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Toronto's CN Tower - Why not stay for a day!

© by Jane Hastelow
CN Tower

When we realize that our family travels are set to take us through Pearson International Airport, we decide to incorporate Toronto into our vacation instead of just passing it by. And although three kids have a tendency to make you want to get where you're going in the least possible amount of time, this turns out to be the right decision!
     Because we only have 36 hours, we choose to focus on exploring the Harbourfront area. Flying into the airport early on a sunny Tuesday morning, we easily find ourselves a mini-van taxi, load up our kids, the immense mountain of bags and head downtown. Quickly, we are at our hotel, the beautiful Intercontinental Toronto Centre, a newly renovated facility close to the waterfront. The very gracious staff takes pity on us, our luggage, and our tired looking kids and allows us a super early check-in, so we get to crash in a fabulous two bedroom suite for an hour or two before heading out to explore the city. This room is the best that we've ever stayed in. With a sitting room between our bedroom and the kids, everyone can watch whatever they want on TV, and nobody can hear anyone else. And when one child wants to do something entirely different, she can just head for the sitting room - no fights! An ideal situation for a family, for mom can escape to the glorious sanctuary of the Aveda Spa if needed.
     The kids can even have a swim in the pool while waiting, growing calmer and more relaxed by the second from the soothing aroma that pervades the air through the Spa area. Then it's off to bed - two cozy doubles for them, and a massive, sleep-inducing comfortable king for us. Bliss!
     This wonderful night's sleep sets us up for a visit to the CN Tower the next day. An easy ten minute stroll from the Intercontinental, we arrive at the tower and the kids are a bit nervous about how fast the elevator might go, and how high up the observation deck will be. Before even getting to the elevator, they are fascinated by the security check which puts each of us into a little space-age booth where we are sort of blown with puffs of air, evidently to make sure we don't have any traces of explosives on us.
     Then it's off to the elevator complete with tour guide, glass floor panel, and a glass side to watch the city get further and further below us. Not scary at all!
     Next, we are at the lookout point where the view of Toronto Island and the waterfront is absolutely stunning. Our oldest girl points out that although she's often read it in books, this is the first time she's ever actually experienced people "looking like ants." They love it!
     We head for the glass floor, where they spend an inordinate amount of time lying down, taking pictures, jumping and coaxing their reluctant mother onto the floor. Naturally, I know it's not going to break, but it is, nevertheless, strangely frightening. I do it, with some trepidation, but I don't look down. I am a wimp - apparently.
     My husband wishes he could have a go at the new Edgewalk, a circuit around the outside of the building, attached by what looks to me like a little, thin rope, but of course, it's all perfectly safe. (Me being a wimp again.)
     While we aren't able to try it out this time, we do go down to the Himalamazon, which is a simulation ride through I'm not exactly sure what because I have my eyes closed, but the kids think it is thrillingly fantastic. One actually says it is her favourite part of the whole CN Tower experience!
     Along with a stroll along the Harbourfront for some ice cream, and a visit to the Eaton Centre, this wraps up our 36 hours in Toronto - well worth the stopover!

Photo Credits
Jane Hastelow

Jane Hastelow is a former high school English teacher and curriculum coach currently enjoying a year of family travel and education with her husband and three children. She has a BA in English and a Masters in Communications. Jane loves to combine her passion for writing with family travel. You can also follow her adventures at www.roadschoolingclaytons.wordpress.com.
Click for Toronto, Ontario Forecast

If you go
Intercontinental Toronto Centre: http://www.torontocentre.intercontinental.com/
CN Tower: http://www.cntower.ca/Intro.html
Harbourfront: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harbourfront
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toronto
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Toronto
About.com: http://gocanada.about.com/od/canadiancities1/a/cntowervisit.htm
Fiction: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Toronto_in_fiction
Movies featuring: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_films_set_in_Toronto
Places of worship: http://www.yellowpages.ca/search/si/1/Churches...
Trip Advisor: http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review...
Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/cn-tower-toronto

Travel Aid
Airlines (Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airlines
Currency conversion: http://www.xe.com/ucc/
Distance calculator: http://www.indo.com/distance/
Embassies/Consulates (Embassy World): http://www.embassyworld.com/
Health precautions (WHO): http://www.who.int/ith/en/
Maps (Google interactive map): http://maps.google.com/
Maps (Mapquest) U.S. & Canada: http://www.mapquest.com/maps/main.adp
Maps (Mapquest) World: http://www.mapquest.com/maps/main.adp?country=GB
Media Guide (local newspapers with current listings): http://www.abyznewslinks.com/
Temperature (Temperature World): http://www.temperatureworld.com/
Time zone converter: http://www.timezoneconverter.com/
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