Tuesday, May 10, 2011

CN Tower A Walk On The Wild Side!

Back to New CN Tower attraction offers a walk on the outside

New CN Tower attraction offers a walk on the outside

May 09, 2011

Carola Vyhnak

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Hockey-stick shaped supports on the roof of the CN Tower pod will form part of the support system for EdgeWalk!

DAVID COOPER/TORONTO STAR

Life on the edge is about to get real scary. Like 116-storeys-up scary.

Imagine this: You’re standing on an open ledge on the outside of the CN Tower. Now lean back, arms outstretched, into nothing but air 356 metres above the city.

All that holds you is a cable attached to a body harness and overhead rail.

Introducing EdgeWalk, “the most extreme experience” in the tower’s 35-year history, according to public relations people.

Opening Aug. 1, the attraction will be “the world’s highest full circle hands-free walk,” tower officials announced on Monday.

It will offer thrill seekers a heart-stopping, 360-degree panorama as they walk a 1.5-metre-wide platform a distance of 150 metres around the top of the main pod.

Here’s how it will work:

Adventure lovers will walk hands-free in groups of six to eight while connected to an overhead safety rail via a trolley and harness system. The walk will last 20 to 30 minutes with the entire experience running 1.5 hours.

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

A guide will capture it all on video for daredevils to relive on dull days.

“During our 35th anniversary year we are excited to introduce visitors to the most exciting attraction in our history,” said Jack Robinson, chief operating officer of Canada Lands Company, which owns the tower.

Several staffers admitted last week 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.”

Spokespeople assured would-be walkers that every aspect of the attraction “has been developed with the utmost safety and security in mind.”

One employee compared EdgeWalk to a similar attraction at Auckland Sky Tower in New Zealand.

Still under construction, the steel grated platform will be supported by 36 arms linked to separate rails for the tour guide and group of walkers. The support arms can be seen as a series of rods protruding from the roof of the 360 Restaurant.

The walk will cost $175, which includes a video and other souvenirs. Tickets go on sale June 1. The attraction will be offered until October this year and reopen in May 2012.

EdgeWalk facts

Cost: $175 per person

Height of new walking ledge: 356 metres or 116 storeys

Height of CN Tower: 553 metres

Width of ledge: 1.5 metres

Distance around: 150 metres

Number of hands used to hold on: 0

Weight of steelwork: 16,330 kg

Duration from design to completion: 10 months

Number of thrill-seekers per group: 6 to 8

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