CN Tower: Planning Your Visit

CN Tower in the distance
Kristjan Veski / TripSavvy
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CN Tower

Address
290 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3L9, Canada
Phone +1 416-868-6937

The CN Tower in Toronto is one of the tallest towers in the world and Toronto's most popular tourist attraction. With its iconic needle piercing through the clouds like a tower out of the distant future, it is universally recognizable. It even featured on the Drake album Views, with the Canadian rapper illustrated sitting on top of it. Standing at 1,815 feet in Toronto's entertainment district, it is a real marvel. From the top observation deck, the SkyPod, one can see Niagara Falls gushing, tiny and far, far away, on a bright and clear day. Located in downtown Toronto, the CNT Tower is conveniently near other travel attractions, like the Rogers Centre baseball stadium, home of the Blue Jays, Ripley's Aquarium of Canada, Steam Whistle Brewery, and Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

History

For 32 years, the CN Tower was the tallest free-standing structure in the world, until the Burj Khalifa in Dubai surpassed it. Soon after, several other taller towers have been built, including the Canton Tower in Guangzhou, leaving the CN as the tallest structure in the Western Hemisphere. Even after losing the title of the world’s tallest building, it remained a popular tourist attraction, hosting more than 1.5 million visitors a year. The American Society of Civil Engineers has classified it as one of the "Seven Wonders of the Modern World."

Highlights

There are certain features and activities you should not miss while at CN Tower. LookOut Level (1,136 feet), features open-air viewing for taking Instagrams and Tiktoks, Informational displays, tower history presentations, and regional maps will excite geography nerds and history buffs. The glass floor level (1,122 feet) is totally surreal. SkyPod (1,465 feet) above the city is one of the highest observation platforms in the world (and comes with an extra cost.) EdgeWalk is the world’s highest full circle hands-free walk on a 5-foot wide ledge encircling the top of the Tower’s main pod, 116 stories (1168 feet) above the ground. 

Visiting CN Tower

Best time to visit: As of July 23, 2021, the CN Tower is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The best times of day to dodge the crowds are when it opens in the morning, and after 5 in the evening. Avoid the weekends, too, if you want to skip the lines.

Location: One thing about the CN Tower is that it's not hard to find. Look up and you will see it from almost any place in the city. It is close to the waterfront and not far off the major highways that access Toronto. The CN Tower is located at 301 Front St. West, between the Rogers Centre—Toronto's sports dome—and the Toronto Convention Centre.

Visiting with kids: Admission to CN Tower for children under 3 is free. CN Tower is a bustling place with lots of walking—or waiting in line. Bringing a stroller for younger children is a good idea. Parents can take children in their strollers to all parts of the CN Tower, including the highest observation point—SkyPod—and the fine-dining 360 Restaurant. Change stations and family washrooms are available throughout the CN Tower, too. Another great thing to do with kids in Toronto? LEGOLAND.

What to Eat and Drink

The CN Tower restaurant, 360, is more than just a spectacular view. The recipient of several culinary awards, 360 also features a wine list of more than 550 international and Canadian wines. Diners at 360 do not pay regular admission price and get preferential elevator service to the restaurant more than 1,150 ft. above. Horizons is the less formal dining establishment on the Look Out level of the CN Tower. Nevertheless, it's a lot better quality than you'd expect for a tourist attraction restaurant. Far from cafeteria dining, Horizons has all window seating on the Look Out of the CN Tower and a sizeable menu including appetizers and full entrées such as quesadillas, panini, salads, chicken, and a selection of beers and wine. Marketplace is a fully licensed family eating area on the ground level with fast food and snacks. A kiosk on the Look Out level offers sandwiches, drinks, ice cream, and other snacks.

Getting There

Despite being a hard-to-miss landmark, the actual entrance to the CN Tower can be a little confusing.

By foot: At the foot of John St. on the south side of Front St. is a set of stairs that takes you to the entrance of the CN Tower. To the right of those stairs is a wide ramp that leads to both the Rogers Centre and the CN Tower entrance.

Wheelchair access: For those who need wheelchair access, halfway up the ramp on the left are glass doors that lead to an elevator that takes you down to the CN Tower entrance. These doors are not well marked, so keep your eyes peeled.

By subway: Get off at Union Station, exit at Front St., and head west, (turn left). Just look up, and you'll see it.

By car: If coming from the South or West (Buffalo, Hamilton, Oakville), follow the QEW into Toronto, where it turns into the Gardiner Expressway. Exit onto Spadina Avenue North and turn right onto Bremner Boulevard.

If coming from the East (Montreal, Kingston, Ottawa), take Highway 401 into Toronto and exit onto the Don Valley Parkway Southbound. As you approach Downtown, this will turn into the Gardiner Expressway. Exit at Spadina Avenue North and turn right onto Bremner Boulevard.

If coming from the North (Muskoka, Barrie), take Highway 400 into Toronto, exiting onto Highway 401 West. Continue until you reach Highway 427 southbound. Follow Highway 427 to downtown via the QEW/Gardiner Expressway. Exit onto Spadina Avenue North and turn right onto Bremner Boulevard.

Parking in downtown Toronto, like in most big cities, is frustrating and expensive. That said, public parking lots are well-marked and plentiful around the CN Tower. If you're willing to walk 10 mins, you'll find parking prices drop significantly west of Spadina.

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Enjoy a Sky High View of Toronto at the CN Tower