The elevator that my young grandkids and I took up the CN Tower has two panels of glass in its floor and as we went up, up, up at a speed of 22km/15mph it was sort of like being in a space ship during lift off. It took just 58 seconds for us to reach the Indoor Observation Level (aka Look Out Level), which just happens to be 346m/1136ft in the air. Little wonder that they call it the World’s #1 elevator ride.
From this level you can look out on all of Toronto. You can watch planes landing on Toronto Island in Lake Ontario. They say that on a clear day you can see places that are over 160km (100 miles) away. Although we were very high up, we all felt very safe here. Then we went down the stairs to the Outdoor Observation Terrace and Glass Floor.
The Glass Floor isn’t as large as I had imagined and quite a few people were crowding onto it. A big sign tells you it won’t break with the weight because the floor can hold a total of 21,835kg (48,138lbs). That’s the equivalent of: 3.5 orcas, 35 moose, 41 polar bears, 380 Arctic wolves, 1091 beavers, 3493 raccoons, 3639 Canada geese, and 256,882 blue jays. I guess that means you don’t have to worry.
The outdoor terrace was a bit scary though because it was so windy out there and we got close to the inner wall for protection (other than when I took this photo). But I think the kids secretly liked the wind because that’s what they talked about a few days later.
When they built the tower in 1976 it was the tallest free-standing structure in the world so it was quite an engineering feat. Today it’s the 3rd tallest. They built it not for tourists but for communications. It seems that the skyscrapers that were being built at the time were higher than the transmission towers, which meant that people were getting lousy television and radio reception. Since they built the CN Tower Toronto has some of the clearest reception in North America.
The photo of the CN Tower was given a special position in the grandkids’ scrapbooks of “what I did this summer”. It’s an “I went up there” moment of glory.
By Sylvia Fanjoy
Photo credits Sylvia Fanjoy
© Riding the buses™ 2015
I recently visited four Toronto attractions with my young grandkids: Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, the CN Tower, the Ontario Science Centre, and the Toronto Zoo. I wanted to avoid Toronto traffic as much as possible so opted to stay at a hotel in Scarborough, just off the 401, and from there it was an easy drive to the zoo and Science Centre. The hotel has an indoor swimming pool complex, which was a big hit.
We took a bus and subway to get downtown, which was straightforward and an adventure in itself. Locals were keen to help us when we seemed a little lost. We got off the subway at Union Station and took the skywalk—a new feature in the city—to the CN Tower and the aquarium.
I bought, online, timed tickets for the aquarium and City Passes for the other attractions, which meant there was no standing around in lines. (Sylvia Fanjoy)