The CN Tower is one of the most distinctive buildings in Canada. It stands high above the rest of the Toronto skyline and helps light up the city. However, it is not just a pretty sight; it is also one of the best attractions in the country.
Welcoming over two million visitors each year, the CN Tower is one of the best places for amazing sightseeing and big thrills. Guests from all over the world visit to take the elevator up to the top of the world.
From attractions on the base level to the best experiences at the very top, there are tons to see and do at the CN Tower. To help you learn more about the tower and what to expect, we’ve listed 7 of the most exciting attractions at the CN Tower.
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What is the CN Tower?
The CN Tower is an observation and communication tower located just south of Toronto, Canada. The tower was built in 1976 nearby the main railway yard in the city. The railway company Canadian National built the tower, which is where it gets its namesake from.
Over time, the railway yard fell out of use. The area was rebuilt into a mixed-use area containing residential, commercial, and office buildings. By the 1990s, the CN Tower was the centre of Toronto’s bustling tourist district.
Today, the CN Tower is one of Canada’s most popular tourist attractions. Its numerous observation areas draw in crowds all year to experience the incredible height of the structure. The tower is also regularly renovated to improve experiences and add new features.
7 Excellent Attractions at the CN Tower
1. High-Speed Glass Elevators
Although it is easy to think the elevator ride to the top of the CN Tower would be boring, that is not the case! The tower’s high-speed elevators are just as exciting and awe-inspiring as the other attractions.
The elevators take guests from the base of the CN Tower to the Main Observation Level in less than a minute. They climb up 346 metres at speeds of 15 miles per hour. The fast accent rate may cause ears to pop and hearts to pound.
In addition to being fast, each of the CN Tower’s 6 elevators also provides stunning views of the city. They each feature outward-facing windows for guests to gaze out of during the trip to the top of the tower.
In 2008, the elevators at the CN Tower got an upgrade. 2 glass floor panels were installed in each, securing the world record for the highest glass floor elevators. The glass floors were added to give guests a better sense of how quickly the elevators ascend the 114 stories to the observation deck.
As guests ride the elevators, they get an unbeatable view of Toronto, both straight below them and out towards the city. In the evenings, lights leading up the tower can also be seen. The lights change colour to mark holidays, support charities, and honour Canadian culture.
2. Main Observation Level
The Main Observation Level of the CN Tower is the most visited section of the attraction. This is the first area tourists enter after stepping out of the high-speed elevators. The observation deck is nearly 350 metres above the streets below.
The CN Tower’s Main Observation Level was recently renovated in 2018 to provide an even better experience than ever before. The walls of the deck are completely made of glass. The floor-to-ceiling windows provide stunning 360° views of Toronto and farther on clear days.
The elevators and observation deck are handicap accessible, making it a great experience for everyone. The windows use unique thermal technology that adjusts to the sunlight and ensures photos always turn out perfectly.
In addition to being a great place to visit, the CN Tower’s Main Observation Level is also an excellent venue for hosting parties, weddings, and events. Up to 700 people can be accommodated in the space, and the deck is fitted with an audio and video system.
If the CN Tower wasn’t iconic and historic enough, a time capsule is implanted into the walls of the Main Observation Level. The capsule was sealed in 1976 and is set to be opened in 2076 to celebrate the CN Tower’s 100th birthday. Newspapers, books, coins, and more are inside.
3. The Glass Floor
The glass floor is one of the most popular attractions at the CN Tower. At a stomach-dropping 342 metres above the Toronto streets, this area provides amazing views of the city below.
The floor in this room of the CN Tower is mostly comprised of clear glass panels, but some sections are finished with regular flooring as well. More timid guests may lean over the glass to see the insane drop below, while others can get more adventurous.
Thrill-seeking guests may stand, sit, lay, or crawl on the glass panels as they admire the city below them. In fact, some people even jump on the panels to prove their confidence. No matter how you interact with the glass floor, it will surely make your stomach drop and wow you with the views below.
While exploring the glass floor area of the CN Tower, it is important to remember that safety is the main priority. The see-through floor can easily intimidate many guests, but it is extremely safe. In fact, each panel is over 6 centimetres thick, and the floor is strong enough to hold more than 30 moose.
4. 360 Restaurant
The 360 Restaurant at the CN Tower is a unique dining experience like no other. At over 350 metres above the ground, 360 Restaurant takes dining up a notch with both views and stellar food.
The restaurant slowly rotates as you dine, drink, and enjoy your party’s company. A complete rotation takes just over 70 minutes and provides breathtaking views of Toronto and beyond. A reservation to the 360 Restaurant includes admission to the CN Tower and the main observation deck.
The cityscape below isn’t the only mesmerising part of dining at the 360 Restaurant; the high-quality dishes also highlight the experience. The chefs use only the best and freshest local ingredients to incorporate flavours from across Canada and use sustainable suppliers.
The 360 Restaurant at the CN Tower has 3 main menus to choose from: Prix fixe, À la carte, and their Indigenous Menu. Each menu includes meat and seafood dishes, vegetarian and vegan options, and desserts. A Children’s menu is also available for kids aged 12 and under.
A collection of champagne, wines, beers, ciders, and cocktails are available on the drinks menu. The CN Tower restaurant also features a wine cellar which holds the record for being the highest in the world.
The CN Tower wine cellar is designed to resemble an underground cellar and can store 9,000 bottles of wine. The CN Tower has one of the most extensive wine collections in Toronto, with over 500 variations of wine available.
Eating at the 360 Restaurant in the CN Tower is one of the most remarkable experiences in Toronto. The breathtaking views and delicious menu options make it a must for any trip to Canada’s largest city,
The Skypod is the highest part of the CN Tower that the public can access. Nearly 450 metres above the ground, it is 33 stories higher than the main observation area and the tallest observation deck in North America.
To access the Skypod, an elevator is taken up from the main observation deck. The Skypod is smaller than the other deck, so spaces are limited. If you want to visit the top of the CN Tower, make sure to book ahead!
After exiting the elevator to the Skypod, it is easy to see why it is not an experience for anyone scared of heights. The extreme height means visitors can physically feel the tower swaying nearly a metre back and forth in the wind. There’s even a hanging pendulum which displays how much the tower is swaying.
The windows in the CN Tower’s Skypod are designed differently than the ones on the main observation deck. They are more slanted in order to provide a different view of the city below. On very clear days, it is possible to see all the way to Niagara Falls and the New York border from the Skypod.
Although the Skypod has better views than the main deck, it can be harder to take photos due to the room’s small size. If you’re brave enough to visit the highest point of the CN Tower, it is an amazing, unforgettable experience.
The CN Tower’s EdgeWalk is not for the faint of heart. This thrill-seeking experience takes visitors 166 stories above the streets of Toronto onto the outer edge of the CN Tower. It is one of the most adrenaline-rush-inducing attractions in all of North America.
The EdgeWalk experience has collected many accolades over the years. It is higher than Canada’s tallest skyscraper and was awarded the world record for the tallest exterior walk on a building by Guinness World Records.
The EdgeWalk experience begins at the base of the CN Tower. Here, groups get a complete orientation and are given safety instructions. After the orientation, groups take the elevator to the Summit Room 2 stories above the main observation deck.
In the Summit Room, the group members are strapped into their harnesses and connected to the stabiliser rail overhead. Then, the group is led outside by a guide to walk around the circumference of the tower.
The EdgeWalk ledge is 5 feet wide and has no handrails. It takes approximately 30 minutes to complete the walk around the tower and return inside. During the experience, guests are encouraged to learn over the edge and admire the views of Toronto and beyond.
Parties and events can be booked for an EdgeWalk experience. Touching the sky on one of the tallest freestanding towers in the world is a perfect way to celebrate birthdays and graduations or host team-building activities.
After completing the EdgeWalk at the CN Tower, all group members are awarded a certificate of achievement. In addition, a video of the walk and 2 photos of each group member are provided at no extra cost.
7. Sea the Sky
At the base of the CN Tower, guests can find the entrance to the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. Ticket packages are available, which combine a visit to the CN Tower and admission into the brilliant aquarium.
The Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is open 365 days a year. The hours of operation are from 9 am to 9 pm daily, but occasionally it may close earlier for events. The busiest visiting times are typically between 11 am and 2 pm, so arrive early to beat the crowds.
The aquarium features over 20,000 animals in tanks filled with nearly 6 million litres of water. Among the different animals on display are jellyfish, stingrays, turtles, sharks, octopuses, and more. Tanks at the aquarium contain both saltwater and freshwater species.
The Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is divided into 10 galleries to explore. The galleries are set up based on species and the animals’ origin. Other attractions at the aquarium include dive shows and aquarist talks that are held multiple times daily.
The fish and aquatic animals at the aquarium range from local species around Toronto to ones from environments in different parts of the world. In addition to the tanks, the aquarium also holds the longest underwater viewing tunnel in North America and many interactive activities for children.
Events at the aquarium are a great way to have fun while you learn more about the aquatic creatures on display. Friday Night Jazz events are held monthly and feature a live band and drinks, sleepovers let you spend the night in the shark tunnel as they swim above you, and the stingray experience takes guests into the water to swim and explore.
The CN Tower is a Great Attraction in the Clouds
Visiting the impeccable CN Tower is one of the best things to do in Canada. With some of the tallest observation decks in the world, little compares to looking out the tower’s large windows to Toronto below.
From the Main Observation Level to the exhilarating EdgeWalk, there are views for everyone to admire and enjoy. The nearby aquarium with educational opportunities and the handicap accessibility throughout make the CN Tower a perfect attraction for anyone visiting the area.
If you’re planning an upcoming holiday in Canada, check out our list of Top Places to Visit in Canada.