Even in the grip of a heat warning, Tuesday had the kind of summer weather many people in Ottawa have been waiting for.

People were soaking up the sun at Britannia Beach. 

"We’re just enjoying the sun, laying on the beach, hanging out. It’s a good day for it," says one beach goer. 

Splash pads in Ottawa were also busy.

Jason Doyle brings his niece and nephew to a local splash pad to cool off, but on days like this, physical distancing is not always easy

"With the kids, it's a little more difficult because kids don’t know boundaries," Doyle says, "but we’re all learning, it’s all new." 

Senior Climatologist for Environment Canada, David Phillips, says this stretch of hot weather is something Ottawa hasn’t seen in decades. 

"I think this rivals anything we’ve seen in the past. Ottawa gets maybe 13 of those days, those hot days, and you’ve already had 15, and we’re not even to the dog days of summer yet."

While many welcome the heat, when it is this hot, it can be dangerous.

"These are temperatures measured in the shade," says Phillips. "You go out in that sun in the ByWard Market, my gosh, you can add seven or eight degrees."

Ottawa opened emergency cooling centres Tuesday at the Bernard-Grandmaître Arena, 309 McArthur Road; the Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre, 102 Greenview Avenue; and the Heron Road Community Centre, 1480 Heron Road.

They will be open from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.

However, there are no emergency cooling centres in the downtown core. Somerset Ward Councillor Catherine McKenney wants to see more options for residents in that area.

"City Hall. That could be used as a cooling centre," they said. "It’s well air conditioned, there's lots of room. So, we have asked staff to go back and reconsider and they told us they’d come back tomorrow with hopefully a good option for us."

Back at the beach, no matter how hot it gets, people still love it.

"It’s winter for ten months of the year so it's nice to have a couple days like this. No complaints!"