One of the most touristy things to do in Toronto is to visit the iconic CN Tower. Named after Canadian National, the railroad company that built it, the skyline of Toronto is incomplete without it, and so is a trip to this beautiful city. But for any first timers like me out there let me give you a small piece of advice. Buy the tickets to the tower and Ripley’s aquarium, which is right next to it, online cause it is much cheaper. You can get a package deal which turns out almost half the cost you would pay at the counter. Anyway, back to my little visit. Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, right next to the beautiful Union station is the CN Tower built in 1976. Once we stood in line for the security check and the tickets, we were ushered in small groups to the elevator. On the way a bubbly young lady asked us to pose with our friends or family, in front of a green screen. Quick click which will later be superimposed on to the image or the city skyline and a view from the top of the tower. You can chose to buy these pictures on your way out.
So, a quick elevator ride to the Lookout Level at 346 meters about ground. When I said quick elevator ride, I meant it. The speed of the elevator was 22 km/h and took us to the first level in about 58 seconds! These elevators were glass paneled for visitors to see the journey up.
From the Lookout Level I saw the most amazing view of the city. I am a total sucker for views from balconies and high view points.you can take a full round and see the planes landing and taking off from the Billy Bishop airport, the picturesque lake Ontario and the islands, and of course a 360 degree view of the city. It was truly breathtaking! *sigh* This floor also has a wonder restaurant 360, for a revolving dinning experience. Have no fear it revolves very very slow so you can keep your food down.
An additional $15 will take you another 100 meters up to the Sky Pod which again offers an amazing view of the city.
If you want to feel a bit giddy you may wanna check out the Glass Floor right below the lookout level. A view 342 meters straight to the ground! You really get the real picture when you see the vehicles down below seem like toys and people like ants. But personally I felt it didn’t make me woozy as it gave a very safe feeling of being surrounded by walls and a floor with just a few panes of strong glass.
But then again there were some pretty interesting reactions from tourists there, some of who refused to look down. I managed to capture another great pose by a little girl who was just not afraid.
Right next to the CN Tower is the famous Ripley’s Aquarium. It’s pretty much the discovery channel in there. Underwater creatures from fresh and salt water. There was a separate tank for beautiful sting rays and small hammer head sharks. You can reach into this tank and touch the sting rays! This was a first for me and it was so exciting. The rays here are used to human touch so they really don’t mind coming up to the surface for a little rub. They were so…rubbery and slimy. Of course you don’t wanna offer a rub to the hammer heads for obvious reasons. You could also pay a bit extra to get down into the tank and feed the sting rays some fish bits under expert supervision. There was also a separate pen for the baby sting rays who were just the cutest little things. Not allowed to touch them though.
From here you take a walk down into the aquarium and visit so many species of under water creatures from sea anemone, octopus, lobsters, giant crabs, weird looking fish, electric eels, giant potato fish, turtles, jelly fish and many, many more. But the one that made my heart race was the shark, up close and personal. What a majestic, terrifying creation of nature. Walking through the tube of the aquarium you can get a really good view of the sharks gliding around in the enclosure.
From the aquarium, you may want to check out the train museum right next to it with some vintage engines and bogies on display out in the open surrounded by the city’s high rise buildings.
I ended my trip at the Steam Whistle Brewery right next to the trains and tucked into a pretzel, pickle on a stick and some freshly brewed beer. Cheers!