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Toronto Polar Bear Club

Toronto Polar Bear Dip in support of Boost CYAC

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How to Accomplish an Epic Polar Bear Dip...

Step 1: Set up your team / individual fundraising page

dip team

Register right away (click here...we'll wait) to prove your brawn! You can sign up as an individual, create a team, or join a team. NB: YOU MUST REGISTER IN ADVANCE TO PARTICIPATE THIS YEAR. WE CANNOT PROCESS WALK UP REGISTRATIONS DAY OF Don’t dare dip? Be a team player and sign up to fundraise only...Don’t worry, polar bears and chickens get along just fine.

Step 2: Collect Donations

Make a personal contribution (we suggest you donate $30 yourself and then solicit pledges) and share your fundraising page with your friends, colleagues, and family. From the fundraising dashboard, you can invite friends to support you or doubledog dare them to join your team for the January 1st dip!

We suggest a minimum donation of $30 to participate - This isn't an entry fee, it's a suggested donation to an amazing charity so we can all start out the year by doing the right thing. But of course you can donate more than $30! We have great prizes for the top teams and top individual fundraisers!

Step 3: Share like crazy #daretodip #polarbeardip #topolarbearclub

Once you're registered...go on! Tell everyone that you're daring to dip in Lake Ontario on New Year's Day and ask them to sponsor you. Be sure to tell them about the awesome work that Boost does.

Don't forget to Like The Toronto Polar Bear Club Facebook Page, and mention the dip on Facebook, and follow us on twitter so that you don't miss our updates. Drop some dip shout outs on Facebook, Twitter,wherever you find your people #daretodip #polarbeardip #topolarbearclub

Step 4: Come to Sunnyside Beach on January 1st and become an official member of the Toronto Polar Bear Club

polar bear dippers We really look forward to seeing you on January 1st. Arrive at 10:30 a.m. so you'll have time to register and take part in the festivities.

Notice regarding weather

The 2018 dip had to be cancelled because of dangerous ice conditions. Since the first dip in Jan 1, 2006, 2018 was the first year we cancelled - but the possibility is always there. Unfortunately we are a small team of volunteers and in dangerous ice conditions, we simply cannot run the event. In that case, you can rest assured that all donations will still go to the charity (in fact, Boost manages the fundraising site directly).

In the event of a cancelled event, we will post the cancellation as soon as possible. We'll post the cancellation here on our website, through twitter and facebook and we'll advise the media.

In any case we ask you to remember that the main objectives of this event are twofold: 1. raise money for charity 2. have fun. So hopefully do both, but definitely definitely definitely do #1.

Polar Bear Dip FAQs

  • Is it cold? um yea....usually on Jan 1 the water temperature is hovering around 2 degrees C. A few years we've had thin ice and ice pellets on the surface. One year the water froze over right after the dip.
  • Do I have to have a team or be on a team? Nope. Solo's fine - bring a buddy day of though.
  • Are there change rooms? No, not at all. Most people arrive at the beach with their bathing suit on under their clothes. After, you'll have to figure out how to get out of your bathing suit and get wrapped up and dressed enough to get to a warm car afterwards. Definitely have a friend with you to help you. Check out the list of dip must-haves on our website.
  • Is a shot of liquid courage a good idea? NO. While the dip is an excellent hangover cure...Please refrain from drinking on the day of the dip
  • How much of the money goes to the charity? We're glad you asked! All of it. They have to pay for expenses like city permits, and some of the day of supplies, but all the funds go directly to Boost. (and btw...something like 85% of the money they raise goes directly into programs that help kids in Toronto)

Dip Day checklist:

polar bear dippers getting ready

To make your experience as enjoyable as possible, we recommend at least the following:

  1. Proper Footwear - Stepping on something rocky or pointy isn't fun in freezing cold water. Wear full water sandles or water socks (best) or old running shoes (ok, just make sure they fit snugly).
  2. Lots of towels
  3. A blanket to claim your patch of beach and to change on
  4. Warm loose fitting clothes and footwear that are easy to put on in a hurry when you get out of the water (big loose fitting boots are amazing)
  5. !!! Important !!! Bring a friend to mind your stuff and help you when you get out of the water. If it's a really cold day, your feet and fingers won't work real well after the dip so you'll probably need some help and since we don't have change rooms, someone to hold up a towel for you can be handy...