Vancouver the first for the Polar Bear Swim? | All about water, the oceans, environmental issues |

Did you know that Vancouver may be responsible for the popular January 1st pastime of diving into freezing cold lakes? What's believed to be Canada's first 'polar bear plunge' was orchestrated by Peter Pantages and the Vancouver Polar BearSwim Club in 1920. Today, New Year's resolutions and charity fundraisers are often cited as the reason for charging into the body-numbing tides of Vancouver's English Bay. Since its birth over 90 years ago, Vancouver's polar bear swim continues to set participation records each year, and has spawned copycat events across Canada and around the world.