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Vancouver cancels Polar Bear Swim at English Bay

FILE - The crowd taking the plunge in the 2018 Polar Bear Swim at English Bay. (Courtesy Twitter @VPDMarineUnit)

The Vancouver Park Board is turning its Polar Bear Swim into a virtual event due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Polar Bear Swim will not go ahead at English Bay amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Park Board is encouraging people to hope into bathtubs, kiddie pools filled with cold water as part of virtual plunge

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The annual Vancouver Polar Bear Swim has been cancelled and replaced with a virtual alternative.

It’s one of the many seasonal events that has fallen victim to COVID-19.

“While we are deeply disappointed that our great New Year’s tradition of jumping into the frigid waters of English Bay will not be taking place in 2021, we know this is the right decision to make for the health and safety of swimmers, spectators, and staff,” says Vancouver Park Board Chair Camil Dumont.

Instead of jumping into the chilling temperatures of English Bay, the Park Board is encouraging people to hop into their bathtub or a kiddie pool, filled with cold water, instead.

For those who have a thermometer and want to try to mimic the experience of jumping into English Bay, 7-degrees Celsius is the average water temperature of previous Polar Bear Swims.

The virtual plunge will take place at 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 1, 2021.