CN Tower Edge Walk – Scary as Hell, But Who Cares?
I have to confess that I love the CN Tower. Whether you are flying into Pearson or Toronto Island airport it stands out as an iconic building that makes the Toronto skyline unique. Equally if you are walking almost anywhere within miles of the tower it will appear suddenly along a sight line down a street or avenue and remind you that you are most certainly in Toronto and nowhere else on earth. I love having a meal in the rotating restaurant as the sun goes down and watching the shadows lengthen over the lake. Yes, the prices are high, but unlike most rotating restaurants the food is very good and well, you really can’t put a price on the view. The fact is that thanks to COTE (Canadians Opposed to Everything), I doubt the CN Tower would ever get built if proposed today. I’m just glad it did. And now there’s the CN Tower Edge Walk.
So, apropos of nothing, I decided I needed to experience the latest the CN Tower has to offer, the Edgewalk. As luck would have it it was a beautiful late September day with no wind. In order to fully enjoy the experience I recruited my daughter Lenore who is a Toronto denizen and my son Dale who was in from Calgary as my wing people. For reasons I cannot fathom my wife Alison politely declined.
What to expect on the CN Tower Edge Walk
Here’s what the CN Tower Edge Walk is all about. First you are let into a small secure room where everything that could fall off and kill someone below is removed and put in a locker. Forget about taking your own pictures. The only thing you can take that could fall off is glasses and they are secured by a tether. Next you are fitted into an orange jumpsuit that puts you into astronaut mode. Finally the harness is attached and checked at least six times by four different people before you are allowed to get hooked up. After a fifteen minute briefing, mostly about safety, the group (six in our case) is led to an elevator dedicated just to the CN Tower Edge Walk. I have to say dressed like we are you really do feel like you are going on a NASA mission and headed into a space capsule.
At the top you are greeted by your guide, in our case a Bill Murray look and sound alike – definitely confidence inspiring. Here we are with Bill as I will call him, just before leaving. The first pose is “Are you guys f***ing crazy?”
And the second is “Yes, but what the F***”.
So now, after one more check of the harnesses we are led out by Bill and here’s what we see – that’s if we looked which Lenore refused to do.
I’m sure you are thinking “Weren’t you afraid?” The answer at first is “Sort of” because as you can see we are holding onto those lines for dear life and staying well away from the edge. But then Bill gets us to to do “Toe’s over Toronto” which is walking right up to the edge of the platform to the point our toes are sticking over. I can honestly say my legs were literally frozen with fear, but my mind made them unfreeze and I did manage it. Since I was doing it before Dale and Lenore I knew if I chickened out they would have an excuse. In fact Dale looked positively ashen. Here’s how we managed to do it. Everything after that was a synch. Really.
Next up was the tilt forward. No problem.
And before you know it we had come full circle and yes that is a girl in a wheelchair about to come out with the next group.
Here are a few photographs to finish off this post.
So the truth about the CN Tower Edge Walk is that it is an out of this world experience and I highly recommend it as a great way to just hang with your kids.
However, if it looks like too much for you, I suggest a more sedate visit to Fort York, scene of a great Canadian battle and the oldest place in Toronto.