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Half a kilometre into the air

Since 1976, the 553-metre-high CN Tower has cut a solitary but magnificent figure in the Toronto skyline. It is the highest free-standing building in the Western Hemisphere. The Tower plays an important role in the city’s telecommunications and also serves as a symbolic function - a beacon of Canadian pride.

The 'Canadian Wonder of the World', as the Tower is also called, welcomes around 2 million visitors a year. The Tower offers cafés, restaurants and a 3D cinema. The view of the city is of course the biggest attraction, but if that's not enough you can also go for a serious adrenaline rush by taking a hands-free walk on a narrow ledge 356 metres above the ground.

The CN Tower in the evening light
The CN Tower in the evening light

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Glass floors

Special lifts with glass floors whisk visitors to the top of the Tower in only 58 seconds. If that hasn’t given you a fear of heights, step out on the glass floor and look down a whopping 342 metres. Don't be afraid: it may seem dangerous but the thick glass is actually stronger than most concrete floors. The glass floor can bear a weight of 38,556 kilograms – the equivalent of 20 hippos, and those don’t fit into the lift.

Even higher, you will find the 360 Restaurant, which does a full rotation every 72 minutes so everyone can enjoy the view. The vista is complemented by delicious food and an award-winning wine list. However, you do not have to go to great heights: there is also plenty to do at the foot of the Tower with shops and the market café.

The view through the glass floor
The reflection of the skyline in Lake Ontario
A brave lady sets the example

Over the edge

The Tower’s newest attraction is the EdgeWalk, the highest hands-free walk in the world. Adrenaline junkies are strapped into a safety harness and attached to the Tower with cables. Then they are ready to walk along the edge of the roof of the 360 Restaurant. The metal walkway around the top of the Tower is just 1.5 metres wide and hangs 116 floors above the ground. Even though you are safely strapped in, it does take some courage to hang over the edge. The EdgeWalk is closed in winter and in poor weather conditions, for example if there are high winds and (imminent) thunderstorms.

Photo credits

  • The view through the glass floor: Paul Williams, Flickr
  • A brave lady sets the example: Beth, Flickr