Metro Vancouver polar bears swim canceled or go online

Vancouver’s polar bear swimming is planned as an online party this year, and the same goes for most such festivities on the lower mainland.

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Vancouver’s popular and usually tightly packed polar bear swim is planned as an online party this year, a decision made long before the cold week of the Christmas week.

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The same is true of most such festivities in the lower mainland (and probably also outside).

Honestly, it’s hard to argue with that. Hard to enjoy a polar bear dip when you first have to break through several inches of ice.

Here’s how the New Year’s tradition unfolds in different communities:


There will be no event in English Bay on January 1st. The annual polar bear swim is an online offer where you are invited to fill a children’s pool or something similar with cold water (recommended, 7 degrees C), jump in and post the shocking results for everyone to shake on.

Share your video and photo online with the hashtag #VanPolarBearSwim and sign up for a memory certificate. You can also email a photo or video to to get a swim club button (Canadian residents only).

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White Rock

The organizers originally planned to host this at the famous pier again on January 1, but it was canceled just before Christmas due to rising COVID case numbers. Online participation is encouraged, although the details of this are only now coming together. The event marked its 50th year in 2020 after being canceled in 2019 due to damage to the White Rock pier during a 2018 storm.

North Vancouver

The Deep Cove Penguin Plunge also went online last year and there are no words from the organizers at this late hour about the 2022 event. It is safe to say that it has at least been canceled in person.


Polar Bear Swim is usually at Centennial Beach in Boundary Bay, but like most others it will be canceled again in 2022.

Port Moody

Penguin Plunge at Rocky Point Park was canceled in 2021, and the same is true this year. The event is usually a fundraiser for the Pleasantside Community Association.

Fort Langley

Several hardy souls tend to splash out in the Fraser River at the Fort on January 1, but that will not happen again this year. Organizer Darian Kovacs joked to the Langley Advance Times that a more appropriate plan could be to take a quick roll in the snow and post it online. Hashtag hoarfrost, we suppose.

Stay warm, and happy new year.

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