Canadians brave icy waters in annual polar bear dip

Canadians across the country are participating in a frosty New Year's Day tradition -- the polar bear dip.

Ten people braved freezing temperatures to leap off a snow-covered wharf into the frigid Atlantic in Portugal Cove, N.L.

See Full Article

In Nova Scotia, more than 130 people -- some in colourful costumes -- gathered to leap from a wharf under the watchful eye of members of the local fire department for the 22nd annual polar bear dip in Herring Cove.

People donned tutus and onesies as they plunged from the wharf in the small community just outside Halifax, where temperatures were hovering around -1 C on Friday.

Eighty-one-year-old Ernie Ross was first into the water, wearing salmon-coloured swimming trunks with the phrase "Happy 2016" written across his chest in black marker.

Organizers estimate 250 swimmers -- one wearing a lab coat and riding a boogie board -- entered the water during a polar bear dip at Britannia Beach in Ottawa, as cross-country skiers made their way through a nearby park.

Snow flurries didn't deter several hundred people from turning out at a Toronto beach to run en masse into Lake Ontario in the 11th annual Toronto Polar Bear Dip.

In Oakville, Ont., Olaf the snowman, Santa Claus and at least one Star Wars storm trooper were among the 800 to dip into Lake Ontario.

Jenna Courage has done the dip at least 10 times -- but you never get used to the cold, she said. She and a friend jumped up and down to keep warm, as snow fell around them, before they ran into the water.

Her father, Todd Courage, helped found the Oakville dip 31 years ago, and he's participated every year since then.

For the past 20 years, he and his brother have partnered with World Vision Canada. Swimmers donate money to register, this year raking in $130,000 to bring clean water to Rwanda.

The elder Courage said it was a great success.

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.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Indiana family plans to sue over tot's fatal fall from cruise ship

    World News CBC News
    There are "a million things" the cruise company could have done to prevent the death of an 18-month-old Indiana girl who fell to her death from an open window on a cruise ship in Puerto Rico, the toddler's mother said in an interview broadcast Monday. Source
  • U.S. police officer suggests Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez should be shot

    World News CTV News
    Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., walks out of a House of Representatives office building, Tuesday, July 16, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) Source
  • Trump expands fast-track deportation authority across U.S.

    World News CTV News
    SAN DIEGO - The Trump administration is expanding the authority of immigration officers to deport migrants without requiring them to appear before judges ahead of deportation. The Homeland Security Department said Monday that fast-track deportations will apply to anyone in the country illegally less than two years. Source
  • Huawei hit with security questions as it unveils high-speed rural internet project

    Canada News CBC News
    Huawei Canada was hounded by questions about national security concerns and its ties to the Chinese government today as it announced that it will bring high-speed internet to a number of northern and rural communities. With tensions between China and Canada still running high over the arrest of Huawei's chief financial officer in Vancouver, the Chinese telecommunications company announced Monday that it has federal approval to partner with two companies, Ice Wireless and Iristel, to connect 70…
  • Saskatchewan farmers convert old grain bins into unlikely tourist cabins

    Canada News CBC News
    Nothing says "Saskatchewan" quite like spending a night inside an old grain bin. In recent years two families in the province have converted decommissioned round metal grain bins into unlikely accommodations, and opened their yards for visitors to stay. Source
  • Police search for witnesses after man found dead, ejected from his car

    Canada News CTV News
    GEORGINA, Ont. -- York Regional Police are appealing to the public for witnesses following a fatal collision in south-central Ontario on the weekend. Police say they responded to a call in Georgina, Ont. Source
  • Titanic survivor's light-up cane goes for US$62,500 at auction

    World News CTV News
    PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- A Titanic survivor's walking stick with an electric light she used to signal for help from a lifeboat has sold for US$62,500 at an auction of maritime items in Rhode Island. Guernsey's auction house held the auction in Newport on Friday and Saturday. Source
  • O'Regan visits Attawapiskat, assures community in water crisis: 'We are not satisfied'

    Canada News CTV News
    Indigenous Services Minister Seamus O'Regan said Ottawa will bring medical teams to Attawapiskat First Nation this week, after he visited the reserve in northern Ontario on Sunday, at the request of the community's chief. Source
  • N.L. fishing guide among dead in Labrador plane crash, four still missing

    Canada News CTV News
    ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- A funeral for an experienced fishing guide and father of three is to be held in Deer Lake, N.L., today, one week after a float plane that he and six others were on board crashed into a lake in Labrador. Source
  • Iran's supreme leader vows not to give up on Palestinians

    World News CTV News
    TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran's supreme leader was quoted Monday as saying during a meeting with a delegation from the Palestinian militant group Hamas that his country won't give up its stance in support of the Palestinians. Source