The CN Tower, Toronto, Canada

The CN Tower is a 553.33 m-high (1,815.4 ft) concrete communications and observation tower in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. When it was completed in 1976 it became the world’s tallest free-standing structure and the world’s tallest tower - both records it held for 34 years until the completion of the Burj Khalifa and the Canton Tower in 2010. It remains the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere, a signature icon of Toronto’s skyline, and a symbol of Canada, attracting more than two million international visitors annually.

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We visit Toronto a lot – it has a host of well organised running events including marathons in May and October as well as loads of other attractions and events that are worth experiencing – so naturally we thought we should pay the CN Tower, which is slap bang in the middle of the downtown district, a visit.

There are 2 ways of getting from ground level to the observation deck. One is the regular route via the glass walled elevators that zoom up in less than a minute giving you amazing views of the city as you go. This is how we did it, as do the majority of visitors. The other way is the twice yearly climb up the 1,776 steps inside the tower in aid of charity. You can discover more about the October charity event here - http://www.unitedwaytoronto.com/climb

As you can see it runs on the 16th, 18th and 19th October in 2014 and since the Toronto Waterfront Marathon is also on the 19th October you could combine both events in one visit for an extra sporty vacation. And if you’ve got a real head for heights and want to test yourself by taking on what is, in my opinion, one of the world’s toughest sporty weekends, you could also throw in an Edge Walk whilst you’re at it. An Edge Walk?

The Edge Walk is a walk around the OUTSIDE of the CN Tower. It is the world’s highest full circle hands-free walk on a 5 ft (1.5 m) wide ledge encircling the top of the Tower’s main pod, 356m/1168ft (116 storeys) above the ground. Visitors walk in groups while attached to an overhead safety rail via a trolley and harness system.

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We visited too early in the season to do the Edge Walk (it opens on April 14th) but maybe if we’re in town for the October events I’ve mentioned we’ll do it then. Check this link out to see more about the Edge Walk - http://www.cntower.ca/en-ca/plan-your-visit/attractions/edgewalk/edgewalk-overview.html

OK, back to the regular CN Tower experience. The elevator took us to the observation floor where half the floor is devoted to a restaurant and half to an area where you can look out over the city, Lake Ontario, the islands and the city airport. The views are amazing. In case you’re worried, no, the tower doesn’t feel like it’s swaying in the wind at all! The atmosphere is very relaxed and the viewing area large; when we were there kids from a local school were sat on the carpet having lunch whilst loads of other tourists were enjoying the panorama – there was plenty of space for us all without feeling cramped. Here are some views we captured ourselves…

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Having enjoyed this collection of views we walked down a level to another observation deck; this one offered an outside but still caged in walk so we could get a breath of fresh air, lots of wall space given over to photos and facts about the tower and also a glass floor on which you can stand (it’s safe, apparently, to the weight of 14 hippos) and look down at the city 1,122 feet below.

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We had a fun few hours at the CN Tower. If you’d like to discover more about the Tower here’s the website - http://www.cntower.ca/en-ca/home.html?ref=logo

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