On 2 November 2019, eight Marc Garneau students rose in the early morning to climb the CN Tower. MGCI has partaken in the CN Tower climb for many years now, and co-captains Evan Woo and Laura Lu led this year’s team, with help from Mr. Laughlin. 

The UP United Way CN Tower Climb is a charity event organized by the United Way Greater Ontario, which aims to fundraise for communities who are suffering from poverty and conquer social issues in the GTA region. This year, over 1.4 million dollars were raised for the organization and all of this money will go directly towards fighting poverty in the GTA. 

The event provides an opportunity for MGCI students to connect with each other as they climb 1,776 steps to the top of the building. It also allows students to show their school spirit and love for the community, given that there is a “Top School Award” for the school with the largest team and most money raised. Furthermore, this event allows students to show their support through action, which helps make these pressing social issues unignorable.

In early October, there was an information session hosted for students interested in the climb. To fundraise for the event, students created personal donation pages on the United Way website and shared these on various social media platforms. Students could also fundraise by collectindoor-to-door donations and other in-person contributions. This year, students had to raise a minimum of sixty dollars in order to participate in the event, slightly more than the fifty dollar requirement in 2018. In total, the MGCI team raised over seven hundred dollars for the cause.

This year, the students met at around 7:30 am at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) to register and pick up wristbands. Shortly after the meeting, they ran to the CN Tower to begin the climb. School teams could participate in the climb from 6:00 am to 10:00 am. 

Students could climb the tower at any pace, however, the electric wristbands timed each participant and encouraged many to try to reach their goal times. Many students had participated in the event in prior years, but there were also new participants this year. Grade 11 student James Chen participated in the event for the first time and remarked, “During the climb, even though every floor looked the same, having your friends and other people you don’t know climbing with the same goal as you really encourage you to keep on going. And when you reach the top, you realize you have done something unbelievable.”

MGCI’s team at the top of the CN Tower.

Refreshments were provided once students arrived at the top of the tower. Students also had time to look through the glass windows and see the view of Toronto below them. When they returned to the MTCC, participants were able to take photos, get a 2019 UP T-shirt with their time, and to enjoy other on-site activities. 

Overall, the event was a success. When asked about how he thought it went, Evan said, “I’m really proud of our entire team for joining together to represent MGCI and help climb the steps that will help United Way do more amazing work in Toronto. Special thank you to Mr. Laughlin for making this all possible!”

The Reckoner would like to recognize the following students for their efforts in participating and fundraising for this event:

  • Gabriel Cassidy
  • James Chen
  • Austin Lin
  • Max Lu
  • Evan Woo
  • Derek Xu
  • Justin Ye
  • Eric Zhao