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City Hall gets a zip line (for a limited time)

Posted by Chris Bateman / November 18, 2012

toronto zip lineWhat's high strung, a little dangerous, and flies across Nathan Phillips Square at 30 km/h? Points if the name of a city councillor came to mind, but I would have also accepted a temporary zip line strung between the towers of City Hall and Queen Street.

Every day until November 24, the day before the Grey Cup, visitors to City Hall can pay $20 to be strapped to a pulley and walked off the end of a metal gantry built over the roof of the clamshell, the circular building in the centre of the municipal complex. The pay off is a thrilling ride and a great view of Nathan Phillips Square.

toronto zip lineThe 130 feet tall ride is the tallest urban zip line in North America and was set up as part of the10-day 100th Grey Cup Festival. A street party and film festival at Yonge-Dundas Square theatres are also part of the program. The net proceeds from the zip line will go to the Argos' charitable foundations.

Once you've signed your life away with a waiver, the zip line staff buckle you into a harness, give you a helmet, and send you up a temporary metal tower. At the top, you're clipped into a pulley with a safety line in case, you know, something breaks. The most unnerving part is walking off the end of a set of stairs to get started. The last step is about 13 floors above the ground.

The ride itself is pretty brief (about 20 seconds) but you do get a chance to see the roof of the council chamber, an expansive view of Nathan Phillips Square, and a unique perspective of the buildings in the financial district. Oh, and watch out for the end - it's a little bumpy...

If you prefer to get your adrenaline fix from the comfort of home, here's a surprisingly expletive-free video of my trip down the wire taken from a helmet mounted camera:

GOPR0032 from Tom Ryaboi - BlogTO on Vimeo.


  • Saturday, November 17: 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Sunday, November 18: 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Monday, November 19: 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Tuesday, November 20: 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Wednesday, November 21: 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Thursday, November 22: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Friday, November 23: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Saturday, November 24: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

MORE PHOTOS:toronto zip linetoronto zip linetoronto zip linePhotos: Tom Ryaboi



Lucayo / November 18, 2012 at 03:59 am
Zip lines are great! Nice to see the world taking them on full steam. Lucky to have grown up with one we rigged from my treehouse .. we stopped with a bungee line! Still keeping it real, helping one here, Thailand.;feature=plcp
Alex / November 18, 2012 at 11:01 am
I dunno about this. Southpark taught me never to go ziplining. In all seriousness, looks like a cool "ride" and a very interesting place to set it up. Nice hype for the Grey Cup.
Me / November 18, 2012 at 11:18 am
Looking forward to the first lawsuit when some Dummy messes up.
jay / November 18, 2012 at 12:10 pm
Hmmmm--what Dummy at city hall might mess up on a zip line?
W. K. Lis replying to a comment from jay / November 18, 2012 at 12:31 pm
Would Rob Ford qualify?
Jarvis Emerald / November 18, 2012 at 03:04 pm
Awwww...i wish i could make this ride! Great video. Thanks for posting it. Great idea for the city to do this...I hope they continue to do "out of the ordinary" things like this.
Lauren / November 18, 2012 at 06:05 pm
Anyone know what the wait times are like?
bill / November 18, 2012 at 10:09 pm
Shaka bra!
raymes / November 18, 2012 at 10:33 pm
Hilarious and amazing. "Sick" even!
Lucayo / November 19, 2012 at 08:53 am
Thanks for the props, happy to share a lil of what we do out here. Do have a few other videos .. we add about one a month .. I do these free promotions for the cable ride so I can help solidify the base .. in return it allows us to invest more freely in the community .. apart of what we do is help advocate conservation & sustainability .. with many awesome projects on the horizon something we have already began is reforestation planting some 5,000 trees on two occasions with local students and businesses :)

Stay up to date, visit us time to time!
Scott / November 19, 2012 at 09:59 am
I found the zip line to be an assume ride as I had done it upside down and was told the real high is 175 feet from the ground. I be posting a YouTube vid this week called zip line city hall
Elvis / November 19, 2012 at 10:50 am
Why is there a football field where there should be an ice skating rink?
jnyyz / November 19, 2012 at 11:57 am
there was no line at 11:30 am Monday if that helps.
joseph / November 19, 2012 at 12:19 pm
hi any one knows how much it costs to take a ride
Skye / November 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm
I AM SO DOING THIS. Anyone know what kind of a lineup/wait there's been to try it out?
Scott replying to a comment from joseph / November 19, 2012 at 12:39 pm
It cost $20.00 proced go to charity
Scott replying to a comment from Skye / November 19, 2012 at 12:41 pm
When I was there the line up was very short I'd say 5 mins max wait time.
joseph / November 19, 2012 at 12:52 pm
will do it on wednesday
Lucayo / November 19, 2012 at 09:43 pm
Enjoy it for me, keep it up Toronto!
Ps. I am a fellow Torontonian ;)
jnyyz / November 19, 2012 at 10:11 pm
some pictures from this morning here:
julygirl / November 20, 2012 at 08:06 pm
I did this today after seeing it advertised on this website. It was amazing! 20 bucks, and the line was really short, took 5 mins, they strap you in and you're ready to go! Try to film it if you can, and wear a shorter jacket so that you can have it on with the harness, gets chilly when you're flying across the sky. :)
Scott / November 21, 2012 at 07:23 am
As I mentioned here is my video from the sky photo's first then the video, some of this I did upside down hope you like my video.
Scott / November 21, 2012 at 07:23 am
As I mentioned here is my video from the sky photo's first then the video, some of this I did upside down hope you like my video.
Deeanna / November 23, 2012 at 11:42 am
Ok Scott, you're giving me the cahones to go on this thing, even willing to upside-down it because that looks awesome!
Mark D / November 25, 2012 at 03:18 am
Where are festivities on Sunday pregame -- the zip line is closed but is any pan cake breakfast or stuff like that going on downtown TO??
Scott replying to a comment from Deeanna / November 26, 2012 at 07:47 am
hope you had fun glade I could help.
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