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

  • 'They were flying like skittles'; 4 killed, 15 hurt after car plows through pedestrians in Melbourne

    World News Toronto Sun
    SYDNEY, Australia — One person was killed and several others were seriously injured after a car plowed into pedestrians in Australia’s second-largest city on Friday, prompting a major police operation as officials told the public to stay away from the area. Source
  • Royal Navy removes Second World War bomb from River Thames in London

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- Britain's Royal Navy has removed a suspected Second World War bomb whose discovery in the River Thames shut down a chunk of central London. The Metropolitan Police force says that officers were called Thursday afternoon "to reports of suspected [Second World War] ordnance in the river" near the Houses of Parliament. Source
  • 4 killed, 20 injured, when car drives into crowd in Melbourne, Australia

    World News CBC News
    A man deliberately drove into pedestrians, killing four and injuring more than 20, in the centre of Australia's second largest city of Melbourne on Friday, but police said the incident was not terrorism-related. Police eventually rammed the car and shot the 26-year-old driver in the arm, before dragging him from the vehicle and arresting him. Source
  • Pilot certified 21 days before Lake Erie plane crash : NTSB

    World News CTV News
    CLEVELAND -- The pilot of a plane that crashed into Lake Erie last month received his certification to fly that type of aircraft just 21 days before the fatal crash, according to the National Transportation Safety Board's preliminary report. Source
  • Activists and celebrities band together to protest Donald Trump's inauguration

    World News CTV News
    January 20, 2017 will mark a historic day in American politics and presidency. The swearing in of a new president is a memorable event unto itself. But in the case of president-elect Donald Trump, January 21 might be stealing the spotlight. Source
  • Trump warned about security of his Android phone

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON - A few hours after President-elect Donald Trump was briefed by intelligence officials about Russian meddling in the election, an Associated Press reporter called his cellphone seeking an interview. The call went to voicemail and the reporter did not leave a message. Source
  • Last chance for former Gambian president to leave on his own

    World News CBC News
    Gambia's defeated president Yahya Jammeh must cede power by noon Friday or he will be dislodged by a regional force that has already moved into the country, West African officials said. If Jammeh refuses to leave Gambia by midday the regional troops will force him out, said Marcel Alain de Souza, chairman of the West African regional bloc, ECOWAS. Source
  • Gambian leader told to cede power after lost election, or be forced out

    World News CTV News
    BANJUL, Gambia -- The leaders of Guinea and Mauritania arrived in Gambia's capital Friday in a last-ditch diplomatic effort to get defeated President Yahya Jammeh to cede power, while a regional military force was awaiting orders to act. Source
  • ISIS destroys Roman monument in Palmyra

    World News CBC News
    Islamic State group militants destroyed a landmark ancient Roman monument and parts of the theatre in Syria's historic town of Palmyra, the government and opposition monitoring groups said Friday. Maamoun Abdulkarim, the head of Syria's antiquities department, said the militants destroyed the facade of the second-century theatre along with the Tetrapylon, a cubic-shaped ancient Roman monument that sits in the middle of the colonnade road that leads to the theatre. Source
  • ISIS militants destroyed Roman theatre in Palmyra, Syria says

    World News CTV News
    BEIRUT - Islamic State group militants destroyed a landmark ancient Roman monument and parts of the theatre in Syria's historic town of Palmyra, the government and opposition monitoring groups said Friday. Maamoun Abdulkarim, the head of Syria's antiquities department, said the militants destroyed the facade of the second-century theatre along with the Tetrapylon, a cubic-shaped ancient Roman monument that sits in the middle of the colonnade road that leads to the theatre. Source