It has been a long winter and spring has been slow to arrive, so we could not be more ready!    We can’t wait for our patios to open!!!  The long wait means you may catch us sitting in parks or walking along the street, face up to the sunlight, with a huge smile on.  No wonder Canada is considered such a happy place!

Canadian Tulip Festival

Canadian Tulip Festival

Celebrate “A World of Tulips” at the 2019 edition of the multi-award-winning Canadian Tulip Festival.

History: During WWII, Canadian soldiers bravely battled in Europe, culminating in their becoming the lead troops in the liberation of the Netherlands in 1945.  During the war, then Princess Juliana and her family fled to safety in Canada.  In 1943, Princess Juliana gave birth to her daughter in Ottawa.  To ensure the newborn Princess Margriet was a natural born citizen of the Netherlands, Canada temporarily declaired the maternity ward of the Ottawa Civic Hospital to be extraterritorial.  In the fall of 1945, in gratitutde for Canadian hospitality and, more importantly, to honour Canadian troops for their leadership in liberating their homeland, the Royal Family provided a gift of 100,000 Dutch tulip bulbs.  The Kingdom of the Netherlands has presented Canada with 20,000 bulbs every year since.  In the hands of the National Capital Commission, the Dutch gifts have been transformed into over a kilometer of over 100,000 fabulous tulip blooms in Commissioner’s Park near Dow’s Lake. This forms the centerpiece attraction of the Canadian Tulip Festival.

Malak Karsh

The Lord Elgin has always had a special relationship with the Canadian Tulip Festival.  In 1953, it was world renowned photographer Malak Karsh who developed the idea of the tulip festival.  His iconic photographs have forever immortalized the tulip, proclaimed as the city of Ottawa’s Official Flower in 2002 and now recognized world-wide as a symbol of friendship and peace.  The Festival honors Karsh with the Homage ot Malak Photography Exhibit in the our Lobby Gallery here at the Lord Elgin.

 Our millions of tulips set the stage for a celebration of authentic art, cultural, historic, culinary and family tulip experiences at a number of official venues. At CommissionerPark – Dows Lake, tour the 1 KM stretch of colourful and commemorative tulip beds and learn their history with guided tours or catch the Victoria Weekend fireworks. . Head to the ByWard Market to tiptoe through a garden of urban tulip art, promotions and activities created and curated by artist Monique Martin. Foodies can sip and sample tulip-inspired culinary treats prepared by local chefs at Zibi Gatineau. Explore tulips across the capital when you visit gardens on the Garden Promenade.

Uniquely Canadian and one of the largest events of its kind in the world!

And just in time for the Tulip Festival, Ottawa Boat Cruises begin their famous cruises down the Rideau Canal and the Ottawa River.  Book early to get onboard!!

We love our bikes here in Ottawa and have more trails than you can imagine. Explore our page HERE devoted just to Cycling in and around the Capital!!


Gatineau Park has officially opened it’s trails an beaches for the spring ans summer season! The snow has disappeared and the sun is making it’s way through the trees, warming up all of the hiking paths. The trails continue to be a wonderful spectacle as the weather increases, with beautiful lakes and scenic routes.

Parc Omega offers many different options for families, animal lovers, and those who want to be outside all year round! They offer car tours as well as walking tours which allow you to get into nature and see a variety of animals in their natural habitats.

Visit the Arboretum, located on Ottawa’s experimental farm which is home to Canada’s Agriculture and Food museum! Come walk through the park and enjoy the blooming flowers and the warm spring air this season.

Yoga on Parliament Hill is back for the spring and summer!  Were else in the world can you practice your downward dog on the property of working federal government buildings?  Join Lululemon as they present renowned yoga instructors every Wednesday at noon for a free one hour yoga class! Just bring your own mat and water, all levels of yogis are welcome for free yoga on the hill! Starting mid May 2019 through to the end of August.

yoga - 1

Get on the water at Dow’s Lake. Since the beginning of May, canoe, kayaks and paddle boats are now available for rental until the end of the summer.

Camp Fortune is known to Ottawa as ski resort during the winter. However, starting in the spring those giant hills get a makeover and are turned into zip lines and high ropes courses! Leave your skis at home and bring your sneakers for an aerial adventure.

Just steps away from the Lord Elgin Hotel is Ottawa’s Marathon (Race Weekend) on the weekend of May 24th to 27th, which has become one of North America’s premier racing events. This race weekend offers a variety of events ranging from 2 to more than 40 km for racing enthusiasts of all levels and those who come to encourage them. All you have to do is stay at the Lord Elgin Hotel to be at the starting line when you jump out of bed!

Ottawa Marathon - Lord Elgin Hotel

Race Weekend Ottawa

This long weekend in Ottawa is packed with fun! In an effort to assist your front-line staff with suggestions for guests/visitors, below is a list of great things to do in and around Ottawa this weekend. Please share with as many staff as possible.

Ottawa Tourism has posted visitor-related information regarding the flooding on its website and will be keeping this information up to date. Should you have questions/concerns related to the flooding from visitors about their stay in Ottawa, you may find information at:

  • The Canadian Tulip Festival continues this weekend at Commissioners Park until Monday, May 20! Enjoy thousands of blooms, musical and theatrical performances, readings, and lots more daily. On Sunday, May 19 enjoy the Victoria Day Fireworks, with great views available at Commissioners Park. Monitor the progress of tulips in the area with the NCC’s Tulip Bloom Indicator and interactive map, or check out Ottawa Tourism’s guide to the top places to photograph beautiful tulips in Ottawa. FREE!
  • The farmers’ market in the ByWard Market neighbourhood remains open on long weekends and statutory holidays – head down to enjoy yummy local products all weekend long! FREE!
  • Cheer on the Ottawa Champions at their home opener weekend! The team plays games against the New Jersey Jackals each day from Friday, May 17 to Monday, May 20 at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Park. On Saturday, May 18, there are fireworks to celebrate opening weekend!
  • Celebrate spring with a Garden Party at the Casino du Lac-Leamy! Enjoy fun garden party games, pop-up games, themed menus and cocktails weekends until mid-June.
  • The new exhibition Neanderthal opens this Friday, May 17 at the Canadian Museum of History! Until January 2020, see artifacts and learn about our about this species of the genus Homo – and get hands on at interactive, myth-busting live interpretation stations daily between Saturday, May 18 and Monday, May 27.
  • Check out the Sheep Shearing Festival at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum this Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19 to learn about wool and its origins!
  • National Museums Day is this weekend, and the Bytown Museum is celebrating with free admission on Saturday, May 18. While there, check out the new exhibition The Gallant Thousand: Ottawa and the South African War, on now through to February 2020. FREE!
  • NOKIA Sunday Bikedays begins this Sunday, May 19 on parkways across the region! Enjoy car-free access to major roads Sunday mornings (except May 26) until September. FREE!