The best time to visit the CN Tower without crowds is either early in the morning, from 9 to 11am, or in the evening, after 5pm. Coming at 9 may give you the opportunity of being almost alone at the Tower. You’ll have to suffer a queue of roughly an hour if you come during peak hours. Note that during high season it may be a 2-hour queue, even with a pre-purchased ticket.
Anyway, buying your ticket online on the official website will give you an opportunity to skip the line to the ticket office (this one may be quite long during peak season) and costs less than buying the ticket on site. Remember to do this at least 24 hours before your visit though.
Give preference to visiting mid-week, there will be less crowds than on weekends.
If you don’t plan your visit wisely - you may end up spending up to 80% of your time at the tower queueing (security checks, elevators, etc.). There’s usually a big line for the SkyPod elevator: consider doing this first if coming early in the morning or last thing if coming after 5pm.
In bad weather the Tower sees much shorter queues, but think twice: not only will you have better pictures on sunny days, there’s a risk you won’t see anything from the CN Tower in the case of fog or low clouds (and the Outdoor SkyTerrace may be closed). If you decide to avoid the crowds by going in these weather conditions - just check if you can see the top of the tower from the ground: if you can’t - it means you won’t see much from the top either!
Photo credits to Kevin Qiu via Flickr
Another way to get to the Tower
In case of really long queues you may want to consider the option of booking a table in the 360 restaurant: try to do it in advance, as this place is quite popular! The prices are rather high, but they include the elevation and the visit of the LookOut and Glass Floor Levels after your meal, so it could be a great option to discover the Tower and skip the queue to get up. Although the restaurant has a separate elevator, it is generally advised to arrive 15-20 minutes prior to the reservation time to allow for check-in and entry.
Opening times & Practical Information
The Tower is open 364 days a year (except Christmas).
Opening hours: 9:00am - 10:30pm.
Guest services open earlier, at 8:30am.
General Admission to the Tower (LookOut and Glass Floor levels):
- Adult (13-64): $35.00 on place / $33 online;
- Senior (65+): $30.00 on place / $28.00 online;
- Child (4-12): $25.00 on place / $23.00 online;
- Child (0-3): free;
- Holders of Toronto City Pass: free.
SkyPod (a separate ticket required in addition to Tower Experience ticket to get to SkyPod level).
- All Ages: $12.00
- Visitors with reduced mobility: free entrance for visitors in wheelchairs who purchased the general admission ticket to the tower.
Tickets to Skypod level can be purchased online, at the Box Office or on the LookOut Level.
Best time to visit
High season in Canada is from May to September with particular peaks in July and August. But Toronto has a more or less smooth flow of visitors throughout the year with the highest figures usually in summer months. There are generally less visitors in winter, but the difference isn’t big. Still, the cheapest rates and smallest crowds are in December and January.
Avoid visiting the Tower on major public holidays, the days with special lightning (see the lightning schedule here), dates of important meetings and conventions and during school holidays (in Canada and US).
Photo credits to CN Tower via Facebook