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Halifax takes the plunge despite bitter cold

Halifax kicks off New Year’s Day polar bear dips in spite of extreme cold

As daring swimmers in Halifax braved the frigid Atlantic Ocean to kick off a slew of polar bear plunges across Canada on New Year’s Day, an Ontario club cancelled its event.

Organizers of the Courage Polar Bear Dip in Oakville, Ont., announced on New Year’s Day that it was calling off the event due to “unsafe” ice and rock shifting.

Toronto’s event had been cancelled the previous day.

Meanwhile, the event on the East Coast started a little late because a boat needed to break up the ice in Herring Cove, where the air was a chilly -19 with the wind chill.

The annual events see brave individuals begin the new year by running or jumping into lakes and oceans, often to raise money for charity.

But in spite of extreme cold warnings issued by Environment Canada that cover much of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and southern Quebec, many events were scheduled to go ahead.

Swimmers in the eastern Ontario town of Perth, Calgary, Vancouver and Victoria will take the plunge later in the day.

The Canadian Press

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