Attractions that offer ultra-high views of a city, like the Empire State Building, continue to draw millions of visitors a year, and Toronto isn’t without fantastic, record-breaking heights of its own. The most popular of the Toronto observation decks is the CN Tower, with a total height of 553 meters (1,815 feet) and an observation deck height of 447 meters (1467 feet).
This concrete tower, its name an abbreviation for Canadian National Tower, was the world’s tallest free-standing structure when it was finished in 1976; it’s still the third-largest tower in the world! The SkyPod observation platform, from which you have a 360-degree view, may even offer distant views of Niagara Falls—when the weather is impeccable, of course; to visit this highest platform, you’ll need to spend a little extra beyond the regular admission price below. There is a LookOut Level observation deck at a less-intense 346 meters (1,135 feet), an EdgeWalk (the world’s highest full-circle, hands-free walk—wearing a harness as you make your way all around the edge of the building) at 356 meters (1,168 feet), and a Glass Floor at 342 meters (1,122 feet).
Take a CN Tower tour to see the sights!
If you purchase tickets online before you go, adult prices are $27.20 (senior/youth $20.40). If you’re bringing kids, consider getting a Family Pass for $99—or buy a Toronto CityPASS, which includes the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Zoo, and other attractions.
The CN Tower also has restaurants, a 3D theater, and glass-fronted elevators that shoot up at 22 km (15 miles) per hour to transport you to the decks. In 2008, glass floor panels were installed, too.
If you want to try something different, consider restaurants like Panorama, which on the 51st floor of the Manulife Centre has Toronto’s highest patio (age 19 and over), or hotels like the Thompson Hotel Toronto, which has a rooftop bar and infinity pool with a fantastic view of the city (unfortunately, only for guests… but it just might be worth the stay!).
As part of Doors Open Toronto, an annual weekend when over a hundred culturally or architecturally significant buildings open up to the public, you may be able to visit the observation deck on City Hall’s 27th floor. Normally you can’t go up there at all, so if you’re in town that weekend (May 25–26, 2013), don’t miss out!