What is the CN Tower?
The CN Tower in Toronto was once the world’s tallest free-standing structure and tower, looming large over Downtown Toronto since its 1976 completion. Still the tallest free standing structure of the Western Hemisphere, this icon of the Toronto skyline also made it into the list of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World in 1995, which makes it a pretty popular tourist attraction year round. Set downtown by the waters of Lake Ontario, this 553m tall concrete giant is easily recognisable and is illuminated with coloured light displays at night, often themed to recognise or commemorate a particular event or date. I guess what I’m saying is, if you’re in Toronto, you can’t miss seeing this unique structure amongst the bustling metropolis of Toronto.
If you’re staying in Downtown Toronto, then a walk to the CN Tower is a quick 25 mins towards the Harbourfront area. If you can, walking through the city is great because you’ll get to see more of Toronto than you would on an underground subway. If you’re further out, like I was, in the Yorkeville area, then a walk is around 45 mins, so you may want to consider another option – especially if its winter.
If walking isn’t an option, then you could catch the Toronto subway, which is clean and safe. From Yorkeville or the Annex area, it will cut your travel time down to around 20 mins, with a subway cost of around $3.25 CAD for a single one way trip. The closest Subway station is Union Station and the CN Tower is a short walk from there.
Rent A Bike
If you’re feeling energetic, then a bike ride for around 20 mins will get you from the outskirts of Toronto to the CN Tower. With Bike Share Toronto, a one way single ride pass will set you back $3.25 CAD or $7 CAD for a day pass.
Finally, for the people who want to get to the CN Tower quickly (depending on Toronto traffic of course), there’s rideshares everywhere in the city. Uber will take around 10 mins – though you should note that Toronto traffic is some of the worst in the western world. An Uber will set you back around $10 CAD and private and pool options are available. (Side Note: Uber is a super handy app to have downloaded when travelling in Canada – they’re much cheaper than taxis).
Tickets at the Door
There are a few options for tickets if you want to go visiting the CN Tower. Firstly (and most simply), you can just turn up on the day and buy tickets at the entrance. Entry is obviously subject to availability, but if you’re not an advance planner, are happy to take the risk and prefer to hand over cash on the day, then this is the option for you. $34 Adult/$28 Child.
This is a good option to save on time waiting in lines if the CN Tower is busy. To buy, simply head over to the CN Tower official website and select the type of experience – there’s a few options ranging from General Admission to packages for other attractions or the nail-biting Edgewalk experience. General Admission starts from $34 Adult/$28 Child.
Buy A City Pass
If you’re planning on seeing a few other attractions in Toronto, you might want to consider the City Pass. The City Pass includes attractions such as CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, Ontario Science Center, Casa Loma, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Zoo and can be used over the course of up to 9 days. $92 Adult/$63 Child.
What To Expect
The CN Tower is first and foremost an up-high viewing experience, so if possible, try to visit on a clear day. I have to say, though, I visited on a cloudy winter’s day and though my photos haven’t come out amazingly, the view was still spectacular – particularly watching planes fly in and land at Toronto City Airport.
Whilst the CN Tower is a pricey experience, I did marvel at the entire visit, from the elevator that hurtles up to 342 metres high to stepping out over the vertigo-inducing glass floor.
There are a few exhibits through the observation deck, too, showing the CN Tower’s place amongst other towers across the world. But of course, the view is the main event and there’s not much that can beat being 553m up in the air whilst snow falls around you, seeing the white tops of buildings below covered in powder.
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