I love a good adventure. Camping, exploring, trying new foods, doing something unique and original. Despite my love for adventure, heights are still tough for me to deal with. I can usually fight through it, but it usually involves a tremendous amount of grunts, screams, sour faces, and teeth grinding. It happened when I bungee jumped in New Zealand, and it happened when I Sky Dived in Australia. I thought after falling from the sky a couple of times, I’d have conquered heights for good. That was all about to be tested as I prepared for the EdgeWalk, a 20-30 minute walk, 356 meter (1,168 ft) above Toronto in the famous Canadian landmark, the CN Tower.
CN Tower EdgeWalk
One would think that if your morning included a 20-30 minute walk that will require you to hang your entire body over the edge of the CN tower, you would get a good nights sleep. Perhaps enjoy a quiet night to reflect on every move you will make on the following day’s adventure. I’m sure for some, that makes sense. For me, it didn’t. Instead, I, along with my blogger colleagues, drank like fish.
We woke up, groggy, tired, and laughing at how bad of an idea that was. We cabbed to the CN Tower, heads pounding, and suited up in red jumpsuits and fighter pilot harnesses and tried our best to concentrate on the task at hand. Safety. The folks at CN Tower take it very seriously (even going so far as breathalyzing EdgeWalkers… don’t worry, I passed), and while they’ll joke around to ease the tension on the ground, as soon as you’re on a metal grate 356 meters above Toronto the jokes end, and they turn into trustworthy teachers, coaching you to push your limits.
The Top of the CN Tower
I have to admit, I was so tired and beat up from the night before, I didn’t even have time to process what it was we were about to do. As the elevator climbed to the top of the CN Tower, we entered a special room with a door opened to the outside of the tower. With the help of the EdgeWalk staff, we were connected to the rails, and told that the cables that keep us attached to the tower were strength tested to the weight of an elephant.
I nervously looked outside, and saw the grate we were going to be walking on. The wind blew a harmonic one pitch note that for whatever reason, struck fear inside me. I began to shake my head in disbelief. Laughing uncomfortably at what had to be done. After being stuck onto the rails with a couple of cables, we proceeded outside. If you’re wondering what the best hangover cure is, it’s fear & adrenaline.
An Unreal View of Toronto
After 15 minutes of hanging my toes over the edge, and learning to trust the equipment, I was soon quasi-comfortable enough to hang over the edge, relying solely on the cables to keep me from falling to what would surely be the end for me. While the wind & eerie single-tone harmonic was noticeable, it didn’t feel as if we were going to be pushed off the edge. The view on the other hand, words just won’t do it justice. It almost seems unreal. A backdrop from a movie set. It’s as if you’re living in a real-world Sim City, and you’re observing your citizens go about their daily days. Cars rush, people the size of ants wade through crowds, construction workers atop half built-buildings hammer away, and planes land at the Billy Bishop Airport on the Toronto Islands. The city becomes a living organism, and each person, bike, car, and building have their place.
EdgeWalk isn’t just about fear, adrenaline, or adventure. While at times, you will surely question your own sanity for wanting to do this, and even question the sanity of those who decided to make this a tourist attraction, there’s more to it than the crazy feeling you’ll surely feel atop the CN tower with no gates or windows holding you back. It’s about seeing this unique and beautiful Canadian city from a whole new angle. Taking in Toronto in a complete panorama that any viewing deck or photo simply can’t compare to. Not even close!
For more on my adventures with the Explore Canada Cross-Canada Travel Bloggers, check out out Canada Keep Exploring! Special thanks to the folks at the CTC for giving us the opportunity to show us around two of Canada’s most vibrant and cultural cities.