CN Tower

by Pamela Hruska


When one thinks of Toronto, the image of the CN tower is surely a forerunner. Boasted as ‘Canada’s Wonder of the World’, it is an impressive 553.33m high tower that is the heart of Canada’s telecommunications. It is situated in the down town core of Toronto and is an attraction for millions of tourists per year. R4NT was able to visit the CN tower on the first day in the city, and luckily it was one of the clearest days in all of the four we were there. Toronto’s low lying clouds sometimes make seeing the top of the tower, and out of the tower impossible, so make sure you pick a clear day! (Otherwise I fear the $19 + tax fee to get to the main viewing deck would not be worth it).

Once you’ve navigated yourself from the airport and the infamous 401 to downtown Toronto, you are able to decide if you would like to see a birds eye view of the city and the surrounding suburbs from the main viewing deck (as mentioned earlier $19+tax), or the skypod (Access to the main deck, and a higher viewing deck that will cost you $24 + tax). Other options to enjoy the structure would be to either take the full deal package, which included both observation decks, a movie and some simulations, or to enjoy a dinner. Both of these options are, of course, more costly than the previously mentioned.

Jumping to what the CN tower is like as a tourist – It kicks the “Calgary Nubby’s” Ass! No building in Toronto compares to its size, and the view, if you go on a clear day is great. As a tourist the sights were interesting to see, but I also feel that as a resident of Toronto it would also be an interesting sight to take in, as the surrounding areas would be more meaningful and appreciated.

CnTower Caged
Caged Inside

Inside the bottom of the CN tower, where you purchase your original ticked to ride the great ‘not-so-glassy’ elevator, you pass through some new innovative security system. At first you will be greeted by a living version of Jimmy Neutron. He will then spout some instructions to stand in the middle of this machine, face forward, and let the various nozzles blow air at you while your friends wait and try to figure out how this really is a security device. There is no information on how the air blower stops unwanted people from getting in, and all you’ll find is how much it cost for them to introduce this new marvel of a machine – which, when you see it, does not seem justifiable.

After the giant air-blower, you will find many kiosks of information on the history of the CN tower, how it was built, OLGA the giant helicopter crane, and various other tid bits. You will then proceed through another road block, where CN tower employees take your photo. We figured they will either try to sell it back to you at some point for another chance to make some money off you, or they want a record of everyone who came through the tower for security purposes (which really seems like a more reasonable approach to security than the air blower does!).

The great ‘not-so-glassy’ elevator ride: There is one strip of glass on the side of the elevator that enables you to see outside when you are traveling up towards the viewing decks. If you are afraid of heights, this is great, as the elevator is generally so packed that your chances of seeing anything are close to none. On the other hand, if you wanted a view – this is not the time, and you will have to wait until you are standing on top of the glass floor, looking out of the windows, or walking around outside. The most striking in my opinion would be the glass floor. Working up the courage to put both feet on, and look straight down is definitely worth the increased heart rate that accompanies the experience.

CnTower Caged
Looking down at the SkyDome

The first viewing deck level has a café, some information on how the CN tower compares to other towers around the world in size, and some fancy plasma TV’s showing various clips on TV programs from atop the CN tower, or stunts done off the CN tower. If you are a fan of buying a photo of yourself for a handsome sum of money, there is another opportunity for you do to so while standing in front of a green screen, where you can select the background you like, whether it be bungee jumping or parasailing. The R4NT crew did not make it up to the sky pod, and you will have to use your own judgment when purchasing a ticket if the extra $5 for the exact same view, only higher, is worth it or not. Some guide books suggest it is not, but I cannot definitively say.

The ride down to the gift shop, where they let you off to buy your souvenirs before leaving, and the various opportunities for photos are constant reminders that this awesome building is geared towards tourists. There are plenty of choices between shot glasses to fuzzy polar fleece vests for memoirs, but my personal suggestion would be to merely go experience the CN tower, get a photo of yourself on the glass floor, and to be in awe of the amount of time and work that went into building such a structure. Coming away from it left us wondering when another time would come for us to visit a monumental structure that was built sometime after 2000. Apparently that is no longer the fad!

  • CN Tower
  • by Pamela Hruska
  • Published on December 1st, 2003
Toronto - CN Tower
Tallest Building in the world
Cause it's pretty impossible to miss

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