More than 300 people will brave the icy waters of Lake Ontario in the eighth annual Toronto Polar Bear Dip at Sunnyside Beach on New Year’s Day.
Hosted by the Toronto Polar Bear Club, the event will raise money to build Habitat For Humanity homes for Toronto families, who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford their own homes.
“It’s amazing to see so many Torontonians come together year after year for a chilly, but important event in our city,” said Neil Hetherington, CEO of Habitat for Humanity and regular participant of the dip, in a statement. “By making the frosty plunge into Lake Ontario, these dippers are showing their support for affordable homeownership and helping to make a tremendous difference in the lives of hard-working families in our city.”
Since 2005 the Toronto Polar Bear Dip has raised more than $130,000 for Habitat for Humanity Toronto – funds that have gone directly towards purchasing building materials to build more Habitat Toronto homes for families in need. This year’s fundraising goal is $30,000.
A lone bagpiper will lead the dippers to the water and Toronto-based musician Noel Johnson will perform, welcoming dippers back on shore for the presentation of prizes to the top fundraisers.