Like a second skin, we have ditched the pile of thick clothing we wore during winter for it is springtime. Spring marks a rebirth, a resurrection, and a fresh and new start to everything. The trees and shrubs that withered during the winter season are beginning to sprout with life; dead flowers are starting to grow and blossom; and the birds are chirping and singing in their nests (Ontario has celebrations for this too) and in Ontario, spring season is alive with festivities that celebrates this glorious season!
You do not have to be a florist, anthophile or a gardener, to be excited by the sight and smell of flowers. The love of flowers cuts across age and gender; flowers are a sign of love, gratitude, and beauty and are favoured plants the world over. The following are six flower festivals that you must consider attending in Ontario.
This is a delightful festival with a long history ranging back from the 1940s and is a story of friendship and gratitude. It began when the Dutch royal family sent a hundred thousand tulips to the city of Ottawa as a thank you note because Canadians had sheltered the future queen of Netherlands, Julianna during the second world war. While the Netherlands continued to send flowers (and still does to date) the festival only began in 1953.
This is the world’s largest Tulip festival; what with a million tulips on display in Ottawa! You will find a brilliant spectacle of these lovely flowers at the Commissioner’s Park and the garden promenade all within the city. This is not just an exhibition of flowers; it is a celebration of art, cultural heritage and love. This is a festival that features many attractions such as music concerts, dance, art exhibitions, talks and dining experiences across different venues. This year, the festival will run from 10th to 20th of MAY. Tulip Festival
If you love Lilacs, you have to attend this one! Choose the one nearer to you!
Warkworth Lilac Festival
This unique month-long festival brings together gardeners and flower enthusiasts from many parts of the country. Held in the rural town of Warkworth, in Ontario, this is an event that will leave you feeling good for the rest of the year. Warkworth is a quiet and serene town located just ninety minutes east of Toronto.
This festival showcases many beautiful and rare varieties of lilac that will sure delight and surprise you. Did you know that there are over 18 different varieties of the flower ranging from the four-foot dwarf bushes to thirty-foot trees? If you take the Millennium lilac trail on any day of the festival, you are guaranteed to catch lilacs in full bloom. Be warned! You might find their spectacular colors overwhelming. If you want to catch the opening festivities, visit during the last weekend of May. This year, it falls on the 25th and 26th of the month. This the time to bring your family; there will be a lot of fun activities for everyone. Lilac Festival & Lilac Tour
Franktown Lilac Festival
The quaint hamlet of Franktown in Beckwith Township is known as the Lilac Capital of Ontario, as many homes and fields in the village include these beautiful, fragrant bushes.
This year the Franktown Lilac Festival takes place on Saturday, May 25th, 2019 in the heart of the hamlet, with many activities at Centennial Hall, 152 Church Street. Start things off with a hearty pancake breakfast, then take part in the children’s bike parade, followed by an afternoon of music. Enjoy a wagon ride to see the sights. Franktown was established in 1818-19 as the site of a supply store between Richmond and Perth and has a rich history with many examples of compelling eastern Ontario architecture along its famous Lilac Lane.
The Bruce Peninsula festival is hosted by the friends of the Bruce District park associations and Parks Canada and is a celebration of the joy that is Orchids. Located just three hours from Toronto, Bruce Peninsula is an expansive wilderness with incredible sceneries that will blow your mind away. But it is the flora that is even more exciting. This peaceful place is a haven where 44 species of wild orchids thrive and bloom. In fact, the peninsula is recognized as one of the habitats with the greatest varieties of orchids in North America. If your love affair is with the Ram’s Head Lady Slippers or the Yellow Lady Slippers, you must book a date at the park. The festival takes place in June when the orchids are in full bloom. This year, the festival takes places place between May 31 to July 2, 2019 and begins at the park headquarters. You will enjoy, guided hikes, boat tours, photography among other events that will make your trip memorable. Website
Apple Blossom Tyme Festival
At the center, you will find a collection of local vendors and local food to sample. Kids will have fun at the Lions Club Kids zone and the fun spelling bee. The display of vintage cars and tractors excites many people, and so does the Rotary poker run. You can also enjoy a beer at the beer garden and sing your heart out at a concert. The list of fun things you can do at the festival is endless. This year, it will be held on 25th and 26th of May.
Canada is home to over 5,000 species of peonies and the Peony Festival sure knows how to utilise them. Oshawa Valley Botanical Garden plays host to one of the largest festivals, which celebrates peonies when they are in bloom. For its uniqueness, this festival has been awarded one of the top 100 festivals in Ontario for six consecutive years.
The Peony Festival is an annual festival in the Oshawa City of Canada. It will take place from 15 through 16 of June 2019, from late morning till evening.
Both registration and entrance into the festival are free and there will be over 300 species of peonies in the garden area and about 100 more in the children’s play area. There will be a live band to serenade the crowd with good music (like jazz) and performances by Chinese dance troupe. A lot of yummy foods will be on display by the food vendors. Seminars on gardening will also be provided, which will include educating gardeners on how to choose the best peony seeds, plant them, and carry out maintenance. Peony Festival
Celebrate the calming effect of lavender and escape for a day to the country to enjoy the best of lavender products from food to beauty balms and of course, the burst of purple amidst the lushness of green. Spend a summer’s day outdoors, delighting in the calming showering fragrances and taking in the serenity of the purple hued landscape.
There are many festivals held in Southern Ontario during the month of July. See here for details.