The CN Tower’s 360 Restaurant and Edge Walk

12 Sep

This week I’m judging the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance (OCTA) Awards, so I’ve been trying some fantastic activities that were finalists in the Culinary Tourism Experience category.

Perhaps the most surprising on this list is the CN Tower–who knew it was a dining destination for locavores? As Toronto’s tallest and most iconic landmark, it will always be a big draw for visitors, as will its revolving restaurant, 360, where you can take in panoramic views of the whole city over lunch from a height of 1,151 feet about ground level.

Rebecca LeHeup, Commander-in-Chief of OCTA

Executive Chef Peter George could easily have become complacent with all that guaranteed traffic in his restaurant, so I was impressed at his commitment to offering locally harvested and iconic Canadian ingredients in dishes such as Ontario prosciutto, melon and arugula with Kozlik’s triple crunch mustard vinaigrette or lemon meringue pie with Ontario blueberries. George’s team even grows edible flowers and herbs for garnishes way up high on the tower deck. They do around 800 covers every evening, so this really helps support local producers. I’d love to see all restaurants at major attractions follow their lead.

360 restaurant has won an award of Excellence every year since 1999 from Wine Spectator magazine for its 9,000-bottle wine collection. The best news: 12 percent of the 550 labels on the list are Canadian and a quarter of the volume sold is from Ontario wine regions.

I combined lunch at 360 with an Edge Walk tour–a hands-free walk on a platform above the restaurant with ropes and harnesses to keep you safe. This is an amazing buzz for thrill seekers and proved an excellent opportunity for me to show the world what a wuss I am.

My special definition of “edge.”

My legs were shaking and my palms clammy the whole time as I made my way round the waffle-like grid way up over downtown Toronto. At one point the guide invites you to lean back over the city with only your toes on the platform and let the ropes taking your weight. (The ropes get checked about a dozen times by three different people before you go out, which is reassuring). I admit that the best I could do was laugh nervously and cling to my rope in the centre of the platform, amazed at the bravery of the other crazies up there who carried out this daredevil feat.

Rebecca. Fearless.


Then you’re supposed to do the same thing leaning forward over the edge of the platform, Kate Winslet in Titanic style. I’m sorry, but for me: no Leonardo DiCaprio, no can-do.

Would you be brave enough?

3 Responses to “The CN Tower’s 360 Restaurant and Edge Walk”

  1. Angie Gallop September 14th, 2012 at 10:59 AM #

    Ha! Love it.
    The answer to your question: Nope.

  2. Andrew Dobson September 14th, 2012 at 1:02 PM #

    What a memorable day! Am happy I got to share it with you two!

    • Valerie Howes September 14th, 2012 at 7:35 PM #

      It was a lot of fun, and I was very impressed by your bravery, Andrew. We should bungee jump from the Eiffel Tower next.

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