Victoria Day long weekend draws thousands of tourists to the capital

It's the unofficial start of summer and the May long weekend also unofficially kicks off tourist season in Ottawa, often drawing hundreds of thousands of tourists to the capital.

On Victoria Day families, groups of friends and couples were seen across the city at sites like Dow's Lake for the Tulip Festival, Confederation Boulevard, the ByWard Market and the Rideau Canal.

There were also thousands of people stretching out on the lawn of Parliament Hill and waiting in lines for free tickets to tour the inside of the Centre Block.

Among them was a family from Shanghai, a woman formerly from Ottawa showing off the capital to friends from Colombia, a group of friends from Montreal, a couple from Quebec City and a family from Vancouver.

For man of them the main attraction was the Library of Parliament.

"I told him about it so he couldn't wait to see it," said Justine from Quebec City.

"I've seen it but I forget because I was very little back then," said Liu, a 7-year-old girl from Mississauga who was showing the capital to family visiting from China.

Up on the lawn of Parliament Hill families were sitting on blankets or lying right on the grass, children running around with their siblings and friends, groups were taking snap shots and looking around at the vistas behind the Centre Block.

James and his family were visiting from Toronto and had seen many of the top tourist sights.

"We went to the canal, we went down to the Market and we went to two museums. We went to one in Quebec and we also went to the Nature Museum," he said.

The Nature Museum was his favourite part but James said his younger siblings liked the Canadian Museum of History.

"It was really cool, there was a kids' museum for these ones and then it had all the Canadian history," he said.

Other people who spoke with CFRA were in town visiting friends and family and went to see fireworks at Dow's Lake or had small displays of their own.

The Tulip Festival and several of the Boat Tours were popular among visiting tourists as well as the weather improved through the day Monday.

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