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New Year's Day dippers across Canada prepare for annual icy plunge

It’s New Year’s Day and that means many brave souls across Canada and around the world will be leaving the warmth and comfort of their homes to plunge into ice cold bodies of water.

In Canada the annual Polar Bear dips to raise money for charity are a tradition that dates back nearly a century.

The Polar Bear Swim Club in Vancouver has been active since 1920 and typically registers 1,000 to 2,000 participants for its New Year’s Day dip.

Similar events are now held in communities from coast to coast to coast.

Organizers of the 9th annual Toronto Polar Bear Dip say they’re hoping to raise $40,000 this year to help bring affordable housing to more low-income families

But with much of Canada in the midst of a deep freeze today’s dip may be especially challenging.