Polar Bear Dip Toronto 2012

Photos of the 2012 Polar Bear Dip

I get the sense that most people think that a sensible way to spend a grey and rainy New Year's Day is to roll over and go back to sleep trying to remember how they got home the night before. There are, however, an elite few who like to start the year with a big splash-into the chilly waters of Lake Ontario.

Woodbine Beach was the scene of the second annual Great Canadian Chill Polar Bear Dip and a very enthusiastic group of people were on hand to raise money in support of children's cancer treatment centres and to enjoy a bit of frigid fun in the process.

Here's how it went down.

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All ages and styles of bathing gear were on hand with some inventive costumes adding to the entertaining atmosphere which also featured a DJ to get the crowd in the mood.

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After a couple of short speeches and a shorter countdown it was time to hit the water.

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The air temperature may have been relatively balmy for this time of year but judging by the reactions as people hit the water this was definitely not the same as a cooling splash in mid-July.

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After a quick dip the participants rushed back into the heated tent where there were warm showers and hot drinks and snacks provided by local restaurants to get rid of any lingering chill.

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Some people weren't in as much of a hurry to get out of the water as others.

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Full immersion was obviously an intense experience.

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Costumes!

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Some couldn't get out soon enough while others enjoyed frolicking in the surf

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