Back in the summer (and I’m sad it’s over) my pal Casey asked me if I would be interested in doing the CN Tower EdgeWalk with her this year for her birthday. If you are not familiar with the CN tower, it is the giant focal point of the Toronto skyline.
Pretty sure I mentioned this when Evan and I went up there with Emily and Corey a couple years ago but it is the tallest freestanding structure in the western hemisphere and the fifth tallest in the world (it was the tallest until 2010). It’s about 1,800 feet, so it’s tall. It is large and in charge. You’ve always been able to go up inside the tower. It’s a pretty big tourist attraction and it has a revolving restaurant and a glass floor and a few other things happening. But in 2011 they started the EdgeWalk which is a walk OUTSIDE – around the circumference of the roof. You are tethered the entire time so it’s not quite as scary as a free walk. But it is still scary.
It’s kind of been on my radar to do for a while, but it’s expensive and I live here so I figured one day, but I’ve never really had an excuse. Evan can’t even walk on the glass floor up there so there’s no way I would ever be able to get him to do it. When Casey asked me it was all the encouragement I needed! So a few Sunday’s ago I met up with Casey, her mom and her friend Erika and we got suited up for our adventure. We were looking goooood.
They take you out in groups of eight, so we had some new people with us. The two guys on the right in the above picture were visiting from Sweden (here for the World Cup of Hockey) and the couple on the left were from San Diego. We were the only Toronto natives!
I read reviews beforehand and the main point that kept coming up was that they take safety extremely seriously, and I have to agree on that. They are super super safety conscious. We had to be wearing rubber soled shoes, we could not bring anything out with us that could potentially fall, any jewelry we had on needed to be stored in a locker, and they triple checked our suits and harnesses. Once we were suited up in our attractive red jumpsuits they took us up a dedicated Edge Walk elevator, double tethered us to a track that goes around the entire building outside, and we were walking out over 1,600 feet in the air above the city.
Heights are not really a fear of mine, but that feeling of falling sure is. Evan is absolutely not a heights fan and he thinks it’s so funny when I say that I’m more afraid of falling than afraid of heights, he’ll be like “But that’s the whole point!!!!” But I mean that just standing up high doesn’t get me. The feeling of free falling though, that terrifies me so bad that I worry I’m going to die of anxiety on the Drop Zone at Wonderland. So for me I think I found it easier to do something like this as opposed to jumping out of a plane.
But even though heights have never really bothered me, when we first walked out I felt breathless when I looked down. It was an adrenaline rush for sure and it was a pretty weird and unsettling feeling. The very first activity we did was called toes over Toronto, where you walked to the very edge and kept only your heels on the platform. Eep. I think that was the toughest for me. But after that I started to trust my equipment and feel comfortable with the height.
The next activity was where we walked backwards to the edge and leaned back. We got a video of our entire experience afterwards so I made a short clip of this…
The first time was definitely scary, but by the time I did it again I felt like an old pro!
We were outside for a good half an hour walking around the tower, pointing out our city’s landmarks and and doing activities. Another one was leaning forward over the city as opposed to backwards. Our guide was fantastic and I’m kicking myself for not being able to remember her name – she remembered all of ours after a very short time and that was really impressive.
I would definitely recommend the EdgeWalk whether you are visiting the city or live here. And if you don’t like being up high, we had a guy in our group who was super afraid of heights and he didn’t do all the activities but he was okay, and I think even he was feeling more comfortable towards the end. It is expensive at about $200, however I feel like it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and it was definitely worth the money. We received a couple printed photos and a full DVD of our experience, all included in our package. We also split the photos package between the four of us – It was only $20 extra so $5 each for all the photos taken of us that day, so that seemed worth it to us.
It was a good time! Super cool experience that I can cross off the ol’ bucket list. Thanks for inviting me, Casey! I don’t know how you’re going to top this on your next birthday…