Canadian Tulip Festival
May 13 - May 23
In 2022, the Canadian Tulip Festival is celebrating its Platinum Jubilee marking its 70th anniversary!
Welcome spring at the world’s largest tulip festival! This popular annual event features massive tulip displays, fireworks, family fun and more.
Over 11 days each May, the Canadian Tulip Festival celebrates the seasonal flower’s beauty and its historic ties to Canada’s capital. The outdoor event takes place at Commissioners Park, where over 300,000 tulips bloom alongside the Rideau Canal’s picturesque Dows Lake. Access to the site and select programming is free!
Tulips (day and night), kids fun and souvenirs
Take photos and selfies amongst the dozens of multicoloured garden beds; visit the heritage display to learn about the historic gift of tulips which led to the festival’s creation; shop for fresh cut flowers, crafts, art and more at the tulip boutique; take the kids to the Tulip Town activity area; and enjoy lit garden beds and a blacklight boardwalk experience after dark.
Tours, workshops, movies and fireworks
Consider getting tickets to special guided tours that delve into the fascinating flowers in the daytime (virtual option also available) and spooky historical tales in the evening. Additional programming includes photo workshops, bingo games, free outdoor movies, and the Victoria Day fireworks—a festival favourite!
During the festival, Gray Line Ottawa is offering a convenient festival shuttle service between the downtown core and Commissioners Park. Buses pick up and drop off passengers at these stops: Westin Ottawa, National Gallery of Canada, Fairmont Château Laurier, Lord Elgin Hotel, and Dows Lake (Commissioners Park). Service is scheduled hourly on weekdays and roughly every half-hour on weekends (times may vary). The cost for unlimited use per person, per day is $20 round-trip ($10 one-way).
The festival began with a special gift. The Royal Family of the Kingdom of the Netherlands took refuge in Ottawa during the Second World War, and Her Royal Highness, Princess Margriet was born here in 1943. Two years later, Canadian troops played a key role in liberating the Netherlands. In gratitude, the Dutch government has sent Canada a gift of tulip bulbs every year since 1945, inspiring what has become the Canadian Tulip Festival.