Easily the best view in town and some tasty bites to enjoy up top too.
When the CN Tower opened in 1976 at 553 metres high, it was the world’s tallest free-standing structure and the world’s tallest tower. It has since been surpassed by other constructions but still manages to hold on to some superlatives. Whatever records it does or doesn't boast, a visit here is certainly an exhilarating experience. The glass elevators will whisk you up into the skies in a flash, to observation decks where you can savour views of Toronto, Lake Ontario and, if you’re lucky, Niagara Falls.
Your first stop will probably be the LookOut Level on the 113th floor which takes under a minute to get to in the high-speed elevators. From here, you can descend to the 112th with its glass floor. Take a moment to gaze at the ant-sized people on the streets of Toronto 342 metres below before stepping out onto the Outdoor SkyTerrace.
To get up to the SkyPod deck you’ll be charged an extra fee. At 447 metres, though, you are considerably higher up and the view is definitely more impressive. The 2,579 steps that lead to the SkyPod make up part of the world’s tallest metal staircase (although this is only opened up twice a year for charity events).
The 360-degree restaurant comfortably holds onto the CN Tower’s other record; at a height of 351 metres, it has the highest wine cellar on the planet. The food here is of only the finest quality, with a seasonal menu put together by an award-winning chef. It is, however, very pricey. Less pricey, though still far from cheap, are the tower's café and bistro.
For those looking for something more high-octane, there is the option of climbing onto the roof of the restaurant and going on what is known as the EdgeWalk. You’ll have to book in advance for this completely hands-free walk around the outdoor ledge. Rest assured though – you will be harnessed to the railings and will be in complete safety. See if you can spot Niagara Falls some 60 kilometres to the south-east while you walk.
The CN Tower is in Toronto city centre, a short walk from the harbour. It is open late every day except Christmas Day, although it has shorter opening hours in winter. Check the website for opening hours of the restaurant, café and other attractions, as well as for cheaper tickets.