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Start off the New Year with a big splash at these Polar Bear swims


What better way to celebrate a brand new year than freezing your buns off with hundres of your fellow Victorians?

We have confirmed there will be three polar bear swims happening in Greater Victoria – two have become staples while the third location is new.

These chilly swims happen on January 1st, 2018, at noon. Participants gather near the shores and then run and dive into the frigid waters of Victoria.

The Peninsula Celebrations Society will be hosting their annual Polar Bear swim at the beach location (just down from Tulista Park) on Lochside Drive in Sidney.

The Otter Point Fire Department is organizing another one at Whiffen Spit Park in Sooke. Registration opens at 11:30am. You can also reward yourself for taking the plunge by enjoying the hot chocolate served after the event.

A third location was just announced at Esquimalt Lagoon. More details on that location can will be released shortly.

While there have been polar bear swims at locations like Elk Lake in the past, we have not heard whether the event is returning this year. Swims in the area were previously cancelled due to the emergence of blue-green algae in the water.

Visit our recap of the event from earlier this year.


The Polar Bear Swim

  • When: 12:00 p.m., January 1st, 2018
  • Where: The beach near Lochside Drive in North Saanich
  • Admission: Free
  • When: 11:30 a.m., January 1st, 2018
  • Where: Whiffen Spit Park, Sooke, BC.
  • Admission: Registration opens at 11:30 a.m.

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