On one of the coldest days of winter, some Montrealers decided to go for a swim.

More than 200 people took a dip in freezing water for the annual Polar Bear Plunge in Verdun.

The temperature at Saturday's event , -40 C with the windchill, was the coldest daytime high of this winter season according to Environment Canada.

For Lt. Jean-François Rousselle, the temperature was the last thing he wanted to think about.

"That's pretty much my mindset — not thinking about the cold and jump in. That's it," Rousselle said.   

Participants didn't let the cold weather keep them away for a good time, with many jumping into the pool in groups and matching costumes.

For many, the challenge was simply worth the cause.

Montreal polar swim

Shorts, T-shirts and a hat were all these men had to protect them from the cold. (CBC)

"[The] Special Olympics offers 17 different kind of sports across Quebec," said Marie-Josée Carroll, one of the event's co-ordinators.

"It's my fifth time. It's a such a great cause," said participant Anthony Dire.

Mr. Polar Bear
Mr. Polar Bear

Michel Descheneaux, Montreal traffic officer, says his reputation for swimming in the freezing cold pool longer than others has earned him the nickname 'Mr. Polar Bear' (CBC)

The event was particularly a breeze for one Montreal traffic officer whose friends call him "Mr. Polar Bear."

"When everybody just jump and get out, personally I stay there and I swim a little bit, so that's why they call me 'the polar bear,'" said Michel Descheneaux

At the finish line, the so-called polar bear was all smiles.

"It's not that bad."