bloom. The festival is the largest of its kind in Canada, and attracts visitors from across the country and around the world each year.
Here’s all you need to know about the festival locations, events, and activities.
The majority of the Tulips, displays and events can be found at Commissioner’s Park & Dow’s Lake through to the experimental farm, with some Tulips found downtown and at Major Hill’s Park. The park map below indicates parking areas near the Canadian Museum of Agriculture, with a shuttle service to the main areas.
Markets & Boutiques
From 10 am to 10 pm each day, a local market will be open at Commissioner’s Park, including artisan and agriculture vendors. This includes the Tulip Team at Re/Max’s Tulip Boutique, the official gift shop of the festival, with a host of momentos and tulip-themed gifts and artwork. You can view the boutique here.
Tulips at Night
From 8 – 10pm, tulip gardens will be lit up after sundown, for a different experience.
Movies in the Park
Free, outdoor movies will be played daily at 2pm (kids movie) and 7pm. These matinees are open to everyone, and food and drinks can be brought in though there are food vendors on site.
Black Lit Boardwalk
From 8 – 10 each night, the Dow’s Lake boardwalk will be blacklight, allowing visitors the chance to view tulip displays ‘like a pollinator’, followed by a sound & light show at 9:15 each night.