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Tulips of Ottawa


By Clive Branson, photo courtesy of the National Capital Commission


16 • Fall 2016


safety of the Dutch royal, Princess Margaret Francisca, during the Second World War. Record numbers of visitors come to admire the radiance and variety displayed. One thing though. This isn’t the Netherlands. It’s Ottawa. In 1945, the people of Holland presented Ottawa with over


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100,000 tulip bulbs in appreciation of Canada’s dual effort, in harbouring the Dutch royal family members and in aiding with the liberation of their homeland from the German occu- pation. It was during the royal family’s refuge in Canada’s capi-


tal that Princess Juliana gave birth to Princess Margaret at the Ottawa Civic Hospital. Princess Margaret is the younger sister of the present Queen Beatrix and the only royal ever to be born in North America. The Dutch monarchy fled to


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or eighteen days each May, the city transforms into cele- bration mode as millions of tulips bloom in a kaleido- scope of colour. The event commemorates the birth and


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