Home Vancouver Events Calendar Festivals and Events in Vancouver in 2024 Metro Vancouver New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swims Delta Polar Bear Swim at Tsawwassen’s Centennial Beach

Delta Polar Bear Swim at Tsawwassen’s Centennial Beach

Polar Bear at Centennial Beach

Delta’s annual New Year Polar Bear Swim takes place on Wednesday, January 1st, 2025, at Boundary Bay Regional Park’s Centennial Beach in Tsawwassen.

The event in Tsawwassen is just one of several Lower Mainland Polar Bear Swims. Other New Year dips in the ocean include ones in White Rock by the pier, Port Moody at Rocky Point Park, Vancouver at English Bay, and North Vancouver in Deep Cove. There are one or two Squamish Polar Bear Swims too.


Polar Bear Swim at Boundary Bay Park

The Delta Polar Bear Swim takes place at Boundary Bay’s Centennial Beach on New Year’s Day. The event was cancelled in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, and it didn’t appear to happen in 2022 either.

After a short hiatus, the swim returned on January 1st, 2023 and was back again in 2024. The event runs from 11:45 am until 1:30 pm. Registration begins at noon and the swimming starts at 1:00 pm. About five minutes later it’s all over, except for the awarding of prizes.

Boundary Bay Regional Park is located in the 500 block of Boundary Bay Road in Tsawwassen, which makes it just 10 kilometres or a 15-minute drive from the BC Ferries‘ Terminal.


2023 White Rock Polar Bear Plunge


About the Delta Polar Bear Swim

The Polar Bear Swim at Centennial Beach is one of about six similar events taking place in the Lower Mainland on January 1st each year. Other outdoor New Year’s Day swims take place in Vancouver, North Vancouver, Port Moody, White Rock and Fort Langley.

The largest and most famous polar bear swim is the one at English Bay in Vancouver. The event in Delta is much smaller, but still pretty big. A couple of thousand people usually turn out to watch at Centennial Beach each year and over 100 people take the plunge.


Delta Polar Bear Swim Participants
The Polar Bear Swim Starting Line


What to Expect

At the Delta Polar Bear Swim people typically arrive early to register, hang out with friends and family, admire other people’s costumes and prepare for what’s ahead. There is a bit of music and hot chocolate to enjoy. This year, there were also face painting opportunities and other fun activities for children.

At about 12:45 pm the Centennial Beach crowd congregates along the water’s edge. There’s a designated area for the swimming participants in the middle and onlookers gather along the sides. Of the over 100 people planning to swim, some are in costume, but most are in just their swimsuits.

Ten seconds before 1:00 pm the crowd counts down from 10 to one after which the mass of swimmers runs toward the water. In the resulting chaos most years, friends and family record the event with their phones and cameras, people splash and scream, teeth chatter and memories are made.

About five minutes after the swimming begins everyone is back out of the water. Another five or 10 minutes later, organizers are calling prize winners to the stage to receive their recognition. Prizes are usually awarded for various categories including “oldest participant,” “person travelling from the furthest distance” and “best swimmers.”


Polar Bear People in Swimsuits
Getting Ready for the Swim


Tips & Advice

Below is some advice and extra information to help you make the most of your Polar Bear Swim at Delta’s Boundary Bay Regional Park.

TIP #1: If you’re planning to swim, wear appropriate footwear – your tootsies will thank you. The water is cold and the beach is a bit rocky.

TIP #2: There is a lot of parking available at the beach. Arrive at least 30 minutes before splash time, though, to get a space. Otherwise you may have to walk a ways.

TIP #3: Plan to arrive even earlier than 30 minutes beforehand if you can. There’s nothing more frustrating than arriving late because of traffic (which there will be) and missing the start of the swim.

TIP #4: Don’t forget to take the obvious – swimsuit, towel, warm change of clothes, camera, optional costume, etc. A thermos of hot chocolate or coffee can also be a good idea.


Delta Polar Bear Swim Swimmers
Delta Polar Bear Swim


About the Beach and the Park

Boundary Bay Regional Park is a flat wide-open area in the South Delta community of Tsawwassen. Tsawwassen is on a bit of a peninsula with the BC Ferry Terminal on the west side, the park on the east side and Point Roberts (in the United States) at the bottom in the south.

At the park there are walking trails, horseback riding trails and a huge sandy beach. At Centennial Beach there is a concession stand, public washrooms and a large children’s play area. There are also picnic shelters that are available on a first-come, first-served basis if nobody has already reserved them in advance.

Dogs are allowed in certain areas at the park, but they must be on leash.


Centennial Beach on New Year's Day
Boundary Bay Regional Park’s Centennial Beach


Other Information

For the latest information about the New Year’s Day event at Centennial Beach, see the Delta Events Calendar.

To learn more about the park, click Boundary Bay Regional Park.

For a list of other January 1st swims in the Lower Mainland click Metro Vancouver Polar Bear Swims.

See New Year’s Eve Celebrations for information about events in Vancouver on December 31st (so the night before).

For ideas on other things to do in early 2025 see our January Events Calendar or click Free January Events in Vancouver.