Toronto

Dozens strip down for The Bentway's Polar Bear Skate

The Bentway hosted a different take on the familiar Polar Bear Dip Sunday by getting skaters to strip down for its first-ever Polar Bear Skate.

Skaters made their way around the ice in next to nothing Sunday afternoon

Skaters stripped down Sunday for The Bentway's first-ever Polar Bear Skate. (YanJun Li/CBC)

The Bentway hosted a different take on the familiar Polar Bear Dip Sunday by getting skaters to strip down for its first-ever Polar Bear Skate.

While temperatures were below zero for most of the day, dozens of skaters made their way around the ice in next to nothing at all.

Temperatures were below zero for much of the day. (YanJun Li/CBC)

To help warm up, some participants received a free hot chocolate. Sweetening the deal was also the chance to win a Bentway prize pack.

Marcus Huynh braved the cold in little more than a Blue Jays baseball cap and said he came down to the event because he loves skating.

Marcus Huynh came down to the event because he loves skating. (YanJun Li/CBC)

He added that he wasn't afraid of slipping on the ice.

"If you fall, you get back up. No worries."

The possibility of slipping on the ice with almost nothing on wasn't enough to dissuade some skaters. (YanJun Li/CBC)

'What better way to start a new year'

For Jessica Langer, she thought the event was the perfect way to ring in the new year.

"It's almost 2019. I figured what better way to start a new year than to take a really big risk — do something I've never done before," she said.

Jessica Langer says the event was the perfect way to ring in the new year. (YanJun Li/CBC)

"You kind of feel a little bit warm even when you're cold because you just feel the energy, and it's a lot of fun."

Langer added that it was pretty cold out, but she managed to survive in just her bikini.

Dozens of skaters young and old made their way around the ice in next to nothing at all. (YanJun Li/CBC)

"One of my favourite things about this is like how there were tons of people who just came to watch and cheer us on," she said.

"What a Canadian thing to go and push the boundaries of the cold and push the boundaries of the winter."

The Bentway's Polar Bear Skate brought lots of warm smiles to downtown Toronto on a very chilly day. (YanJun Li/CBC)

The skating trail opened up earlier this year and has been described as a "lazy figure 8."

It loops between four "rooms" created by the big columns, or bents, that hold up the Gardiner Expressway near Fort York.

The Bentway skating trail opened up earlier this year. (YanJun Li/CBC)

With files from Andrea Janus

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