Being a Tourist in our Own City (The CN Tower Adventure)

So you may have noticed the super tall building that is the focal point in Toronto’s skyline.


Summer, I miss you!!!

The CN Tower. The tallest freestanding structure in the western hemisphere (it was the tallest in the world until 2010), and one of the seven wonders of the modern world. Huge tourist attraction. Naturally you’d think since it is close by we would visit it all the time but no. When Evan and I did the Toronto Ghost Tour with Corey and Emily we were talking about other things we could do in the city and we discovered that neither Corey or Evan had ever been to the CN Tower before and both Emily and I hadn’t been there since we were very young.

We decided right then that the CN Tower was next on our list of things to do while we were being tourists in our own city. So that’s where we went on Sunday (after the gold medal hockey game of course).



We also decided that it could be another 30  years before any of us are back there so we might as well do the CN Tower right and go to the 360 Restaurant for lunch. It is a very pricey restaurant (by my standards, anyway). It’s $55 for the prix fixe lunch menu, which normally would be too rich for my blood, but that price did include a lift ticket to the top of the tower and access to the two observation decks, which is $30 on its own. So when you factor that in it’s not so bad. And we had to eat somewhere…


Why not at a restaurant with a REVOLVING floor that gives you a 360 degree view of the city? (hence the name 360 Restaurant) The floor moves very slowly, so we only did about one and a half turns in the time we were there (slightly over an hour and a half I think). I felt like it was a good amount because if it had moved any faster I think we would have felt sick. By the end we all agreed we just had that feeling like we had been in the car for too long.

But it was a clear day and the views were ridiculous.


Facing north, the Yonge Street corridor


Looking northeast


East along Lake Ontario


South towards the US (and we could actually see Rochester NY!)

That little arrow that I’ve added is to point out the Natrel Rink where Hannah and I were skating last week.


Facing southwest, Toronto Island airport to the left

So the views were just beautiful. I am very glad we ate up there. Definitely worth the price. If you’re in Toronto and are planning on doing the CN Tower thing, I highly recommend going to the restaurant. Lunch was pretty delicious also. Not only the most expensive lunch I have ever had, but also probably the biggest. It was a full three-course meal.

I started with the shaved Niagara prosciutto and sundried tomato crostini.


Which was just amazing. And that on its own is probably just a bit less than what I usually eat for lunch.

For my main I chose the pan seared salmon and PEI mussels, with fingerling potatoes and some other vegetables kicking around


It was good but it didn’t blow me away. I think only because it was salmon. I don’t think I have ever been blown away by salmon. Dessert was incredible though.


Dark chocolate lava cake with milk chocolate ice cream. Seriously rich and seriously delicious. I was full after my main and that cake just did me in. It was so good I ate every last bite.

Once we finished lunching the four of us wandered (waddled) over to the observation decks. First up was the glass floor.


Which is directly over the Ripley’s Aquarium that Evan and I went to on Valentine’s Day. Please note that is over 1000 feet down to the ground. I felt very brave standing on it. Evan has a bit of a height fear (I’d make fun of him but it’s how I feel about spiders so I understand), and he said that his legs turned to jello instantly when he was going to step onto the glass and he just couldn’t bring himself to do it. He told me later that he was really grateful I didn’t drag him onto the glass.

I probably would have, but I had a partner to go on it with me.


A bunch of kids were lying down on it, and I considered this, but I was concerned with the amount of people walking on the glass with their dirty winter boots… The glass floor was definitely cool though.

And then we headed over to the lookout area…


And took a bunch of romantic photos.



The two photos above were taken with Corey’s DSLR if you are wondering about the jump in quality from my iPhone pics. Kind of makes me want to break out the good camera for future adventures. But I’m lazy.

There were some vidoes, etc. going on as well detailing how the CN Tower was built, so that was pretty interesting. It was built back in 1976, before even Corey was born! so the method was impressive. Coincidentally The Toronto Star just wrote an article about it yesterday, and said that it was built to last for 300 years.

Eventually we took the elevator back down to the base and explored the exhibits down there. Apparently the CN Tower is struck by lightning 75 times a year (shown in these pics!) and that is what the below photos are depicting…



There was also a giant moose dressed like a mountie.

Em’s just giving me a boost so I can ride it. She’s a good friend.

Being a tourist in your own city is a fun time! This winter is killing me softly, so indoor adventuring is key to keep the winter funk from creeping in. Next up, Casa Loma! Or possibly the art gallery. Orrr the museum. I’ll keep you posted.


16 responses to “Being a Tourist in our Own City (The CN Tower Adventure)

  1. Hi! I found your blog awhile ago through Running off the Reese’s and have just been quietly following along. I’m from Rochester, NY so when I saw you mention it, I thought I’d finally say hello from across the big pond. 🙂 I try to make it to Toronto at least once a year, so I like reading your adventures there.

    Winter’s almost over, hang in there! (Um, sort of almost over right?)

    • HELLO! I am curious, what do you usually do when you come to Toronto?

      I think it’s only half over 😦

      • Well it depends if I go with my family, or with friends! With friends, we generally get a hotel room just for one night and wander around and head off to random bars/clubs. I think the last time I was there with friends, it was the Toronto film festival and we were staying in Yorkville so it was kind of crowded and a mess. We asked our taxi driver to take us to the “best college bar” and ended up I have no idea where (UofT area?) but definitely with a bunch of 19 year olds, and we were in our late 20’s. Awkward. We also went to an expensive cocktail bar downtown and some dance club that was pretty lame.

        I went with my family last summer and we did Casa Loma, walked around the Distillery District, saw the Bob Dylan/Wilco/My Morning Jacket concert, and then walked around our neighborhood and had breakfast at the Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens each morning because it was near our hotel and we thought it was great. Haha. Oh and hit Ikea on the way back to Rochester of course.

  2. Noooo save Casa Loma for the summer, the gardens are idyllic!!
    The AGO and the ROM are definitely winter material.

  3. I did the CN tower this past summer when I had a friend from England visiting, I hadn’t been up in well over 10 years. I have yet to try the restaurant though, maybe when another friend visits. It’s amazing what people take for granted when they live in a city, they don’t usually visit all the great things the city has to offer. I’ve been to the ROM and the AGO in the past 6 months after not having gone since elementary school. It’s great to get out and explore.

    • Aw, it would be fun to take a non-Toronto native there. It’s true though, I need to do the ROM and the AGO again while I am still in the city. Not the Science Centre though. Last time I was there I was extremely unimpressed and I felt like the exhibits were dated and breaking down.

  4. hahaha…even before Corey was born!!!! That is one old building! Oh, so fun! I haven’t beent here since i was a little tyke. Maybe summa time adventure potential? On our way to a Jays game of course 🙂 Looks like you and Emilio had a good time. I’m glad porpy was okay.

  5. I worked at the CN Tower for a summer so I have a soft spot for it. You quickly get over your fear of heights having to ride up and down the elevators dozens of times in one day! Tell Evan the entire floor is actually made of glass, it’s just that one portion is left uncovered 😉

  6. I was born in 1976, so I’d like to think it was built JUST for me. Celebrate Paula!
    P.S. Looooved the cook book you made for Evan!

  7. Former Rochestarian here! I figured I’d also come out of my quiet lurking to say hello! Every time my friends and I would go to Ontario Beach Park (in Rochester) we’d make sure to wave and yell “Hi Canada!!”

    I moved down to Austin about two years ago and definitely regret not making it up to Toronto during my time in Western, NY. I love about reading your Toronto adventures though!

    Also- I just recently found poutine at a restaurant in Austin and no one here understood my excitement… sigh….

  8. Pingback: Banff Gondola, Geode-Cracking, and Heather and Brent’s Calgary Abode | Happy or Hungry

  9. Evil ones Tower National Monument team has started
    checking for the existence of nesting steppe falcons on as well as around the Tower.

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