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Living Life on the Edge – CN Tower’s EdgeWalk

CN Tower EdgeWalk |

The EdgeWalk guide called it “Toes Over Toronto”. I called it terrifying. So there my 10 little digits were, perched over the edge of a grate, 1168 feet over Bremner Avenue. Every time I looked down my head would swim and I felt like I was going to fall forward. My fingers tightened on the thick black cable that was keeping me from doing the world’s most epic swan dive. I chanced another glance down past my toes to the top of Rogers Centre. Nope, no good. I just stared out straight ahead across Lake Ontario instead and tried to calm the butterflies in my stomach. How did I end up tethered to the top of the CN Tower anyway?

CN Tower EdgeWalk |

I don’t remember when it was that I heard about Skywalk X in Macau but I thought the idea of walking around the outside of a tower sounded terribly exciting. I promptly put it on my bucket list but didn’t honestly think it was something I’d get to do because, before I started travelling, Macau seemed like a world away and out of reach. Enter the CN Tower Edgewalk.

When I heard that the CN Tower would be taking a page out of Macau’s book and doing their own outdoor walk I got excited. Not only was Toronto much more accessible to me but this walk would be even higher. The highest in the world actually. With TBEX happening in the Big Smoke, I knew it would be the perfect opportunity. I started telling everyone how I was going to do the Edgewalk. I figured the more people knew, the more awkward it would be if I chickened out. Periodically throughout the week I would be walking past the CN Tower and see those little red spots in the sky that were people leaning over the edge and wonder if I was really contemplating joining them.

On my last full day in Toronto I bit the bullet and signed the waiver form and paid my money. I Instagramed a picture of my ticket for the world to see. No backing out now. Our group of six gathered and were fitted for our red jumpsuits. Nerves started building as I took off all my jewellery and stepped into the harness. They were very strict with the rules: everything on us was either covered by a jumpsuit or tethered to it. Even something as seemingly harmless as a penny could be dangerous dropped from that height. Between that first fitting and stepping out onto the ledge my harness was checked at least five times. Safety is no joke here and staff are very thorough.

CN Tower EdgeWalk |

Going up in the elevator my ears popped as I saw the ground rush away from me through the glass panels in the floor. Inside the launch room they lined us up and I found out that the guy next to me was a priest. Somewhat comforting. Surely the Big Guy wouldn’t let me drop with one of his own next to me? The way the rail is set up, there’s only one way out and you move counter-clockwise around the tower until you come back to the launch room. Once you step out onto the grate you’re committed to seeing it through.

The first thing that struck me was how quiet it was. City noise doesn’t reach that far up. I assumed that it would always be crazy windy that high up but it was a really calm evening. It was beautiful looking out at the islands and all the way across the lake to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Our guide told us that on a really clear day you can sometimes see the mist rising from Niagara Falls. It’s not every day that you’re high enough to see the curvature of the earth. It was stunning.

CN Tower EdgeWalk |

There are four different activities that you’ll get to do on the EdgeWalk. The first is “Toes Over Toronto” which is meant to get you warmed up. The second activity is the one you see here, where we back up until our heels are off edge and then lean back. My first time trying this I was ok and managed to let go of the cable for a split second until I looked down between my feet. My inner monologue was telling me that this was a stupid thing to do and you better hold on. For the third activity we pretended to be on a tightrope and walked right on the edge, arms outstretched. The last was my favourite, leaning out face first. You can almost pretend you’re Superman flying over the city. By the time our half hour on the tower was done I would’ve been happy to hang out there all afternoon. The brain can acclimate to bizarre situations pretty fast it seems.

I couldn’t take a camera out there with me but Trey Ratcliff was able to get special permission and shot the video below with Google Glass. If you want to see what I saw, albeit he had a much windier day, check it out.

Is the Edgewalk something you would ever consider doing?

CN Tower EdgeWalk |

Fact Sheet

  • What: CN Tower EdgeWalk
  • Where: CN Tower off Bremner Ave, Toronto, ON, Canada… just look up.
  • Cost: $175 + tax
  • Gear required: non-slip lace up flat shoes (sneakers are best)
  • Includes: EdgeWalk experience, keepsake video, printed photos, certificate of achievement, and a Tower Experience Ticket which includes access to LookOut, Glass Floor, SkyPod, Movie and Motion Theatre Ride.

Be sure not to do the CN Tower EdgeWalk without travel insurance. In case an injury means you need to cancel all or part of your trip, travel insurance will help you when you need it most. I recommend World Nomads as travel insurance for the EdgeWalk in Toronto.



  1. Sheila Duffy says:

    July 2nd, 2013 at 7:08 pm (#)

    Wow! Great photos!

    You’re emotions are exactly as I imagine mine would be. Nice touch with the priest!

    I must add this to a bucket list. Saw it last year when we were looking thru the glass floor.

  2. Melissa Hogan says:

    July 2nd, 2013 at 7:50 pm (#)

    You should definitely try it. It’s not cheap but it’s quite the experience – so different from being inside.

  3. Karen says:

    July 2nd, 2013 at 11:18 pm (#)

    Wow!! I could never do that!

  4. Melissa Hogan says:

    July 3rd, 2013 at 8:45 pm (#)

    To be fair, I’ve done the regular CN Tower experience and the Willis (Sears) Tower Skydeck so I had a bit of prep with heights. Still… I got butterflies.

  5. Joe Dawson says:

    July 2nd, 2013 at 11:42 pm (#)

    Very cool… Looks like fun!

  6. Melissa Hogan says:

    July 3rd, 2013 at 8:46 pm (#)

    After it stopped being nausea-inducing it was quite fun!

  7. Suzy says:

    July 7th, 2013 at 6:03 pm (#)

    Looks terrifying, but I imagine it is just as you say. You suddenly get used to dangling over a skyscraper that you don’t want to leave.

  8. gwen says:

    August 18th, 2014 at 2:35 pm (#)

    I could never do that. I have such a horrible fear of heights. I admire other people doing this but a step ladder is high enough for me!

  9. CN Tower | Ho, Ching-TingHo, Ching-Ting says:

    September 29th, 2014 at 11:33 pm (#)

    […] […]

  10. Richard says:

    September 18th, 2016 at 4:37 pm (#)

    I know there are safety harnesses and such, but it’s only a matter of time before something fails, or someone goofs, and a fatal accident happens with this attraction.

  11. Melissa Hogan says:

    September 18th, 2016 at 8:18 pm (#)

    Wow, that’s dark. They do a ridiculous number of safety checks on every piece of equipment. I have every confidence in them and the gear. Skywalk has been running in Macau for 15 years now without incident.

  12. Richard says:

    September 19th, 2016 at 4:26 pm (#)

    What about someone whose knees literally give out on him/her and falls off the platform? I know the harnesses would arrest the fall, but would he/she essentially be dangling in mid-air and have to be hauled up to safety?

  13. Melissa Hogan says:

    September 19th, 2016 at 4:29 pm (#)

    No, the tethers don’t let you get that much off the edge. You can put your toes on the edge and lean out but if you were hanging vertically from where it attaches, you’d still be over the platform and not open air.

  14. Richard says:

    September 21st, 2016 at 1:45 am (#)

    What I meant was, if you get sick with vertigo when you go to do the “Hello Toronto” exercise, and you accidentally fall forward, can you end u dangling over the edge of the platform until someone pulls you to safety? I want to try the Edge Walk but I am very terrified of heights. Just afraid I will be VERY wobbly when I approach the edge!

  15. Melissa Hogan says:

    September 21st, 2016 at 8:46 am (#)

    Yes, I understand. I was just trying to reassure you that, because of the way it’s built, there is literally no way that you can dangle over the edge. The platform you stand on goes out further than the rail that you’re tethered to. So if you tripped or stumbled or even jumped, you wouldn’t be over the edge. The most you can do is lean a few degrees. But if your feet came out from under you, your body would swing back towards the tower and you’d always have the platform under you.

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