Malahat Skywalk adds to Canada’s growing list of elevated attractions

With the official opening of Malahat SkyWalk on British Columbia’s Vancouver Island last week, Canada has added another “skywalk” attraction.

Located about 35 minutes drive from Victoria, Malahat SkyWalk visitors embark along a 600 m (1,968 ft) elevated, wooden walkway rising 20 m (65 ft) through an arbutus and Douglas fir forest. Guests then ascend a circular ramp gently rising to the top of a 10-storey, architecturally-inspiring spiral tower lookout.

At the top of the tower, guests are 250 m (820 ft) above sea level and enjoy 360-degree views of two countries, including islands, inlets, fjords, forests and mountains in B.C. and Washington State. Also at the top, daring guests can walk on an adventure net suspended partially across the centre of the tower for another thrilling perspective.

On the descent, guests can choose to retrace their steps or take an exhilarating ride down a 20 m (65 ft) spiral slide. Available to everyone over five years of age or minimum 107 cm (42 in) tall, guests can ride as many times as they like.

Malahat SkyWalk is located on the traditional territory of the Malahat Nation and their Indigenous stories are embedded in the visitor experience.

Tickets are available online at www.malahatskywalk.com/pass and are valid for one year from date of purchase. Admission is $31.95 CAD (adult 18+), $28.95 CAD (senior 65+), $18.95 CAD (child aged 6-17) and $86.00 CAD (two adults, two children), plus taxes. Children aged five and under are free.

If you want more skywalking adventures, here are some other elevated attractions you can experience in Canada:

Columbia Icefield Skywalk
Jasper, Alberta

Step out on a cliff-edge walkway where giant glaciers perch above you and the spectacular Sunwapta Valley spreads out below. The Columbia Icefield Skywalk experience features waterfalls, wildlife, fossils and more on an exciting 1-kilometre walkway that leads to a platform where glass is all that separates you from a 918-foot (280 m) drop. The walk is presented in an interpretive storytelling format that will connect you to the natural world in a deep and meaningful way.

https://www.banffjaspercollection.com/attractions/columbia-icefield/skywalk/

Saint John Skywalk
Saint John, New Brunswick

Handout photo: Saint John Skwyalk

The Reversing Falls Rapids on the Saint John River in New Brunswick have amazed visitors for generations. As the powerful tides of the Bay of Fundy rush up the river twice per day, they reverse the direction of the river’s flow that is an unforgettable demonstration of nature’s power. Visitors can step out on the glass-bottomed skywalk that perches above the roiling waters below. There’s also an adjacent restaurant that they can visit before or after the tide’s approach

https://www.skywalksaintjohn.com

CN Tower’s Glass Floor
Toronto, Ontario

Handout photo: CN Tower

The granddaddy of all glass-bottomed attractions in Canada is the CN Tower’s glass floor that was the world’s first when it opened in 1994. A mere 2 1/2″ of glass keeps you safe from the ground which is 342 m (1,122 ft) below, but it’s strong enough that you can walk on it, or even jump on it, without worry. Despite those reassurances, you have to force your mind to tell you that it’s safe when you step out on the transparent 23.8 square metres (256 sq. ft) surface. If that’s not scary enough for you, then you might be ready for the EdgeWalk, where you walk outside the tower while attached with safety straps.

https://www.cntower.ca/en-ca/plan-your-visit/attractions/glass-floor.html

 

Boston-based Connect Airlines set to fly out of Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport

Connect Airlines airplane

It’s not every day that a new airline launches, and it’s especially rare during the pandemic-induced travel slowdown, but  Waltzing Matilda Aviation (WMA) is set to launch Connect Airlines this October to connect Toronto’s Billy Bishop City Airport with destinations in the Northeast and Midwest United States.

Subject to regulatory approvals, the Boston-based carrier will provide travellers with another airline choice once travel resumes  between the United States and Canada again.

Connect Airlines will fly Canadian-built Q400 turboprop aircraft out of Toronto’s downtown island Billy Bishop Airport. 

In a press release announcing the airline launch, John Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of WMA said: “We are passionate about how aviation brings people, cultures and business together. Especially in these challenging times, we are committed to delivering the world’s most rewarding premium travel experience with safety, service, convenience and reliability.”

WMA was co-founded by Thomas who also sits on the board of Skyservice, the largest corporate aviation service provider in Canada.

Toronto’s CN Tower gets an upgrade after 42 years

It’s been a few years since I’ve been to the top of the CN Tower in Toronto, but I saw the news that announced on its 42nd birthday that it’s observation deck has undergone a $16 million renovation/

A new Glass Floor has been installed directly above the original which I suppose was starting to show its age. All I know, is that even though I know it’s perfectly safe, when you find yourself standing 346 metres (1,136 feet) above the ground, ,my brain tells me I’m in danger. Don’t even get me started on the EdgeWalk outside on the top of the tower. I don’t have a fear of heights, but I do have a fear of falling, so I’ll take a hard pass.

More interesting, is the observation deck will have new floor-to-ceiling glass “Window Walls” to provide unobstructed panoramic views which will be perfect for children and people with mobility challenges to fully enjoy the views of Toronto.

For those who want to linger, three new bistros are being added to the top of the tower, but I’d imagine most people are there for the views and not the food.

More interesting is a new Viewfinder App for mobile devices that helps users identify the Toronto landmarks below which is helpful if you’re not a local and have no idea what you’re looking at.

I’ve been to the top of the tower during the day time and at night and I’d say that night time is my favourite, but being there at sunset is pretty special so if you’ve only ever been up there once, it’s worth it to visit at a different time of day to get a different experience.

At a height of 553.33 metres (1,815 ft., 5 inches), Canada’s National Tower was once the tallest free-standing structure in the world. It’s long since been surpassed by other buildings, but it’s still an engineering wonder.  For all the details, visit www.cntower.ca. 

 

Travel ideas for Mother’s Day

My PR friends have asked me to share this information with you about Mother’s Day.

Insight Vacations celebrates Mother’s Day with trips for every type of globetrotting Mom

Insight Vacations celebrates Mother’s Day with vacations to Europe and beyond offering once-in-a-lifetime experiences for every mother or special woman.

“Insight Vacations’ unparalleled level of service ensures our Canadian clients are well taken care of so they can enjoy their exciting experiences abroad,” said Cris David, president, Insight Vacations Canada.

“We’ve curated the finest itineraries to showcase the best of each destination, from hidden gems to iconic attractions and our authentic and escorted journeys are the perfect gift for every deserving mother or special woman.”

The ‘fiery’ woman: Spain & Portugal in Style (www.insightvacations.com/ca/spain-and-portugal-in-style-summer-2016)

The fearless explorer: Scenic Iceland and the Northern Lights (www.insightvacations.com/ca/tours/scenic-iceland-and-the-northern-lights-winter-2016-2017)

The ‘life-affirmer’:Spirit of the North and South India (www.insightvacations.com/ca/spirit-of-north-and-south-india-summer-2016)

For more information, visit www.insightvacations.com, or contact an Insight Specialist at 1-888-726-6105.

InterContinental Toronto Centre offers its Luxe Life for Mom Package

Just in time for Mother’s Day, the InterContinental Toronto Centre offers a special package designed to pamper your mom. Here are the highlights:

  • A luxurious evening for two in a Feature Room with lake views
  • Champagne and chocolate covered strawberries in-room welcome amenity
  • Town car service to and from Holt Renfrew, Bloor Street West
  • Afternoon full tea for two at Holts Café
  • $250 gift certificate at Holts Renfrew
  • Manicure/pedicure or massage for Mom at Spa InterContinental
  • Room service breakfast in bed for two
  • 2:00 p.m. late checkout
  • Complimentary Wifi
  • Complimentary Valet Parking

The InterContinental Toronto Centre Luxe Life for Mom Package starts at $799 per night (a savings of 20 per cent) and is available on May 7, 2016, or purchased as a gift certificate for future use.

Reservations can be made at www.torontocentre.intercontinental.com or direct reservations within Canada and US can be made at 1-800-422-7969 and worldwide reservations at 1-800-327-0200.

Not the world’s longest street

Toronto’s Yonge Street was once thought to be the world’s longest street, but only if you consider Highway 11 as an extension of the road. Today, the Guinness Book of World Records has no such entry, but does have one for the world’s longest “motorable road” which it cites as the Pan-American Highway.