La Vita e Bella
Life is beautiful in Ottawa's Little Italy
It’s a sure sign of spring in Little Italy when a million tulips come alive in the world famous, colourful, spectacle of natural beauty that is the Canadian Tulip Festival.
Located on the banks of Dow’s Lake, just steps away from Preston Street: home to the finest dining and shopping experiences in Ottawa. On Preston you’ll find traditional Italian cuisine and desserts alongside international delicacies and Canadian favourites. Plus boutiques stocked with unique clothes, crafts and treasures.
“Our merchants are ready to give you a warm Little Italy welcome”, says Lori Mellor, executive director of the Preston Street BIA. “We always look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new visitors during Tulip Festival.”
From May 10th to 20th Dow’s Lake will showcase the best that Ottawa has to offer, nature, music, art and a spectacular fireworks display come together to make for an unforgettable experience that can’t be missed.
Join in the social media scavenger hunt for Little Italy’s GIANT Tulips! Share a selfie with 5 GIANT TULIPS, be sure to tag @prestonstreetbia, and you’ll be entered to win some GIANT Prizes!
Explore the Festival’s roots and step back in time at the Canadian Tulip Festival’s NEW Heritage Pavilion. Experience the real-life sacrifice that took place right here in Ottawa in 1945.
Tiptoe along the Tulip Boardwalk featuring Instagram worthy, tulip themed photo opportunities with lush floral displays, and end up at the Tulip Plaza at Dow’s Lake Pavilion, there you’ll find the Giant Celebration Tulip Garden, featuring handcrafted and hand-painted five foot high Tulip sculptures. The crowning glory of the Tulip Plaza is a brand new Canadian Tulip Festival Museum, a carefully curated collection showcasing the incredibly rich 66-year history of this iconic Festival.
Celebrate Queen Victoria’s Birthday with an epic fireworks display over Dow’s Lake on May 19th. Treat yourself to a VIP Ticket and you’ll be watching the fireworks while seated on a fully licensed patio among the tulips.
Preston Square’s Art in the Tulips features local and regional artists creating gorgeous works of art among the stunning Tulip Beds of Commissioners Park. Tulip Festival guests will be charmed and awed by the incredible artistic skills on display, and visitors will be able to purchase selected works of art in Tulip Boutiques thanks to the generous sponsorship of Preston Square.
Open daily: 9am - 9pm
Boutiques and Pavilions
Weekdays: Noon - 6pm
Weekends: 10am - 8pm
Music & Tulips Concert Series from Music & Beyond
Daily: 12pm, 2pm, 4pm
Wednesday, May 15, 2019 - Seniors Day
Sunset Singers, Seniors Choir: 1pm
Weekends & Holiday Monday, (May 11, 12 & May 18, 19, 20)
Performances: 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm
VIP Fireworks Experience
Sunday, May 19, 2019
Hot 89.9 VIP Fireworks: 7pm - 11pm (Fireworks begin at 10pm sharp)
Heritage Pavilion Stage
“Letters” - Readings Every Hour on the Hour
Weekdays: 1pm - 3pm
Weekends: 12pm - 5pm
Anne Frank House Presentation
Saturday, May 11, 2019 - 11am
Dutch LGBTQ Film Screening & Discussion
Thursday, May 16, 2019 - 3:00pm - 5:00pm
What are people saying about Little Italy?
Here are a few of our favourite comments from social media:
Full of great restaurants with a refurbished main street, it's the heart of Little Italy in Ottawa, Canada's capital city. Especially lively on warm summer evenings where patios are full of locals and visitors alike.
Preston Street is known as little Italy. Love it for pasta, entertainment or drinks - for any Italian fare, you can find it here. There are also more well-known chain bars/pubs and a comedy club to boot. It is nice to go and walk in the summer; stop for a beer or some pizza and enjoy the feel of Little Italy right in the heart of Ottawa. Minutes from downtown and near attractions such as the Tulip Festival and canal ice skating, it is a forever extending and growing community.”
Have been in Little Italy on Preston Street a few times recently, both at lunch time and in the evening. Always busy. A fun place to stroll. Lots of restaurants, primarily, but not exclusively, Italian and shops along the street. On a summer evening, people are sitting out on restaurant patios and strolling along, eating gelato. A very pleasant environment.”
This is just a great walk. The street has been refurbished and there are so many great coffee shops and places to buy cheese like Luciano foods that it makes your spin. Luciano foods has hams hanging and wonderful Italian breads as well as cheeses etc...like stepping into Italy. Preston street is very vibrant, alive and a lot of fun.