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90-year-old thrill-seeker finds bliss atop the CN Tower
90-year-old thrill-seeker finds bliss atop the CN Tower

Vicki Edney, a Newmarket resident at The Roxborough Retirement Residence with an eye for adventure, used her latest thrill as an opportunity to raise money for the Toronto Star’s Fresh Air Fund.

As we headed south on the 404 the clouds cleared and the sun came out. It was a beautiful day in every way. We parked across the road from the tower (at a cost of $30.00) and met a Star photographer Andrew at the entrance around 9:30am. He took some pictures in front of the CN Tower sign. When we reached the third floor Alex, a Star reporter was waiting to interview us. My son Bob, daughter Barbara, daughter in-law Carol and her son John and I made up our group. Only Carol, John and I were doing the edge walk.

We watched the 10 O’clock group finish getting ready. As they left for the elevator from one door the eight of us went into the change room by another door to get prepared. The first thing they did was give each of us a breathalyzer test. Then we had to remove watches, rings, earrings, and pins, necklaces and even bobby pins and Kleenex. We had to spit out our gum. They had these reddish orange suits in every size John is 6’ 5’’ tall and I am 5’ 1’’ but our suits fit perfectly. The other five in our group were three girls and two men (all under 30.) Two people checked that our suits were on correctly and four People checked that our harnesses were properly fitted. We were told ahead of time to wear running shoes with laces no Velcro. Promptly at 10:30 we marched into the elevator as the next group entered the fitting room. The elevator took us up above the restaurant at a speed of 26 KPH. It took about one minute. We were at a door facing south. Each of us were clicked on back and front to a track that went all the way around the tower. More people checked that our harnesses were done up correctly. They even put plastic seals on the clips so that we could not possibly undo them. Nobody could commit suicide by jumping off because the rope worked like a seat belt and tightened even if you tripped accidentally.

Carol went first, I followed with John next, then the three girls and two fellows. The girl who went out with us on another track, was wonderful. She called each of us by name and told us what to look for in each direction. The one-minute ferry ride to Billy Bishop airport, the islands, sailboats and marinas were interesting. She chatted the whole time. We were supposed to wave at every camera (there was at least four that I saw.) The Royal York Hotel was almost lost amid all the apartments and office buildings. The colours are amazing. Some places have blue glass, others green and gold we could even see Etobicoke and Mississauga, High Park and trees everywhere. Some apartments had pools on the roof. We half sat facing the tower, inched back toward the edge one by one until all eight of us were on our toes, then we straightened up and leaned back, holding on to the rope for dear life while she took our picture. As we got to the windy north side she did the same, only individually this time. We were right over the Rogers Center with the roof open as we were ready to reenter the tower. It was over too soon.

As we went into the fitting room to remove our harnesses and suits and collect our Jewellery the 11 o’clock shift was entering the elevator. The 11:30 group was entering by the other door. Our pictures and video were ready at the desk for each of us to treasure.

I might try rock climbing next. I hear it’s pretty safe too. Of course, there is always sky diving!

Read the article in The Toronto Star (dated July 14, 2017 by Alex McKeen, Staff Reporter)

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