2015 was the 70th anniversary of the liberation of The Netherlands and the end of WWII as well as the anniversary of the first gift of 10,000 Dutch tulip bulbs to Canada from the Dutch Royal Family in recognition of the hospitality Canada provided them during WWII and the role Canadian soldiers played in the liberation of The Netherlands. To commemorate this very special 70th anniversary Vesey’s Bulbs, the Canadian Garden Council, The Canadian Tulip Festival, the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association and the National Capital Commission developed a plan to replicate the original gift through the creation of 140 Dutch-Canadian Friendship Tulip Gardens across the nation!
Friends of Guild Park and Gardens's application for a Friendship Tulip Garden was chosen, and 700 red and white tulips were planted in a heritage bed at Guild Park located south of the Greek Theatre, running east-west along the green chain-link fence. Volunteers attended the Planting Ceremony Oct .17 2016 and planted all the bulbs in less than 20 minutes. Thank you to everyone who attended including our special guest, local WWII veteran Les Goodwin who had been in the Netherlands during the War.
Special thanks to City Councillor Paul Ainslie, MPP Mitzie Hunter, MP John McKay, and federal Green Party candidate Kathleen Holding who joined in the planting of the bulbs; students from Sir Wilfrid Laurier CI and St. John Paul II CSS, and Debbie Cameron and members of 527th Toronto Guides and 497th Toronto Pathfinders/Rangers who helped set up the planting; the ECO Team at Guildwood Junior Public School for loaning gardening gloves and trowels; and the Guildwood Junior PS students who created posters to promote the event. The Friends extend a special note of appreciation to Guild Park Supervisor, Chris Martin, plus all the City of Toronto staff and officials involved in creating and preparing this new garden.
The Friends appreciate the efforts of the project’s sponsors: Canadian Garden Council, Vesey’s Bulbs, Canada Post, Canadian Tulip Festival, National Capital Commission, Canadian Nursery Landscape Association, Garden Making Magazine, Chimpanzee, Baxter Travel Media, Enterprise Canada, Gardens BC, Québec Gardens’ Association and the Ontario Garden Tourism Coalition.
Print off and colour a souvenir image to commemorate the event. Share a photo of your completed images with us at facebook.com/guildpark or mention @GuildPark and we'll retweet.