2014 Victoria Polar Bear Swim photo from Doug Clement Photography
Nothing says Happy New Year like a dip in a freezing cold lake. But this year, the hundreds of polar bear dip enthusiasts who show up each year and plunge into Thetis Lake on New Year’s Day will have to break from tradition and jump into the ocean.

Organizers of the event had originally announced the Polar Bear swim would be moved back to Elk Lake because of a potentially dangerous algae bloom in the water at Thetis Lake, but it turns out Elk Lake is stricken with a similar problem, so the event

Not to worry, there are other options available:

In Sidney, you can join in on the yearly polar bear swim along the waterfront on Lochside Drive in Sidney – there is a beach-access just down from Tulista Park where it will be held. The Facebook event is HERE.

In Victoria, a swim is set for 11 a.m. at Dallas Road, near the intersection with Cook Street. The 9th Annual Yoshukai Spirit Training takes place at noon at Willows Beach. It is similar to the polar bear swim, but taken to the next level!

In Metchosin, the 28th annual polar bear swim takes place at Taylor Beach at 2 p.m. There will be a six-kilometre run and a three-kilometre walk before hand. Runners and walkers are asked to meet at 12:45 at Taylor Beach at the end of Taylor Road.

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