Over 800 brave frigid waters in annual Oakville New Year’s Day polar bear dip


Published January 3, 2023 at 11:48 am

Over 800 braved the icy waters of Lake Ontario at Coronation Park in Oakville to help raise over $100,000 in the 38th annual Courage Polar Bear Dip on New Year's Day. COURAGE POLAR DIP PHOTO

Over 800 polar dippers returned to the icy waters in Oakville on New Year’s Day and helped raise more than $100,000 for World Vision Canada.

The Courage Polar Bear Dip celebrated its 38th annual year at Coronation Park and it also marked the special event’s return to taking the plunge in person after holding virtual dips the previous two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hundreds of people lined the shores of Lake Ontario to watch dippers bring in the New Year by braving the icy cold waters and helping raise money to help provide clean water in developing countries.

Over $2.3 million has been raised for World Vision since 1995.

“Over 800 polar bear dippers raise over $100,000 on New Year’s Day 2023 in Oakville, Ontario Canada for World Vision Canada led clean water projects!,” Courage Polar Dip organizers said on Twitter.

“Thanks to all of the first responder agencies who worked hard to keep us all safe for the event!”

The fun event featured live music on stage from Whaling and a post dip party was held at Tin Cup Sports Grill.

Prizes were also handed out for best individual and group costumes.

This year’s group costume winners are Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by Bearded Villains Oakville.

Canada’s biggest Polar Bear Dip, the plunge into the frigid waters on New Year’s Day first began back in 1985.

Gaye Courage dared her sons Todd and Trent to get off the couch and go “jump in the lake” to wake themselves up.

Todd and Trent, along with a few friends, took up mom’s challenge and the frosty jump into the waters of Lake Ontario grew from there.

As more people jumped in, the Courage brothers realized the fun plunge provided them with the opportunity to fundraise money for a good cause and in 1995 joined forces with World Vision Canada to support clean water projects around the world.


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