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See new 'maple leaf' tulip unveiled in Ottawa

Photo courtesy: National Capital Commission

Photo courtesy: National Capital Commission

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Monday, May 16, 2016, 6:11 PM - Canada turns 150 in 2017 and to honour the occasion, a special, maple leaf-inspired tulip has been unveiled in Ottawa.

The flower was unveiled in Ottawa's Commissioners Park last week. It was designed to mimic the Canadian Flag.

The National Capital Commission (NCC) partnered with the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Home Hardware and Communities in Bloom to produce and distribute the tulip.

“It’s an honour to unveil the official Canada 150 tulip on behalf of the Government of Canada. Tulips represent springtime, rebirth and promises, which make them a powerful symbol in the lead-up to the celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday,” David McGuinty, Member of Parliament for Ottawa South, said in a press release.

The tulip bulbs will be available for sale at Home Hardware starting in September.

The year 2017 will be a big one for tulips in Canada. During sesquicentennial celebrations next spring, Ottawa plans to showcase 30,000 of them in Ottawa.


The Canada- Netherlands connection

In May 1940, the Dutch Royal Family left the Netherlands for the United Kingdom to rule in exile. In June, Princess Juiliana and her daughters Princess Beatrix and Princess Irene went to Canada, arriving in Halifax before making their way to Ottawa, where they lived for five years.

When Canada liberated the Netherlands, Princess Juliana was able to return home.

As a show of gratitude for her safe housing and for Canada's role in her country's liberation, Princess Juiliana gave a number of gifts to the Canadian people, including 100,000 tulip bulbs.

The next year, she sent an additional 20,500 bulbs to Canada and requested they be planted on the grounds of Ottawa Civic Hospital.

The tradition continues to this day, with thousands of tulip bulbs sent to Ottawa each year.

Dubbed the Canadian Tulip Festival, the event is held each May and attracts more than 500,000 people each year.


Photo submitted by Cheryl Partridge

Photo submitted by Zhoulk Zouk

Photo submitted by Daryoush Abedi

Photo submitted by Ada Che

Photo submitted by Ada Che

Photo submitted by Elspeth Dowell

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