For 34 years, Toronto’s CN Tower was both the world’s tallest free-standing structure and the world’s tallest tower. It wasn’t until the construction of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and Canton Tower in Guangzhou, both completed in 2010, that these records were surpassed. (The tallest tower in the world today is the Tokyo Skytree.) While it may no longer hold the world’s tallest titles, it remains both a recognizable icon of Canada and a wonder of the modern world.
Arriving in Toronto from Pearson Airport, the tower felt like a welcoming beacon as we drove into the city. The CN Tower dominates Toronto’s skyline, and it was just the sight I needed to get me smiling and excited to explore Canada’s most populated city.
DID YOU KNOW? The CN Tower is considered one of seven Modern Wonders of the World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The Channel Tunnel, Empire State Building, Golden Gate Bridge, Itaipu Dam, Delta Works, and Panama Canal finish off the prestigious list.
I think there is an unwritten rule in travel that (at least the first time around) one must see those iconic buildings/structures/museums that epitomize the city you are exploring. In NYC that is likely to be the Empire State Building or Statue of Liberty, in Paris- the Eiffel Tower or The Louvre, and in Rome- the Colosseum with a stopover at The Vatican. Often these icons can leave you disappointed, built up over a lifetime with expectations and excitement, but we do it anyway time and time again.
Let’s be honest, the highlight of a trip may have been when you found that amazing shop tucked in an alleyway or a conversation you had with a local that lead to a dinner invite with their entire immediate family, but when you show pictures to people back home- those icons are going to be the thing they swoon over.
I wasn’t nearly as excited to make my way to the top of the CN Tower as I was to climb the Great Wall of China or even trek across London’s Tower Bridge, but there was still that ‘I am standing at the top of one of the tallest towers in the world’ feeling as I looked out across Toronto’s cityscape and Ontario’s lake ridden landscape. Certainly a feeling that can hold its weight as a memorable moment of my time in the city.
Our hotel was only a ten minute walk from the CN Tower, so we casually made our way over as it became larger and more looming above us. After showing out tickets to front reception, we were guided to my favorite part of the tour-the elevator.
There are six high-speed elevators that take visitors from the base of the tower to the LookOut platform at 1,136 feet (346m). It takes only 58 seconds to climb the 33 floors, and the glass panels allow you to look out and enjoy the view the entire trip. There is also a glass panel on the floor, which really gives you a sense of just how high you are climbing.
Once you arrive to the viewing platform you are free to explore the exhibits and go outside to take in the view.
After I had stared into the distance from the CN Tower’s viewing platform for what must have been forever, I went to check out the famous Glass Floor. Located one floor down from the viewing platform, the Glass Floor is 256 feet of solid glass that you can jump on, lay on, and stand on, while looking straight down through the almost invisible floor. I am not afraid of heights in the least, but that first step onto the glass required a second’s worth of deep breath. There were definitely people around who didn’t dare to stand on the glass floor, which is a little silly since it can withstand at least 14 large hippos!
Admission to Toronto’s CN Tower will cost you $28.60 CAD for ages 13-64. Admission price includes entry to the LookOut Level, Glass Floor, as well as a few of the ongoing attractions. (The 3D film is worth a watch!) Alternatively you can purchase a Toronto CityPass that will get you into CN Tower, as well as Toronto’s other famous attractions such as Casa Loma, The Toronto Zoo, and Royal Ontario Museum. The CityPass is $61.50 CAD for adults and $39.60 for ages 4-12. Well worth it if you plan on seeing a lot during your stay!
Disclaimer: My visit to the CN Tower was complimentary through a Toronto CityPass provided by Tourism Toronto. All opinions are my own, as always!
Photo Credit from top to bottom: palestrina55 via cc, Christopher Chan ,pedro_qtc via cc, donsutherland1 via cc , M Kuhn via cc