Monday, December 26, 2022

Polar Bear Skate and Polar Bear Dip are coming

Update: Polar Bear Skate to start at 1pm.

Holiday season brings Christmas and then the run up to New Years and events in Toronto don't stop during this time, they just get colder. First up is the Polar Bear Skate on Saturday, December 31 from 12 noon till 2pm at Bentway Park where you can skate in your underwear and donate to a charity clothing drive. Yay for New Years Eve day! You can see my photos from a previous skate here.
From the skate's website, "The Bentway’s Polar Bear Skate returns! Both a clothing drive and a wild way to close out the year, brave Torontonians are invited to strip down to their skivvies and skate the trail for a good cause." The Bentway Skate Trail is located at 250 Fort York Boulevard under the Gardiner Expressway.
Some of the unofficial 2022 dip participants
Compared to the typical crowds of dippers at a previous polar bear event

The next day as the New Year rises bright and early you can continue your adventures in rigid temperatures, although the air temperature is expected to be above freezing (5 degrees Celsius with rain possible) the cold waters of Lake Ontario will surely be a tad uncomfortable. January 1st is the date for the annual Toronto Polar Bear Dip at Sunnyside Beach alongside Lake Shore Boulevard. The event opens at 10:30am and the dip starts at 12 noon. All monies raised go to Boost Child and Advocacy Centre.

From the dip's website, "The Toronto Polar Bear Club was started in 2005 by three guys who wanted to share our love of the Polar Bear Dip with Toronto and to raise funds for great charities that provide services to the people of Toronto. That first year we managed to convince 20 people to jump into Lake Ontario on January 1st. Now we get over 500."

The last few years the dip was cancelled due to Covid precautions but while the official event was cancelled you can't keep hardcore dippers down so groups of people showed up all morning and went running into the water to keep the tradition alive. Rocks in the water make it both difficult and painful to run so remember to bring some water shoes or sandals with straps, no flip flops as they just pop off the second you hit the H2O. You can see my photos of the unofficial 2022 dip here.

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