Thousands expected to take a plunge into icy waters in annual 'Polar Bear Swim'

Canadians across the country will ring in the New Year with a frosty tradition that some have called a rite of passage.

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Thousands will plunge into icy cold waters for the annual "Polar Bear Swim."

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, but a swim just west of Toronto in Oakville, Ont., is expecting 700 to come out this year.

The festivities in Vancouver will begin at 12:30 p.m., and the swim starts at 2:30 p.m.


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