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Right in the heart of Downtown Toronto stands its most iconic landmark, the Canadian National Tower, or simply the CN Tower.
First-time visitors of Toronto will naturally have the infamous CN Tower at the very top of their itinerary. And that’s exactly what we did on our first sightseeing day in Toronto. Right after visiting the Toronto Islands and a quick lunch, we walked a couple of blocks from the Harbourfront Centre to the direction of the CN Tower. You can easily spot it within the plethora of buildings in Downtown Toronto. You can’t miss it.
Address: 301 Front St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2T6, Canada (Main Entrance: 290 Bremner Blvd)
Operating Hours: 9:00 AM – 10:30 PM (open all year round except on Christmas day)
How to get there: The easiest way to get to the CN Tower is by Subway (Union Station). From the station, walk west along Front Street to the direction of the tower. If you are traveling by car, there are plenty of parking garages in the area and the rates may vary (between C$15-25). For detailed instructions on how to get there, click here.
Website: CN Tower/La Tour CN
See my Suggested Tours in Toronto at the end of this post.
CN Tower Tickets (as of Dec 2018)
This is the most basic type of ticket you can get which will give you access to two observation levels: the LookOut Level at 346 m (1,136 ft) and at the Glass Floor Level at 342 m (1,122 ft) that has access to the outdoor SkyTerrace.
Adult (13 – 64) – C$38 + tax
Senior (+65) – C$34 + tax
Child (4 – 12) – C$28 + tax
General Admission + Skypod
Get access to the two observation levels: the LookOut and Glass Floor Level plus the Skypod, which is the highest observation level at 447 m (1,465 ft).
Adult (13 – 64) – C$53 + tax
Senior (+65) – C$49 + tax
Child (4 – 12) – C$43 + tax
In case you are already at the LookOut Level using you General Admission only ticket and you wanted to see the Skypod, just pay the additional C$15 (all ages) to gain access. Skypod tickets can be purchased at the Box Office or LookOut Level.
Sea The Sky Combo
CN Tower + Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada for one great ticket price! You don’t even have to visit both attractions on the same day. This combo ticket is only available for online purchase and should give you General Admission access on both sites.
Adult (13 – 64) – C$58 + tax
Senior (+65) – C$45 + tax
Child (4 – 12) – C$37 + tax
There is also a Premier Experience type of ticket that should give you “Front-of-the-line” access to the tower but frankly, even if it’s peak season or the lines are incredibly long, paying C$125 for skip-the-line access is not worth it. Instead, visit the tower during the off-peak day and time to avoid the crowd.
We purchased the General Admission tickets and since it was already the off-peak season for visitors, the lines going up to the observation levels are non-existent.
The first CN Tower experience you’ll have is the ride going up. The high-speed elevator will take you to the LookOut Level in exactly 58 seconds! A CN Tower staff will also give you a brief overview of the CN Tower and the elevator ride. Don’t forget to take a photo (and a video) as you go up the tower and of course, enjoy the amazing view!
Never leave the CN Tower without standing on the Glass Floor! It’s a thrilling experience for everyone, but most of all, for people like me who are afraid of heights. I (kinda) conquered my fear!
Just a few steps away from the Glass Floor are the doors that would lead you to the Outdoor SkyTerrace. With fantastic views of Toronto and a cool breeze, this is definitely an experience worth remembering!
Enjoying the view isn’t the only thing you can do at the CN Tower. you’re hungry, there are several food options inside the tower. There’s the Le Cafe located at the base of the tower for some coffee and light snacks, the Vue Bistros at the LookOut Level and of course, the 360 Restaurant for upscale dining while enjoying the panoramic views of the city.
Something that thrill-seekers look forward to at the CN Tower: the EdgeWalk. It’s an extreme attraction that I would probably never try in my life. But for those who like living on the edge, this is for you because you will literally walk on the edge at the top of the tower’s main pod. The experience costs C$225 + tax which should include keepsake photos and video, and of course, your very own Certificate of Achievement. It is not an easy task to accomplish after all!
Any visit to an attraction will be promptly followed by a visit to their gift shop. Let me just say, I love gift shops! Even with the many photos that I take during my travels, I still am a souvenir collector. The Tower’s Gift Shop is also considered as Toronto’s landmark because of the selection of Canadian merchandise that they offer and various gift items and souvenirs. Be sure to buy something from the gift shop as a keepsake of your trip!
Several popular tourist attractions are within steps of the CN Tower such as the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, Steam Whistle Brewery, Railway Museum and Rogers Centre.
We originally planned on visiting the Ripley’s Aquarium first before heading to the CN Tower but they had a private event in the evening so they are closing earlier than usual. Because we did not want to rush ourselves between the two attractions, we decided to just go back the next day for the aquarium. We have yet to recover from our jetlag anyway and the couple of hours we spent in Toronto Islands were enough walking for the day.
Steam Whistle Brewery
Address: The Roundhouse 255 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3M9
Operating Hours: Mon-Sat 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM/Sun 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
How to get there: It is located just across the Ripley’s Aquarium and CN Tower
Website: Steam Whistle Brewing
Beer lovers will surely enjoy drinking Toronto’s very own Pilsner beer brewed at historic John St. Roundhouse. Tours are available every 30 minutes starting at 11:30 AM.
If craft brewery interests you (and drinking), you may want to check out this Toronto Beer Tour. Steam Whistle isn’t included in the tour but you’ll instead enjoy a 4-hour walking tour through Old Toronto while learning about the history of Canadian beer and of course, enjoy some beer and wine tastings.
Toronto Railway Museum
Address: Unit 15, The Roundhouse 255 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3M9
Operating Hours: Schedule varies depending on the season. You can check it here.
How to get there: Just beside the Steam Whistle Brewery
Website: Toronto Railway Museum
Adult (14-64) – C$5
Senior (65+) – C$3
Child (4-13) – C$3
Miniature Train Tickets:
Adults (14+) – C$3.50
Children (Under 14) – C$2.50
Kids and adults alike will enjoy a walk through the various collections of passenger and freight cars, train structures, experience a train simulator, and a ride on the miniature train.
Address: One Blue Jays WayToronto, Ontario M5V 1J1
How to get there: It is located just a few steps away from the CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
Home of the Toronto Blue Jays, the Rogers Centre is a must-see for any sports fan. It’s also the venue for some of the best and biggest concerts and shows in Toronto. Be sure to catch a glimpse of the SkyDome if you’re in the area.
These are just a few of the many things you can do in Downtown Toronto. Most of the popular sights are within walking distance so definitely if you have the time and energy, you’ll be able to explore more.
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Have you been to the CN Tower? Share your experience by leaving a comment below!
Check out my other posts about our Toronto, Quebec City, and Montreal Road Trip below:
Day 1: The Toronto Islands | CN Tower Experience
Day 2: Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada | Must-See Sights in Downtown Toronto for First-Time Visitors
Day 3: Niagara Falls, Canada: Hornblower Cruise, Table Rock Centre and Outlet Collection
Day 4: Royal Ontario Museum | Kensington Market and Chinatown | Toronto’s Graffiti Alley
Day 6: Montmorency Falls | Old Quebec Town
Day 7: Musee de la Civilization
Day 9: Montreal Botanical Garden
Day 10: Mont-Royal Parc