Our Canadian Tulip Festival, an annual event here in Ottawa since 1953, is a true harbinger of spring. Thousands of tulips, in every colour imaginable, line the flower beds stretching along the Rideau Canal, the same canal, by the way, that becomes the world’s largest skating rink in the winter, but I digress. Back to the tulip festival…
The Canadian Tulip Festival was established to celebrate the historic Royal gift of tulips from the Dutch to Canadians immediately following the Second World War as a symbol of international friendship. The Festival preserves the memorable role of the Canadian troops in the liberation of the Netherlands and Europe, as well as commemorates the birth of Dutch Princess Margriet in Ottawa during World War II—the only royal personage ever born in Canada.
This year, thanks to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, a virtual tour of the tulips is available. There is an advantage to these restrictions; those of you who live too far away to visit the splendor of these tulips in person can peruse this international symbol of friendship and peace from your own home.
This past week, with Ontario taking baby steps to reopen its economy, we were granted permission to walk along the paths to view the tulips of the Canadian Tulip Festival in person. That is as long as we are practicing social distancing and not loitering in large groups.
If the Covid police are out, as I’m sure they will be, it might be less stressful to watch the video…Enjoy!