There is special love for Canadians among people in the Netherlands, especially the older generations.
During World War 2, when the Germans invaded the Netherlands, Queen Wilhelmina and the Dutch Royal Family sought refuge in Canada. In fact, Dutch princess Margriet was born in the Ottawa Hospital in January, 1943, in a ward that had been declared ‘Dutch soil’. After the war, the Royal Family sent 100, 000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa as a thank you. The gift of bulbs continue to this day (20, 000 tulips sent) and can be seen during the Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa.
But, of course, it wasn’t just that. After being under Nazi occupation for 5 years, the Canadians liberated the Netherlands.
The Canadian Encyclopedia describes it like this:
In the final months of the Second World War, Canadian forces were given the important and deadly task of liberating the Netherlands from Nazi occupation. From September 1944 to April 1945, the First Canadian Army fought German forces on the Scheldt estuary — opening the port of Antwerp for Allied use — and then cleared northern and western Netherlands of Germans, allowing food and other relief to reach millions of desperate people. Today, Canada is fondly remembered by the Dutch for ending their oppression under the Nazis.
On May 5th, 1945, Canadian General Charles Foulkes met with German General Johannes Blaskowitz at the Hotel de Wereld in Wageningen, Holland, where he accepted the surrender of all German forces in the Netherlands.
Coming to Canada
After WW2, about half a million Dutch people left the Netherlands. About 185 000 or 37% of them came to Canada. Many came here as experienced farmers, most settling in Ontario.  So, many people in Simcoe County have Dutch heritage.
Here are some more photos of the liberation of the Netherlands.
Photos from Library and Archives Canada on Flickr. See the collection HERE.