On Saturday 22 October, twelve students from Marc Garneau C.I. convened in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre before daybreak to achieve one common goal: climbing all 144 flights of Toronto’s famous CN Tower.

One of several CN Tower climbs this year, the event was organized by United Way of Toronto and York Region. Jenna Wong, the organizer of Garneau’s team, said “It was a little hectic getting everything organized but in the end everything worked out pretty well and I think everyone had a good climb.”


Garneau students participated in United Way’s annual CN Tower climb on 22 October. Photo: Julien Lin

Student participants were required to raise a minimum of $50 in order to be eligible to climb. In total, Garneau’s climbers raised $940: an amount that doubled last year’s $445. The top student fundraisers were Grade 9 Jessica Guo, with $80 and Grade 11 Varun Venkataramanan with $60. Donations were collected from friends and family, either in-person or online.

When asked about why she participated, Abirami Sivakanthan, one of the MGCI climbers, said, “I decided to do the climb because it was a way for me to challenge myself and give back to the community at the same time.” She also stated that she’s looking forward to climbing again: “ I will definitely do it again next year.”

Another climber, Saiyam Patel, enjoyed not only the thrill of the climb but also the event itself. “It was amazing to see how many people had come together for the charitable cause,” commented Saiyam. “Regarding the actual climbing of the stairs it turned out to be a lot harder than I expected, yet it was very enjoyable and exhilarating.”

Each participant was given a wristband that was swiped prior to and after they finished climbing to determine the amount of time it took them. After taking the elevator back down, they received a t-shirt with their time written on the back. The fastest climbers on Garneau’s team were Jeffrey Qiu and Eric Zhao who reached the top in the time of 15:08 minutes and 15:23 minutes respectively!

The CN Tower Climb for United Way was a great and engaging way to raise money for the local community while attempting a fun and challenging goal. All of the climbers would like to extend a huge thank you to Jenna Wong, Mr. Hillman and Ms. Silva for organizing the climb for Garneau students.