As syrup season winds down in Ontario’s eastern regions, a very special energy starts to bloom. It’s Tulip Festival season in Ottawa – and everyone gets in on the fun.
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.
DID YOU KNOW?
In 2022, the Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa is celebrating its Platinum Jubilee marking its 70th anniversary!
It’s the most beautiful time of year to visit the nation’s capital region as the streets and boulevards are literally bursting with colour. Take selfies amongst the dozens of multicoloured garden beds; shop for fresh cut flowers, crafts, art and more at the tulip boutique or one of the region’s many farmers’ markets; and enjoy lit garden beds and a blacklight boardwalk experience after dark.
Why not make a weekend of it? Most of the flowers are located near Commissioners Park. Here’s where to eat and drink while you’re in the neighbourhood.
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Ayla’s Social Kitchen
338 Preston St, Ottawa, ON www.aylassocial.ca
If you’re looking for a good patio with a Persian flare, look no further. At Ayla’s, you’ll find classic mezze like labneh, baked feta and lamb hummus alongside inventive snacks like halloumi fries and saffron arancini.
348 Preston St, Ottawa, ON www.robertopizza.ca
Roberto offers wood-fired pies done in the traditional Napolitana-style. Opt for a margarita or, for those with a sweet tooth (like us!) try the Giacomo made with figs, proscuitto and organic honey. There’s a full menu of craft beers and wine on offer too.
40 Adeline St, Ottawa, ON www.alicerestaurant.ca
For those looking to really celebrate, head to Alice. Open Wednesday to Saturday, Alice is a vegetable and fermentation-focused tasting menu restaurant by award-winning Chef Briana Kim. They serve stunningly beautiful plates that are equally delicious. Definitely book ahead here.
No visit to Ottawa would be complete without visiting Beckta Dining & Wine, downtown, for a truly beautiful and locally inspired meal.