I leaned over to the woman next to me and confided that although I’d considered pushing myself to the edge, I’d decided not to. Like magic, the uncomfortable feeling dissipated.
The woman replied that her daughter would have loved to do the walk, but they had to leave for Atlanta right after the conference and wouldn’t have time.
Really? I began to feel conflicted. Should I do it? The wooziness quickly set back in.
Eighteen hours later, I was in a room at the base of the tower, pulling on a fluorescent orange jumpsuit and a neon-yellow harness, having paid a pretty penny not to chicken out of the EdgeWalk. But what was I trying to prove, and to whom?
Before being allowed to wander outdoors 1,168 feet up in the air on a five-foot-wide ledge, I had to pass a breathalyzer test. Apparently, the people who run EdgeWalk don’t think that banging down shots of liquid courage beforehand is a good idea.
Once we’d geared up, the six of us who’d signed up for this madness were patted down for contraband. A bobby pin, an earring, a penny. Anything that could be a hazard to pedestrians below. The EdgeWalk staff pulled at our shoes to make sure that they were secure and had bottoms with grip; they asked two people to change to non-slip shoes that they provided.
So I was really going to do this. The indecision had lasted through the morning, as I walked to the tower from my hotel. Maybe there’d be no spots left? Only six people are allowed up at a time. That would solve my dilemma.
There was an opening at 12:30 p.m.
After a few more moments of hesitation, I booked it. Then I had an hour to kill. I stepped into an elevator that would take me to an observation deck. It whooshed up, and I peered through the glass floor as the bottom of the shaft became teeny-tiny. Whoaaaaaa. . . . The lightheadedness returned with a vengeance.
I had just white-knuckled an elevator ride. And that wasn’t even the challenge.
Up at a mere 1,136 feet, or 114 stories, I wandered around the deck with dozens of other visitors, taking in Toronto from every direction. A bright sun lit up glass high-rises, and the incredible view went on for miles.
One floor down, there are glass floor panels so that semi-brave visitors can look straight down to the street. Many people couldn’t bring themselves to step onto them. Some would inch on slowly, fearfully, as relatives snapped their photos.