Canadians go for frosty New Year’s Day swim
Whether it’s the Atlantic or the Pacific Ocean, or even just a big lake, Canadians are jumping into the water for annual polar bear dips across the country.
Halifax started the country off at Herring Cove. Jumpers threw themselves into the icy Atlantic to raise funds for Feed Nova Scotia and other local charities.
In Newfoundland, ten people braved the cold to leap off a snow-covered wharf into the frigid Atlantic in Portugal Cove.
In Toronto, hundreds of people ran into Lake Ontario, at 12 p.m. ET. Officials said the event is in its 11th year and they hope to raise over $65,000 for Habitat for humanity.
“It’s freezing, absolutely freezing!” a swimmer who ran into the lake twice told Global News.
“The adrenaline gets going and you just want to go back in.”
Since its beginning, the dip has brought in nearly $300,000 in donations for Habitat for Humanity GTA to help build homes for low-income families.
Organizers of the 31st annual Courage Polar Bear Dip in Oakville, Ont., say they are hoping nearly 1,000 people will take the plunge into Lake Ontario on Friday afternoon.
Calgarians are expected to jump into waters at the Elbow Valley Residents Club at 1 p.m. MT. The Calgary Icebreaker Polar Dip is organized by Old Guys in Action and raises funds for the SA Foundation.
The oldest Polar Bear Club in the country was founded in 1920 in Vancouver, and since then, the tradition has spread. Vancouver’s club is still the largest, with more than 2,500 entries in 2014.
WATCH ABOVE: Vancouverites take part in the 96th annual Polar Bear Swim at English Bay
The festivities in Vancouver began at 12:30 p.m. PT, and the swim started at 2:30 p.m. PT.
With files from The Canadian Press and Global’s Erica Vella.
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