Our visit was in January of 2006. January is a great time to see the city without waiting in any lines. It wasn’t nearly as chilly as we thought it would be. They have a temperate climate – similiar to London or Seattle – and much warmer than nearby Buffalo or Niagara Falls. Our two main points of interest were the CN Tower and the Rogers Centre (formerly Sky Dome).
The world’s tallest freestanding structure on land, the CN Tower is one of the most visited landmarks in North America. Standing at 554.3 meters (1815 feet) tall, more than 2 million tourists visit this Guinness World Book of Records holder.
The elevator to the top was a very cool experience. They have an area of the floor that is made of glass so one can look down and literally see the world below your feet. The Tower is a huge source of revenue with its dizzying array of souvenirs and gift shops. We opted for the traditional couple’s photo against the Toronto skyline.
Our other favorite spot was the Rogers Centre. Cassandra has family in Toronto and she had seen a Blue Jays game back when it was known as the Sky Dome. In February 2005, Rogers Communications Inc. purchased the venue in order to keep the iconic Canadian stadium in Canadian hands. After the name change from SkyDome to Rogers Centre, the venue has undergone many renovation and upgrade projects designed to meet the expectations of guests and promoters. Guests now enjoy a brightened and expanded 100 Level concourse area that is more fan-friendly with expanded wheelchair seating and three new eateries that reflect the culture and feel of the city. In addition to hosting a major league baseball team, the NHL Maple Leafs, the NBA Raptors, WWE Events (Trish Stratus is the hometown favorite) and some sort of Flag football franchise (the Argonauts, I believe), it hosts numerous trade shows and events. Since opening to the public in June of 1989, it has staged more than 200 events and welcomed more than 60 million visitors. Its capacity is about 50,000 spectators and its retractable roof was the first of its kind in North America.
We visited on a very quiet Monday afternoon. We dined at the Hard Rock Cafe restaurant that was located in the stadium’s mezzanine tier. From our table we could look out and see the playing field. This particular day they were replacing the astro turf infield with ice for an upcoming hockey game. It is truly one of the world’s great venues.
We truly enjoyed our short stay in Toronto. Hopefully next time we’ll go when it’s a little warmer so we can take a boat ride and explore the harbour. The people were ultra friendly everywhere we went.
We absolutely love Canada and their wonderfully fresh air and clean skies. The trip was less than 90 minutes from the Philly airport. We actually caught a flight from Salisbury to Philly so the entire trip was less than 4 hours. This is a very young and vibrant city and we recommend sampling this unique corner of North America.
– The Rox