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NEWS: 1,168ft Thrill Coming to Toronto! CN Tower Edge Walk


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New CN Tower attraction to offer hands-free, outside pod walk

Natalie Alcoba, National Post

 

Extreme junkies take note: you’ll soon be able to take a hands-free walk along the outside of the CN Tower’s main pod — 356 metres up in the air.

 

EdgeWalk is billed as the highest full circle walk on a 1.5-metre ledge in the world.

 

Similar to another attraction in Auckland, New Zealand, visitors will be attached to an overhead safety rail with a trolley and harness system and will travel in groups of six to eight.

 

“Trained EdgeWalk guides will encourage visitors to push their personal limits, allowing those who dare to lean back over Toronto, with nothing but air beneath them,” states a press release.

 

It is set to open August 1; tickets go on sale June 1. The tour costs $175, including keepsake video, photo and “certificate of achievement.” It lasts one-and-a-half hours, with about 20-to-30 minutes spent on the walk itself. It will open during what is the CN Tower’s 35th anniversary year.

 

“I’m trying to psych myself up slowly to try this. It will be on my bucket list,” said Mark Laroche, president and CEO of the Canada Lands Company, owner and operator of the CN Tower. He said the idea came from a mid-level manager of the CN Tower, and was relayed to Mr. Laroche by its chief operating officer Jack Robinson. “You may think I’m nuts, but we have this thing,” Mr. Laroche recalled him saying.

 

“There is a wow factor. It is exciting, it is something new, something we think will give another buzz to Toronto.

 

Mr. Laroche said staff spent about a year preparing a business plan, conducting market research, visiting similar attractions around the world and designing an attraction that isn’t for the faint of heart. “You’re walking on a grate that is kind of transparent and there are no hand rails at all so it’s for the thrill seekers,” agreed Mr. Laroche. CN Tower’s engineers supervised the design and build to make sure it is exciting and safe; Mr. Laroche noted that visitors will not be able to unlock themselves from the attraction once it is engaged.

 

Toronto’s tourism suffered during the recession, so that the number of visitors to the CN Tower is slightly down (at about 1.5-million a year) even though its share of the Toronto attraction market has gone up, said Mr. Laroche.

 

“If you don’t have new stuff once in a while, people will be like why go to Toronto?”

 

Not so long ago, it was enough of a thrill to ride the elevator to the top of the CN Tower, or to visit Las Vegas or Macau or the Grand Canyon. But apparently these attractions no longer produce enough adrenaline to keep a certain class of tourist happy. The CN Tower is attempting to address that need with EdgeWalk, but it is not the first.

 

The Macau Tower offers a range of thrill-seeking attractions, from a bungee jump, to scaling 100 metres of its mast, to its own Skywalk, in which visitors walk around the main outer rim of the tower, 233 metres above the ground, strapped to an overhead rail system and without handrails.

 

The Sky Tower in Auckland, N.Z., features a similar attraction: a 1.2-metre-wide walkway around its circumference, 192 metres above the ground. There aren’t any handrails here either. It is billed as “the ideal corporate team-building activity” and a “thrilling tourist adventure.”

 

Not nearly as daredevil as the the other attractions, the Grand Canyon Skywalk still isn’t for the faint of heart. The glass-bottomed observation deck spans 21 metres over the canyon’s rim, 1,220 metres high.

 

Since 1998, a company called BridgeClimb has been offering guided climbs of the famed Sydney Harbour Bridge. Climbers can take a three-and-a-half hour journey along catwalks and ladders on the inner or outer arch of the bridge to the summit, which is 134 metres above the harbour. An express version gets the climb done in just over two hours. A company called Recreational Safety sought permission to install a bungee jump off the bridge, which would have upped its wow factor. Australian authorities rejected the application last year, presumably deciding that tourists aren’t ready for that much excitement. Yet.

 

Las Vegas’ Sky Jump is a “controlled free fall,” similar to a vertical zip line, which drops people from a launching pad 260 metres above the Las Vegas Strip. Jumpers are harnessed in and attached to a cable that is connected to a “descender machine,” and which slows the fall as the person approaches the ground.

 

The Toronto Star

New CN Tower attraction offers a walk on the outside

Carola Vyhnak

May 09, 2011

 

Life on the edge is about to get real scary. Like 115-storeys-up scary. On an open glass walkway circling the outside of the CN Tower.

 

Introducing Edge Walk, “the most extreme experience” in the tower’s 36-year history, according to its public relations people.

 

Opening this summer but officially under wraps until May 18, the attraction will offer thrill seekers a heart-stopping, 360-degree panorama as they walk around the exterior of the Big Pod, 350 metres up.

 

Here’s how it will work, according to tower employees who unwittingly leaked details to the Star:

 

Visitors will suit up in protective coveralls and body harnesses at ground level, then be whisked by elevator up to the skywalk. Connected to overhead safety lines, they’ll walk the circumference on a glass ledge.

 

Video cameras attached to helmets will allow glory-seekers to record their sky-high adventure.

 

Several staffers working at the tower admitted it would be too wild a walk for them.

 

“It’s scary,” one restaurant worker shuddered. “You wouldn’t catch me up there.”

 

“It’ll be pretty windy out there,” another offered. “I hope they’re taking that into account.”

 

“It’s going to be a thriller,” added a co-worker. “But it’s not for everyone. It’s an adrenalin thing.”

 

Special tour guides are being sent for training to New Zealand, where the Auckland Sky Tower offers a similar attraction, one employee said.

 

Still under construction, the supports for the glass platform are visible from the ground as a series of rods protruding from the roof of the 360 Restaurant. A section of the ground floor near the gift shop is being converted to a prep area.

 

“It’s going to be the most exciting thing that’s happened at the CN Tower in decades,” spokeswoman Stephanie Sayer told the Star’s Brendan Kennedy.

 

Top executives from Canada Lands Company, which owns and operates the tower, will introduce Edge Walk, “the first of its kind in North America,” at a media launch on May 18.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjb_dJJ7irw

EdgeWalk.jpeg.fcb7e615d06b283106bcb4fe3662d333.jpeg

The spikes projecting over the edge of the CN Tower's Big Pod show where the new Edgewalk attraction will be.

EdgeWalk2.jpeg.12918fef0dfaa778b39bd8d1c4cbcf2a.jpeg

Artist Rendering

Edited by rollin_n_coastin
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^For sure. It's great to see that it keeps trying to stay somewhat fresh. I think they finally got rid of those simulator rides from the 80's lol. It was called Tour of the Universe from what I remember. I wish they kept the paddle boats around the base.

Edited by rollin_n_coastin
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^You are a brave man. For me, I think that Scandi high ropes course was good enough. I'd for sure need a few changes of pants, etc. It does look really cool though! Next up bungee jumping??

 

You sure you don't want to give it a go? Not that I can afford the ticket but...would make for a fun visit next time! Maybe do the Steam Whistle tour first though.

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I haven't been up the CN Tower since I was a kid.

 

I might go back up there for this. Sure would be interesting.

 

Though it is pretty pricey. And if you have to pay the admission to the tower as well it would come to close to $200.

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^^Paul, this definitely includes admission, just as the restaurant does. It's a good thing that they don't overly rip one off. The packages that they offer really are reasonable considering it's a tourist attraction.

 

Joey, would you come up and give this a try with all of us northern TPR folks? It's just a 'tad' taller than Macau I think

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^ That's not too bad then. So like $150ish for the walk plus admission.

 

It's not something I'd do often, but it would be a cool experience that you can't get just anywhere.

 

Part of me thinks this would be easy to do. The other part of me thinks that I'm going to turn green when I step out on that ledge.

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I wouldn't do this if THEY paid ME $175.00

 

But hats off to those who will dig this, and hats off to the sadistic genius who came up with this idea!

 

Now, gimme my Arrow Fishhook off this bad boy, and I'm all over it like white on rice.

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WTH! This scares the living deuce out of me!! I have falling dreams, and it's great to see one of my nightmares coming true. I've had falling dreams surrounding the CN tower for years now, with the observation windows you walk on failing on me. Now it's an experience designed to invoke that fear!

 

I salute anyone who has the balls of steel to do this monster nightmare of an experience, I wouldn't do it if you covered the costs for me.

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I'd be really tempted to do this. In fact, I'll briefly be laying over in Toronto on the way back from Europe this summer. I probably could have pushed back my connecting flight to get over to do this.

 

Luckily, I"ll be there 2 days before it opens, so I won't be tempted to try.

 

Plus, I'd miss my chance to ride Goliath at La Ronde.

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