CN Tower Toronto Canada

CN Tower Toronto Canada - Glass floor viewing platform

CN Tower Toronto Canada

Did any of you watch Degrassi Junior High as a child or teenager?

This was one of our favourite TV shows growing up in Australia in the 80s. A generation of parents in the 80s seemed relaxed enough to let their children watch a show that dealt with fairly adult themes, like 14 year olds getting pregnant.

Despite living in Toronto for over two years, and passing Degrassi Street on my monthly 1.5hour walks to get my eyebrows waxed in the trendy Leslieville, I was completely ignorant that the TV show was actually based in Toronto!

Did you know that Degrassi Junior High was based on Degrassi Street? I said to North Nomad. He burst into laughter – apparently this is a well-known fact in Canada.

On this visit to Toronto, we experienced another Canadian cultural icon: the CN Tower.

It’s an imposing tower I used to use as a point of reference to get home when I was lost in Toronto. At night time, it’s lit up by fantastic colours, patterns, and images.

Opening to visitors in 1976, the CN Tower is still the tallest freestanding structure in the Western Hemisphere at 553.33 metres high. As a comparison, it’s taller than the Empire State Building in New York, which comes in at 443.1 metres.

It used to be the tallest freestanding structure in the world, but was surpassed by the Burj Khalifa, a skyscraper in Dubai that is 829.9 metres high.

We should probably disclose that North Nomad is a wee bit wary of heights.

He’s fine when strapped into rollercoasters, walking over bridges, or sitting in planes. But even watching YouTube videos of people walking at heights on glass platforms turns his hands into a sweaty mess.

Me? I’m a little better – but not hugely. I am also fine with rollercoasters, planes, and bridges. But if I feel unsafe at heights I get shooting pains in the soles of my feet. But I do a good job of rationalising with myself about safety, so glass platforms are okay after a few minutes of bracing myself.

CN Tower Toronto Canada - Glass floor elevator

The ride up to the CN Tower prepares you for the glass floors and daunting heights in the Tower.  It has six glass-faced and glass floor panelled elevators. If it weren’t for the back wall, you’d feel a little like Charlie in the Great Glass Elevator.

And it’s a swift ride, making our ears pop on the ascent. Each elevator travels at 22k/m per hour – faster than the traffic on the DVP and the Gardener Expressway during rush hour. It takes less than a minute to reach the Sky Terrace.

We’re met with stunning 360 degrees views of the Greater Toronto Area when we reach the viewing platform. It’s a gorgeous day, and Toronto’s lakes, parks, and architecture look even more beautiful when in the sun.

The guide in our lift ride tells us that on a clear day you can see  up to 160 km away – right out to Niagara Falls and New York State. I don’t think my eyesight is good enough for this, even in the right conditions!

CN Tower Toronto Canada - View from the Tower 2

Toronto is an enormous city, and there’s a great novelty in seeing all of it from such a height where everything looks so small and close together.

We point out Lake Ontario shimmering in the sun, the islands, the heritage smoke stacks over towards Cherry Beach, the Distillery District, High Park, the green belt Don Valley area that we once did an all-day urban hike through. And we find all the apartments we’d lived in while Toronto was our home.

If you’re a tourist, it’s a wonderful way to orient yourself in this big city.  Even if you’re a native Torontonian, it’s fun identifying the buildings you’ve lived in, and the streets and parks you’ve walked through.

CN Tower Toronto Canada - View from the Tower

For the braver amongst us (and I have promised myself I will try these out one day ), there’s the Edge Walk and the Sky Pod.

Edgewalk is an outside, no railings (!!!) walk around the CN Tower. It looks terrifying. There is no way I could convince North Nomad to hold my hand doing this one.

The Sky Pod is inside and therefore less intimidating, but it’s the highest observation level in the Tower, 33 storeys higher than our observation floor.

And if you’re hungry, there is a wide array of food at the CN Tower ranging from fast food to fine dining.  360 Restaurant is a revolving restaurant,  with fantastic views of the city. It’s also touted as one of Toronto’s finest restaurants. And they even have vegan options! It’s definitely on our to do list for next time we visit the city.

CN Tower Toronto Canada - View from the glass floor

Tell me, friends, are you afraid of heights? Do you think you’d be an observation deck user like us Nomads? Or would you do the terrifying Edge Walk?

Website: http://www.cntower.ca/intro.html

Location: 301 Front Street West Toronto, Ontario M5V 2T6 Canada

Opening Hours & Days: Open daily, 364 days a year, Closed on Christmas Day, 9:00am to 10:30pm

Cost:  General Admission (if you buy online it’s cheaper!) Adult (13 – 64) $32.00 at the Tower $28.80 online, Senior (65+) $24.00 at the Tower  $21.60 online,  Child (4 – 12)$24.00 at the Tower, $21.60 online.

Contact Details: (416) 868-6937 info@cntower.ca

North & South Nomads were given a complimentary City Pass booklet from Toronto Tourism that gave us access to the CN Tower.

You can connect with South Nomad, Jessica, over at Google+.

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