Stood at the top of the CN Tower in Toronto, I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. I’d finally made it to Canada, and this was my reward. Canada has been on my list since I first thought about traveling, so being able to get a taste for the country on my latest Trek America tour was perfect. Let’s just say Canada definitely didn’t disappoint.
Fun fact: my parents were actually very close to emigrating to Canada just before I was born, but decided against it at the last minute because they were worried about leaving my Grandparents behind. My Mum says it was one of her biggest regrets. I think it’s because of this that my parents have always told me not to worry about leaving them behind; if I want to move somewhere, do it. I’m a very lucky girl.
The Cold & Customs
Back to my adventures, it was a pretty darn cold day. After driving about 1 hour 30 minutes from the USA side of Niagara Falls, we’d seen pretty thick snow. In fact, this was the first ‘proper’ snow I’d ever seen! Seriously though, I felt like I’d woken up in Narnia, in April. Having lived in the same little town just outside Manchester, we don’t really get much snow and the snow we do get is very light and melts within a day. This was the proper stuff and I was living the dream.
On leaving the USA, we crossed Rainbow Bridge and reached the Canadian Border Control. At the time I visited, you didn’t need a visa if traveling into Canada via road, so after nipping into the office for the passport checks and adding another stamp to my passport, we set foot on Canadian soil.
Whilst the snow had melted by the time we reached Toronto, the chilling cold was still there, along with a super strong wind that we happened to be walking against. Lovely. After a very exciting Tim Hortons Timbit break (you HAVE to try them) we eventually made it to the tower. It was worth it.
The View at the Top of the CN Tower
Like most observation towers, the main queuing is for the lifts, and on this occasion, they were running slower than usual. Why? Well, the 6 lifts at the CN Tower are partially exposed, meaning you get an amazing view whilst you rise to 1,136ft. Don’t worry if you get stuck at the back of the lift though, because there’s also glass floor panels in a small portion of the lift, the first in North America! Normally taking 58 seconds and traveling at 15 miles per hour, our time was increased to about 1 minute 30 seconds thanks to strong winds. It’s always nice to hear cables bang on the side of the lift right?!
I think now is the right time to tell you I’m absolutely terrified of heights. I actually didn’t think heights were much of a problem until I went to the Grand Canyon and completely freaked. Saying this, I never want my fear of heights to stop me from getting the most of my adventures, so onwards I went.
A couple of quick facts for you: the CN Tower is the tallest tower in Canada and is the 3rd tallest self-supported tower in the World. Home to the World’s highest wine cellar, you can also see Niagara Falls from the top SkyPod level on a super clear day with the aid of binoculars. In 1995, the American Society of Civil Engineers named the tower as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. Oh, and if you don’t fancy the lifts, twice a year people climb the 144 flights of stairs in a bid to raise money for Charity.
It’s alright me telling you how amazing it was, seeing is believing:
East view from CN Tower LookOut Level
West view from CN Tower LookOut Level
Remember when I said I was afraid of heights? The Glass Floor at the CN Tower is the stuff of my nightmares. With an uninterrupted view 1,122 ft down, it wasn’t something I was exactly looking forward to. But I did it. Thanks to the amazing support of my travel buddies we all stood, sat and lay on the glass. And you know what? I enjoyed it. I was super proud of myself and can now say I stood on the original tower glass floor. I say original because the glass floor at the CN tower was the worlds first when it opened in 1994. Cool or what?!
Top Tips for Visiting the CN Tower
- Airport-style security screening is in place so avoid taking liquids and oversized bags to make it as quick as possible.
- There are two levels of tickets. General Admission (which I did) gives you access to 2 observation levels including LookOut Level, Edge Walk viewing, Glass Floor and outdoor SkyTerrace. The General Admission + SkyPod gives you access to the same as the General Admission plus access to the highest observation level, the SkyPod.
- If you fancy a bite to eat, make a reservation for the 360 Restaurant that does a complete rotate every 72 minutes. Make sure you book early though because tables sell out!
- If you miss out on a 360 Restaurant reservation don’t worry. There’s a pretty cool bar that does the most amazing cocktails, all with an incredible view of Toronto.
- Need more of a thrill? Book on to the EdgeWalk, a hands-free walk around the ledge of the Tower’s main pod. The World’s highest full circle hands-free walk, you balance on a 5ft wide ledge and take in the views from a new, and pretty terrifying perspective. It’s worth noting, you can’t do this in electric storms as the tower is a magnet for lightning strikes.
The CN Tower really gave me a love for observation platforms so I’d love to know where was the best one you’ve been too?
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