Go BIG or Go Home
What Happens When A Small-Town Family Visits The "World's Largest"... Whatever!

World’s Tallest Inclined Tower, Montreal, QC

Where we went, and who was coerced into going:

Parenthood puts a damper on a few things, one of which is international travel. Now, I know many will disagree with this, and there are several excellent websites dedicated to facilitating the process of crossing time zones with toddlers. I am not a fan of changing poopy diapers in the comfort and convenience of my own home, let alone in a tiny French bistro with a w/c the size of a phone booth.

This year, the Girl is finally old enough to travel beyond our border, and far be it for me to deprive the world of her tempestuous public fits triggered by the denial of ice cream / gelato / crème glacée / helado. We set our sights on Montréal, Canada for our trial run, since Matt had to go on business. We were accompanied by Matt’s cousin Stephanie, who’s our age and a favorite relative. Having three adults against handling two children is a much nicer traveling dynamic.

Montreal Tower

No sweat.

The very first attraction on our itinerary was the world’s tallest inclined tower, The Montréal Tower and Observatory, the world’s tallest inclined tower.

WHY did you go there, exactly?

From a distance, the tower looked innocuous, even tame. Which is an important consideration when three-fifths of you travel party fall under the category of “chicken.” The tower offers a nearly 360-degree view of the city, accessed by a short, easy ride in a funicular, which travels upwards at a 45 degree angle to an elevation of 574 feet / 175 metres.

Perspective is a funny thing. Standing at the base of the tower, watching the funicular cabin pacing up, up, up at a quick clip, we three chickens began to have our doubts.  It went…gulp…high.  This is what we saw:

Okay, what was so cool about it?

Once you force your mind to move beyond thoughts of “how old are those metal cables pulling this car, and at what age does metal start to deteriorate?”, you can enjoy a spectacular view of Montréal. At the top, you can spend as much time as you want on the observation floor in front of window banks facing several different directions, with maps and descriptive guides indicating points of interest.

Montreal Tower

Hell, no.

On a clear day, visitors have views within a 50 miles / 80 kilometre radius, including the Laurentian Mountains. It’s easier up here to appreciate that Montréal is truly an island, surrounded by smaller islands. You can see the Saint Lawrence River snaking its way around Île Sainte-Hélène and Île Notre-Dame.

Each kid got a “Loonie” to put into those binoculars which provide a frustrating pinhole vista. I’ve never seen the point of those things, but our children like putting money in shiny machines. Matt gazed longingly at the casino on Île Notre-Dame, which we were not able to fit into the itinerary. Language differences are, apparently, not a barrier to a good poker game.

The descent was nearly as nerve-wracking for those of us still contemplating steel deterioration. After pausing to let The Boy ceremoniously kiss the ground, I conducted exit interviews of the members of our party to find out what they liked the best:

Matt: the architecture of the tower and the mechanics behind the funicular.

Stephanie: the view, and the opportunity to say the word “funicular” several times in one day.

The Girl: leaning against the window of the funicular to get the best, most unobstructed view possible. (She falls in the “non-chicken” column)

The Boy: reconnecting with terra firma.

 

Observation floor

The observation floor had several banks of windows like these.

A little background info about the place:

 

The tower is part of the Olympic Park (“Parc Olympique”) built up in advance of the 1976 summer Olympic games held in Montréal. However, the tower and its observatory were not actually completed until 10 years after the games. Since its inauguration in 1987, over 4 million people have visited.

The funicular travels at a rate of 9 feet / 3 metres per second, so the ascension only takes two minutes. Which was just long enough for me, thank you very much.

How it rated on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = snoozefest, 10 = add to your bucket list):

On the car ride home, I took a poll, averaged the scores, and got 8.5. Even us chickens were generous, so relieved were we to have survived. It really is an amazing view, and a unique experience! I would not only recommend it, I would go again…maybe.

Hey YOU! Go BIG:

Olympic Park, 4141 avenue Pierre-De Coubertin, Montréal, Quebec, H1V 3N7

514-252-4737 or 877-997-0919

You can see more photos of this adventure on the Go BIG or Go Home Travel Blog page on Facebook.

Montreal Tower

Brave smiles before the climb.

 

9 comments

  1. Julie said,
    August 18, 2010 @ 10:37 pm

    Ha ha ha. I loved the zone defense – three adults vs. two kids. We recently had an “emergency poop” in the most ghetto bathroom in all of Gary Indiana. I think the kids are in charge, really. Fun post!

  2. Evelyn Reid said,
    August 19, 2010 @ 11:21 am

    Lol! Great post. Easily the most interesting description I’ve ever read of the experience. Thanks for sharing!

    Evelyn

    __________________________________________________
    Evelyn Reid
    http://montreal.about.com
    Guide to Montreal

    About.com | Guidance. Not Guesswork.
    About.com is part of The New York Times Company

    • Traci Suppa said,
      August 24, 2010 @ 11:03 pm

      Thanks, Evelyn! Coming from you, that means a lot to me!

  3. Jody said,
    August 19, 2010 @ 9:24 pm

    I completely understand how you feel! Riding up the Gateway Arch in St. Louis in a tiny pod had me rather shaky. My thrill-loving family, however, relished every bit. This looks incredible.

  4. Anna said,
    January 26, 2012 @ 4:00 pm

    AMAZING! I had no idea this even existed – and your intro was hysterical!

    Thanks for linking up to Finding the Funny. Hope to see you next week!
    Anna

  5. Kelley said,
    January 27, 2012 @ 1:35 pm

    I am not kidding. I just breathed. I was holding breath and honestly got butterflies in my stomach reading this post! I would fall under the “chicken” category, too! Loved that you linked up with #findingthefunny. You’ll be back next week, right?? 🙂

    • Traci Suppa said,
      January 30, 2012 @ 8:54 am

      Thanks for stopping in, fellow chicken! There’s a lot of talent on #findingthefunny. Don’t know if I can keep up!

  6. sparkling74 said,
    January 28, 2012 @ 10:11 am

    THis place scares the hell out of me. I don’t really fear heights, but I do fear seemingly impossible feats of architecture that could just topple over at any minute. And I too have wondered about the strength of metal cables when I’ve been on a gondola/ski lift. So many what ifs! Found you on Anna and Kelley’s funny linky.

    • Traci Suppa said,
      January 30, 2012 @ 8:53 am

      Thanks for stopping by! I always welcome reassurance that I’m not the only one who fears metal deterioration!

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  1. September 16, 2010 @ 8:21 pm

    […] World's Tallest Inclined Tower, Montreal, QC | Go BIG or Go Home The tower is part of the Olympic Park (“Parc Olympique”) built up in advance of the 1976 summer Olympic games held in Montréal However, the tower and its observatory were not actually completed until 10 years after the games. […]

  2. August 8, 2011 @ 10:11 am

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