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Where to polar dip (and why)

December 7, 2016

Found in Activities, Travel and places

Looking for a fresh start to your year? Look no further than the polar dip, the popular annual tradition of dunking yourself in cold water with fellow weirdos to welcome the New Year.

We give the newness of the next calendar year a lot of weight. Expectations are high, resolutions are at the ready and we’re all set for a fresh start – a feeling perhaps no better symbolized than by a polar dip. For the unfamiliar, a polar dip or polar bear swim is the act of submerging oneself into a body of water during the height of winter purely for that carpe diem, you-only-live-once, why-the-heck-not feeling,  much to the delight (or horror) of nearby spectators.

Sound crazy? Hear us out. It’s a perfectly exciting answer to the inevitable “what did you do for New Year’s?” question and certainly the flip side to the house party/staying in and splitting growlers and burritos option. If you do plan on burning the midnight oil, there’s no better next-day wake up than cannonballing in -5°C (or colder) weather.

The payoff? Bragging rights, and hopefully, a fuzzy towel and something deliciously warm to sip afterwards.

Where to polar dip

Polar dips are best experienced with a group of similarly enthusiastic friends and strangers. Luckily there are lots of organized polar bear swims across Canada to join in. Before you change your mind, here are some places to get your swim on:

British Columbia

Victoria New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim Vancouver Polar Bear Swim White Rock Annual Polar Bear Swim Peachland Polar Bear Swim


Calgary Ice Breaker Polar Dip


Ottawa Chill Toronto Polar Bear Dip Oakville Polar Bear Dip

Nova Scotia

Halifax: Herring Cove Polar Bear Dip

Have any others? Post the link on our Facebook page to share with our community.

5 polar bear dip essentials

Note: If you take the plunge, stay safe! Here are some polar bear swim safety tips to keep in mind.

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