north america · travel

Want to Chill? See the CN Tower!

Almost looks like a warphole out of the sky, doesn't it?

A guidebook wisely advised that if in Toronto, you might as well make the CN Tower your first stop, as you almost can’t shake off the sight whilst strolling downtown.

The book was right — even indoors, souvenirs and shirts flaunt the city’s iconic attraction. The CN Tower offers a lot of different ways to enjoy the spaceship-like steeple, ranging from buffets with 360-degree views to heart-stopping edge walks.  To save up on entrance fees and queueing time, my sisters got the Toronto CityPasses which included admission to the skyscraper.

Peek-a-boo... it's everywhere!

I already expected the aerial views of Toronto to be spectacular (the CN tower did hold the record for the world’s tallest tower for 34 years, after all). It was said that on a clear day, you can see a hint of Niagara from the viewing deck. They had a spot with glass floors as well to add that extra oomph. What I didn’t expect was the 338-meter-high outdoors observation deck — talk about an in-your-face (chilly) experience!

The CN Tower shadow cutting through the city.
Am I just geeky, or does this look like a motherboard?

I actually went a second time up the tower — on the next chance, I was with Mace, a dear friend who flew all the way from Vancouver to come see the quirky yours truly. It was her first time to see Toronto as well, so it was well worth another visit to the CN Tower. What was great was that we both got to go 100 metres further up by getting the upgraded access to the SkyPod — the top-up was worth the bucks for the clearer, unobstructed view of the Toronto landscape. There was a football game set for that day in the nearby Rogers Centre stadium — it was fun to see hundreds of red-and-blue sports fanatics parading like ants for the pre-game merriments.

Take 2 with Mace!
A peek through the glass floor.

There’s a lot more to see after the lofty visit to the CN Tower. Jump on the chance to take the free Steam Whistle brewery tour just a few paces from the site. I got a taste of the freshest beer I would probably ever have in my life, as our tour guide just handed out the bottles right out of the assembly line. Just in case you missed it, two words: FREE BEER. Plus pure educational entertainment. About beer. Yup, exactly my type of fun.

Fresh beer in my hands. Life is good.

Ate Yen and I hopped on the ferry to visit the Toronto Islands as well. As it was off-peak tourist season, the only available ferry was only to and fro Ward’s Islands, but there were still a lot of interesting places to stroll in this quaint patch of Canadiana. The ferry was a good spot for top-notch shots of the Toronto cityline as well.

A beach, hurray!
On the Toronto Islands map

More photos: Picasa – 2011-10 CN Tower & Toronto Islands!

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