Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

CN Tower offers walk on the wild side

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TORONTO -- The CN Tower's latest attraction, which opens to the public on Monday, allows those with nerves of steel to walk on the edge -- literally.

EdgeWalk lets thrill-seekers walk hands-free along a 1.5-metre-wide ledge around the top of the tower's main pod.

Walkers get suited up in fire engine-red jumpsuits and yellow harnesses for a stunning, open-air view of Toronto and Lake Ontario from 356 metres above the ground.

Safety harnesses and industrial-strength cables attach walkers to an overhead rail, allowing them to lean off the edge of the platform and gaze out on the city sprawling below.

The experience costs $175 and lasts a total of 90 minutes, with the walk itself taking 20 to 30 minutes. Trained guides lead the walkers in groups of six to eight.

The sky was clear and the sun bright on Wednesday, as members of the media clambered into their red jumpsuits for a chance to preview the heart-thumping, hair-raising spectacle.

They were scanned with hand-held metal detectors, had their items swabbed for chemicals and were given breathalyzer tests before venturing out. Loose items like shoes and glasses were secured, while bobby pins and jewelry were removed.

Once at the top, those daring enough tiptoed along the edge of the platform or leaned forwards or back off the edge.

There's no reason to be afraid, the guides reassured them, because the cables are strong enough to support the weight of a bus.

But it's easy to forget that when all of your weight is on two cables as you dangle from the edge of what was formerly dubbed the world's tallest free-standing structure.

EdgeWalk will be open every year from May to October in all weather except high winds and electrical storms.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 28, 2011 A2

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