New Year’s day marks the 9th annual Toronto Polar Bear Swim – where thousands of swimmers show up to dip themselves into sub zero temperature waters in some of the coldest places in Canada.
Some swim, some just dip, but it took place all across Canada today – by people who others might call crazy – plunging into ice-cold bodies of water.
Many of these dips and plunges are for good causes though, such as Habitat for Humanity, local food banks and much more.
Some 2,000 plungers were expected today at Vancouver’s Polar Bear Swim in English Bay, where the temperature was in the 5 C range.
“This year we had 2,550 swimmers at the polar bear swim, which is a record, previously eclipsing a record of 2,246 in 2011, with approximately 10,000 spectators,” said spokesman Sean Healy.
Warnings were issued though, before participants sprinted into the water, not to stay in the water longer than 30 minutes.
Other polar swims took place today across B.C. in Deep Cove, Delta, Port Moody and White Rock.
Organizers of the 9th annual Toronto Polar Bear Swim raised $32,000 for Habitat for Humanity — a charity that helps provide affordable housing to low-income families. The swim took place on Sunnyside Beach in the city’s west end.
“I heard if you do it, you can call yourself a real Canadian,” said Stuart Irvine-Brown who was visiting from Australia’s Gold Coast and was wearing a red swimsuit.
Image via YouTube