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

  • Firm says trees obstructing vision at Humboldt Broncos crash intersection

    Canada News CTV News
    REGINA -- A consulting firm says sight lines are a safety concern at the rural intersection where the deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash happened. A 70-page safety review done for the Saskatchewan government says a stand of trees, mostly on private property, obstructs the view of drivers approaching from the south and east -- the same directions the bus and semi-trailer were coming from when they collided. Source
  • The staggering scale of France's battle against terror, by the numbers

    World News CBC News
    Welcome to The National Today newsletter, which takes a closer look at what's happening around some of the day's most notable stories. Sign up here and it will be delivered directly to your inbox Monday to Friday. Source
  • Rumble strips, lights among changes coming to Humboldt Broncos bus crash intersection

    Canada News CBC News
    The Saskatchewan government is promising to install rumble strips, lights, signs and road markers at the site where the Humboldt Broncos bus collided with a transport truck. The changes planned for the intersection of Highways 35 and 355 also include removal of trees, limiting nearby access roads, and the relocation of the roadside Broncos memorial. Source
  • LIVE UPDATES: Accused in murders of Calgary woman and her daughter testifies in own defence

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY -- A man accused of killing a Calgary woman and her daughter took the stand in his own defence at his first-degree murder trial on Wednesday. Edward Downey, who is 48, has pleaded not guilty in the deaths of Sara Baillie and her five-year-old daughter Taliyah Marsman. Source
  • Trudeau names four new senators — including a failed Liberal candidate

    Canada News CBC News
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's push to reconstitute the Senate and stack its benches with Independent senators continued apace today as he named four more people to the Senate — filling all the remaining vacancies in the Red Chamber. Source
  • B.C. court upholds extradition of pair accused of 'honour killing' in India

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER - A court has upheld the extradition of two British Columbia residents accused of hiring assailants to murder their relative in India because she married a poor rickshaw driver. The B.C. Court of Appeal has denied Malkit Kaur Sidhu and Surjit Singh Badesha's request for a stay of proceedings and a judicial review. Source
  • Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen gets 3 years in prison

    World News CBC News
    Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump's former lawyer, has been sentenced to three years in prison for crimes including campaign finance violations and lying to Congress. Cohen apologized for his actions and told U.S. District Judge William Pauley III that "blind loyalty" to Trump led him to "cover up his dirty deeds. Source
  • Sexual assault victims of ex-ski coach Bertrand Charest sue Alpine Canada

    Canada News CBC News
    Three sexual assault victims of former ski coach Bertrand Charest are suing Alpine Canada, alleging the sports federation turned a blind eye to signs of wrongdoing. The three women are former Canadian skiers Genevieve Simard, Gail Kelly and Anna Prchal, who were all minors at the time of the offences for which Charest was convicted. Source
  • NDP wants RCMP to probe allegation Ford's office asked OPP for 'camper-type vehicle'

    Canada News CBC News
    NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is calling on the RCMP to investigate an allegation that Ontario Premier Doug Ford's office asked the provincial police force to buy him a specialized "camper-type vehicle." The alleged request is detailed in a Dec. Source
  • Former NDP MP Svend Robinson 'very seriously considering' federal run in 2019

    Canada News CBC News
    Former NDP MP Svend Robinson says he is "very seriously considering" a return to federal politics, noting that his former party is facing challenging times. Robinson, 66, represented the Vancouver-area riding of Burnaby for 25 years. He left politics in 2004 after he admitted stealing a diamond ring from an auction, saying he was under too much strain at the time. Source