During WW II a single room in Ottawa was ceded to the Netherlands

Ottawa Tulip Festival

Ottawa, Ontario - In 1943 Princess Margriet Francisca, the younger sister of the current Queen of the Netherlands, was born at Ottawa Civic Hospital - the only royal ever to be born in North America. The Dutch Royal Family had fled to Canada in 1940 after the WWII invasion of their country. Among their problems - the expected royal child needed to be delivered on Dutch territory to be a Dutch citizen. So, Canada ceded this one hospital maternity room temporarily to the Netherlands. In appreciation, in the fall of 1945, Princess Juliana of the Netherlands presented Ottawa with 100,000 tulip bulbs. And now each year Ottawa receives 20,000 tulip bulbs from the Royal Family and the Dutch Bulb Growers, a thank you for sheltering the Royal Family and for Canada's help with liberation of the Netherlands during WWII. Now the gardens of Ottawa burst into bloom each year in early May as the city celebrates the world's largest tulip festival. Photo by uOttawa

Where: There is a 15 km (nine mile) scenic drive called the Tulip Route, which follows the historic Rideau Canal to the Parliament buildings and major's Hill Park and then across the Ottawa River to the Outaouais. Quick Tips: In 2007 this became known as the 'festival without fences' with all tulip events along the Tulip Route free. About three million flowers blossom throughout the region.

In The News: Each spring more than 1 million tulips bloom in Ottawa. The 2013 Tulip Fesival (the 61st edition) is May 3 to 20. For more information on visit the Tulip Festival online or call the Tulip Hotline at (613) 567-4447 or 1-800-66-TULIP.

 
 
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Lucy Izon

Canada Cool is produced by award-winning Canadian travel writer & speaker Lucy Izon. Her travel stories & reports have appeared in numerous leading North American publications including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, and Chicken Soup for the Traveler's Soul. Bio page

Canada’s Coolest:

Welcome to a new feature on Canada Cool. I'll be presenting different 'Coolest' lists with my favorites and I encourage you to nominate suggestions from your own experiences. You can Twitter @CanadaCool or email Lucy@CanadaCool.com. Let me know what makes your suggestion exceptionally cool. Remember, by contributing your comments you are giving Canada Cool permission to quote you. Only a selection of submissions will be included, but all comments and submissions are greatly appreciated!

The first feature is: Canada's Coolest Single Day Scenic Drives

Here are some of my favorites...

Icefields Parkway - the world's most accessible glacier

The Icefields Parkway, Jasper National Park, Alberta - This 229 km (142 mi) Rocky Mountain route from Banff/Lake Louise to Jasper passes 100 frozen rivers and nudges the base of the Athabasca Glacier - the most accessible glacier in the world. You can stop and explore it. It spills down from the Columbia Icefield, an area of ice so massive that you could fit the entire population of North America on it with each person getting at least a square metre of space.

Algonquin Moose Viewing

The Corridor, Algonquin Park, Ontario – this 56-km stretch of Hwy 60 cuts through the southwest section of Algonquin Park. Less than three hours north of Toronto the park is a nature-lover's paradise with 7,725 km of lakes, rivers, forest, trails, camping, comfortable lodges and 2000 km of canoe routes. Offers hiking trails to stop and enjoy, but what makes it really cool is that it’s one of the best places in North America to spot moose (especially in May and June). And, on Thursday nights in August up to 600 cars will gather to listen to wolves howl.

Cape Breton Cabot Trail drive

The Cabot Trail, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia – Driving this 303 km (187 mile) route is like riding a roller-coaster: the road snakes around hairpin turns, rises to heights over 365 metres (1200 ft), weaves around headlands revealing spectacular coastal scenery, and plunges down to sea level taking you into the heart of small fishing communities. The most dramatic scenery is between the Cape Breton Highlands National Park entrance near Cheticamp and Pleasant Bay, so go slow. And, plan some flexibility into your schedule, so you can drive it on a clear day.

And here are some of your nominations for 'Canada's Coolest Single Day Scenic Drives'...

 

More from Canada’s Coolest

'Canada's Coolest' topics we'll be publishing in the future:

  • Golf Course Features
  • Haunted Hotels
  • Hotel Special Services

Send your suggestions to lucy@CanadaCool.com

Recent 'Canada's Coolest' topics: