A picture-perfect start to the long weekend had streets and waterways packed on Saturday.

Employees at Hurst Marina in south Ottawa said the unofficial kickoff to summer is their busiest weekend of the year.

"We probably store and service over the winter and then we'll probably sell another hundred, so the long weekend comes around and guess what, most people want to be in the water," said Peter Hurst.

"I'm running my guys like six-and-a-half-days a week, 12 to 14 hours a day to get it all done."

Boaters said the Victora Day weekend is the beginning to a summer of escapism.

"When you step on the boat and actually pull away from the dock . . . the phones go off, the TV goes off and you're away from everything that occupies your time and pre-occupies your mind," said Allen Lalonde.

While lifeguards on Ottawa's city beaches aren't on duty until the middle of June, families also couldn't resist the pull of the water in temperatures nearing 30 C.

"We're parents, we're next to them, we're there," said one mother of bringing her children to the unsupervised beach.

"We were out on a bike ride and I thought this would be a great spot to stop and have a break before we head home," said one sunbather.

A little farther inland, the Byward Market offered shade and shopping in Ottawa's downtown.

"This weekend we're enjoying the weather, it's sunny so we decided to go to the market and enjoy what's on display," said one man.

"I have noticed lots of people from Toronto, people from New Brunswick and Americans, so lots of tourists," said vendor Elsa Perez.

The weekend is also the final one for the Canadian Tulip Festival.

"It's nice but I kind of got here a little late," said Mark Josefson. "The tulips are mostly fanned out but it's a lovely day, lots of people out."

Sunday and Monday's forecasts are very similar to Saturday's, with sunshine and temperatures in the high 20s to low 30s.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Katie Griffin