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Canada  

Cities cancel celebrations

A long-lasting cold snap is leading more cities to cancel or adjust their New Year's Eve plans, including Edmonton and Calgary.

The cities join a growing list of others with adjusted plans, including Ottawa and Toronto, as much of the country remained under extreme cold warnings issued by Environment Canada.

A spokeswoman for the City of Edmonton says in a written statement that activities would be moved mostly indoors — while fireworks will go ahead at midnight, people are encouraged to watch the festivities online.

Calgary announced that its indoor Family Dance Party would still be held from 7 to 9 p.m. as planned, but that people should watch the ball drop on TV rather than out in the cold.

Cape Breton also cancelled its outdoor plans on Sunday afternoon, noting that Environment Canada was calling for wind speeds up to 50 kilometres per hour and a wind chill of -20 C.

And Mississauga, Ont., followed Toronto's lead, opting to begin its outdoor festivities just a half hour before midnight — a plan its next-door neighbour finalized on Thursday.

The Toronto Polar Bear Club deemed the weather too cold for its annual dip into Lake Ontario, though would-be swimmers were still able to make the trip to neighbouring Oakville, Ont., for the Courage Polar Bear Dip.

But in spite of the frigid temperatures, other cities decided to forge ahead with their plans.

In Montreal, a huge New Year's Eve party to cap the city's 375th-birthday celebrations will go ahead as planned, but organizers said they expect attendance to drop because of cold-weather warnings.

Quebec City organizers say residents are accustomed to the cold and they're not cancelling anything for New Year's Eve.



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