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Walking on the edge at the CN Tower

Lyndsay Morrison, staff writer
September 23, 2011 — How scary is Toronto's latest thrilling attraction? The Weather Network's Morning Show team went to find out, and see how the weather plays a role.

The Weather Network takes part in the EdgeWalk
The Weather Network takes part in the EdgeWalk

A new tourist attraction in Toronto is giving people an interesting view of the city - and has people from all over the world walking on the “edge.”

The EdgeWalk at the CN Tower opened to the public over the summer, giving thrill-seekers a chance to experience the world’s highest full circle hands-free walk on a 1.5 m wide ledge encircling the top of the Tower’s main pod, 356m above the ground.

The Weather Network's National Morning Show anchor Kim MacDonald was up for the challenge. She joined producer B.J. Stewart and camera operator Dwyane Oud in an experience she won't soon forget.

“A big part of the EdgeWalk is that they like to test your limits,” said MacDonald. “And we were tested!”

In addition to walking around the edge, the Morning Show team was also encouraged to lean forward and back over the ledge.

“It was a little scary!” said Stewart.

At the top of the CN Tower, MacDonald found the irony in the not-so-ideal weather conditions. She said she was ready for whatever Mother Nature threw at her.

“It doesn't hurt that it was windy and rainy up here, because that's what we do! Or, more importantly, that's what we forecast!”

Thrill-seekers on the ledge of the CN Tower
Thrill-seekers on the ledge of the CN Tower

According to engineers, the weather was the first thing on their minds when starting the design.

“Of all the different elements from steel structure to the overhead rail system, knowing our Canadian weather and looking at the expansion and the contraction that could affect all of the components of the EdgeWalk had to take place over all of our design criteria,” explains Andre Saker, Director of Facilities and Engineering at the CN Tower.

The EdgeWalk operates in most summer weather conditions, with the exception of electrical storms and strong winds.

“We have our own weather station and it is installed at the top of the tower, another nine metres above where the walk is itself. The weather station is measuring wind speed, wind direction and lightning. Once we experience any lightning in the area within 12 kilometres we stop the operations,” said Saker.

Fun weather facts about the CN Tower

  • It gets hit by lightning approximately 75 times a year.
  • The temperature at 356 metres up is two to three degrees colder than what it is at ground level.
  • Winds are three to four times gustier at the EdgeWalk level than on the ground.

With files from Andrea Stockton

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