Garden-Party - july 22 - 23, 2017

Canada's Biggest Garden Party - FREE Garden Tours, Family Fun, FIREWORKS & Special Surprises Garden Party Fireworks You can't miss this. It's Dows Lake Garden-Party, July 22 from 10:00 am to 10:30 pm. Delight yourself with a wonderful assortment of free events and activities for families, friends and visitors. It's an all day Garden-Party that stretches into evening. Facepainting Bring the family and enjoy a full day of gardens and garden tips. Facepainting, glitter tattoos, plush pony rides and giant JENGA games. Enjoy the flowers along the Boardwalk, savour the Garden-Party menu specials and cocktails offered at the Dows Lake Pavilion restaurants.  Tour Commissioners park with NCC's Landscape Architect, Tina Liu. Follow that up with an exploration of the Dominion Arboretum with gardening guru Ed Lawrence. It's truly a Party and a Gardner's paradise. The day continues with FIREWORKS at 9:30 pm followed by a special secret surprise that’s going to blow your mind. It's a secret, we won't tell, you'll have to be here.

Here's how your day can look

10:00 – 20:00 – Information Booth – Event Information, Garden Promenade Promotion, Prize Draw Ballots**, Free Bloomex Gerbera Daisies and Ecology Ottawa Saplings (limited quantities throughout the day.) At 10:00 am  'be garden-enlightened' with an escorted tour of Commissioners Park hosted by  Tina Liu, the National Capital Commission's Landscape Architect. Still digging to learn? At 1 pm, explore the Dominion Aboretum at Experimental Farm with talk radio gardening guru and author, Ed Lawrence. All day long there are tons of activities for the whole family. Trust us, there's always something to touch, see and do. Continue your adventure with from 3-5 pm with Ed Lawrence and purchase a gardenlicious cocktail in Malone's Lakeside Grill and Mexicali Rosa's at Dows Lake Pavilion. Plant yourself. The restaurants at Dows Lake Pavilion restaurants have planned Garden-Party specials to tempt you and your family to stay, relax and enjoy your experience inside or on the patios. Plus, you don’t want to miss out on the fireworks do you?

No need to drive

There are some road closures anticipated to make for a total activity gardening experience. OC Transpo and Gray Line are operating at full schedule with paid parking available at Dows Lake Pavilion.

Something for everyone

Take a stroll along the boardwalk, there are flowers and gardens everywhere to entice the senses and deliver a sense of  peace as the sun sets. You can even partake the Garden-Party from the lake. Rent a paddle boat, kayak or canoe from Dows Lake Ottawa. If you'd get a chance, take some pix and use the #gardenpromenade tag so that we can all enjoy the adventures. While you are there, enter to win a prize package with gift certificates, free paddleboating, swag and more! Be one of the first to receive a limited number of free Gerbera Daisies and gift cards courtesy of Bloomex plus Ecology Ottawa will be giving away tree saplings for you to take home.
Garden-Party Restaurant Specials
  • Malone's Lake Side Grill (Dows Lake Pavilion): Chicken Brochette menu special, Malone's Strawberry Daquiris
  • Mexicali Rosa's (Dows Lake Pavilion): Chimichanga menu special, Garden-Party Tequila Cocktail
  • Social Restaurant, (Sussex Drive, Byward Market): 3-Course Garden-Party Table d'hote menu ($40) The Socialite-Blueberry Limonciello Cocktail
  • The Fish Market; Vineyards Wine Bar; Coasters Seafood Grill (York Street, Byward Market): 3-Course Garden-Party Table d'hote Menu ($46) Top Shelf Vodka Tulip Julips
  • The Albion Rooms (Novotel Hotel, Downtown Rideau): Garden-Party Menu & Cocktail Specials
  • Tavern on the Hill (Major's Hill Park, Sussex Drive): Garden-Party Menu & Cocktail Specials
  • Mill Street Brew Pub (Wellington Street/Ottawa River Parkway): Gardenlicious sandwich and salad specials, Garden-Party Raspberry Limonada with Edible Flowers


What's a party without fireworks? Ho-Hum ... and we're nothing like that at all. We've got a brilliant fireworks display at 9:30 that will light up Ottawa's sky over Dows Lake. Be sure to be there because there is a super, secret surprise in the evening We're not going to tell you exactly what, but here's a hint: Did that really happen?


Fairy Garden Party

Garden-Party activities over the July 22-23rd weekend are also being held by participating Garden Promenade official gardens, restaurants and tour partners. There is a Fairy Garden Party taking place at Lansdowne Park from 1:00 to - 2:30. Check here for details.   Check our Partner Events page regularly so that you are fully up-to-speed with where you can dig in!

Prize Details

** the draw will take place at 8:00 pm at Dows Lake Pavilion. You don't have to be there to win. We'll get in touch by phone or email. Your ballot gets you a chance to win:
  • 2 - Malone's Lakeside Gift Certificates
  • 2 - Mexicali Rosa Gift Certificates
  • 3 - Paddleboat/Kayak Rental Gift Certificate
  • 1 - LadyDive Tour for 2 People Voucher
  • 1 - Gray Line Tour for 2 people Voucher
  • 2 - Signed Ed Lawrence books 

GARDEN Photo-Fest - Aug 19 - 20, 2017

Exhibitions and Workshops A photo tribute to the gardens, plants and people on the Garden Promenade, invites you to share in the beauty of our region with your photos of the beautiful gardens along the promenade. There will be workshops, exhibitions and other ways for the amateur or professional photographer to get involved. Be sure to hashtag your photos with #GardenPromenade and #40Gardens. You’ll also connect with other enthusiasts on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Gardenlicious - sept 22 - 23, 2017

Garden Culinary Experiences As the days begin to grow shorter, and the heat from the summer starts to dissipate, people in this region look forward to the bounties of the harvest. This September, Gardenlicious will offer a truly delightful garden culinary experience. Watch this space to learn about tickets and locations where you can get involved. Stay hungry people.

GARDEN Fall Rhapsody - October 7 - 9, 2017

Celebration of Vibrant Fall Colours We think anytime is a good time to visit the National Capital Region (NCR), but autumn is by far one of our most colourful times of year. The tulips and gardens may just be memories in October, but the blazing glory of the deciduous trees and the soft warmth of sun along the Garden Promenade combine into a Fall Rhapsody that is renowned world-wide.  Bring your camera and put your hiking boots on. There is so much to see and explore you’ll want to make this spectacular season part of your annual sojourn to the Capital.  Watch here for more information soon.


The City Tulip Tour Experience at the multi-award-winning Canadian Tulip Festival showcases the Capital’s official flower as a symbol of international friendship with millions of tulips in  gardens of  the Garden Promenade! Enjoy self-directed or guided tour experiences offered by our various partners and avail yourselves of special Tulip Festival package deals with our hotel and restaurant partners. Explore Festival programming at multiple official venues including Commissioners Park, Lansdowne Park and the Byward Market.

Garden Days - June 16 - 24, 2018

A Celebration of Our Gardens Culture
Explore Ottawa-Gatineau’s Garden Promenade during Garden Days, Canada’s coast-to-coast-to-coast, ten-day celebration of our National Garden Day which is held annually on the Friday before Father’s Day. This ten-day program of activities and event is for gardening enthusiasts, families, schools and tourists alike. Garden Days is an opportunity for Canadians to enjoy their own garden, visit or take part in their favourite garden experience, get inspired at their local garden centre or travel to a nearby destination to enjoy their favourite garden.   Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save
Canadian Garden Council
Landscape Ontario
Tree Canada
The Canadian Tulip Festival
Just Food
Gatineau 2017
Ottawa Tourism
ByWard Market
Dows Lake Pavilion
Sparks Street