Plunge into the new year at the Vancouver Polar Bear Swim 2018

Dec 19 2017, 1:00 am

Start off 2018 the right way at the Vancouver Polar Bear Swim, by plunging into the frigid waters of English Bay to ring in the New Year.

The Vancouver Polar Bear Swim is a tradition dating back to 1920 when 10 brave swimmers took a cool dip into English Bay on January 1.

The Polar Bear swim has since attracted thousands of thrill-seeking Vancouverites every year, so come down and join the city in doing New Year’s Day right.

vancouver polar bear swim

Thousands at English Bay for the 2016 Vancouver Polar Bear Swim (Natala Lukianova / Instagram)

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A few guidelines, from the City of Vancouver:

  • If you have a heart problem – just watch!
  • Children must swim and stay with an adult.
  • Please leave your dog at home.
  • Do not drink – alcohol does not warm you up – it accelerates hypothermia.
  • Do not stay in the water longer than 15 minutes. Body heat is lost 25 times faster in water than in air.
  • Do not remove your clothing until swim time. The swim will be started by a flag and siren.
  • Entrants in the 100 yard race – meet in the front line on the north side (Stanley Park side) of the enclosure.
  • First 3 swimmers to touch the marker buoy by the lifeguard boat – give your names to the lifeguard.
  • After you swim, pick up your commemorative button at the large polar bear or at the registration table.
  • Warm up with coffee or hot chocolate.

Vancouver Polar Bear Swim 2018

When: Monday, January 1, 2018

Time: 2:30 t0 3:30 pm. Come early for registration.

Where: English Bay Bathhouse – 1700 Beach Avenue, Vancouver

Admission: Free. Participants must register online. The Greater Vancouver Food Bank will be accepting donations of non-perishable food or cash – please be generous!

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