5 reasons why you should step up for wildlife by climbing the CN Tower

WWF’s CN Tower Climb for Nature is back on April 15 and 16, 2023. Emily Giles, senior manager of science, knowledge and innovation, shares why you should register today at wwf.ca/cntower.

I recently did something I never thought I would do — lean backwards 116 stories above Toronto on the EdgeWalk. I conquered my fear of heights — on live television, no less! — to help draw attention to the number of species on the edge of extinction.

I was also up there to announce the return of WWF’s CN Tower Climb for Nature, which is coming back April 15 and 16, 2023. After a three-year hiatus, the need for the climb is greater than ever.

Here are five reasons why you should step up for wildlife with us this spring:

Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) feeding in the coastal waters near Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada.
© WWF-Canada / Chad Graham

1. Never has nature been in so much trouble

Looking over the edge of the CN Tower with nothing but a harness securing me reminded me of the precarious situation wildlife are in today.

Globally, wildlife populations have dropped 69 per cent on average since 1970. And it’s not just tigers, pandas and other far away species. Here in Canada, we have more than 800 species at risk of extinction. Most of them — from humpback whales to bumblebees — aren’t recovering.

If we don’t act now, we will cross an invisible line of no return, where the planet is four degrees warmer and more than one million species could go extinct.

Climber reaching the top of the stairwell
© WWF-Canada/James Carpenter

2. It’s one of the world’s most unique fundraising events

WWF-Canada is one of only two charities that hosts climbs in the iconic landmark’s 144-floor stairwell. The 2023 CN Tower Climb for Nature is extra special as it will be the first time the stairwell has been open to climbers since 2019.

Plus, the only thing more breathtaking than the prospect of thousands of people coming together for wildlife is the view from the top!

Climb team showing off their T-shirts with climb times.
© WWF-Canada

3. Climbing the CN Tower isn’t as tough as it looks

WWF-Canada staff all have unique roles at the event, and mine happens to be the finish line. Each year, I have the pleasure of congratulating climbers as they reach the top. While climbing the tower may seem like a lofty goal, I see people of all abilities conquer the tower’s 1,776 steps.

The average person reaches the top in 30 minutes. If you have a competitive streak and want to race for the fastest time, you can sign-up for the Elite Climb Challenge. WWF’s climb record is 9 minutes and 54.9 seconds, held by competitive tower runner Shaun Stephens-Whale.

Lake Louise, Alberta © Oana Dragan

4. You could win a trip through the Canadian Rockies

The climb is still a few months away, but those who sign up and start fundraising early could win a nature-packed trip through the beautiful Canadian Rockies with G Adventures.

The winner will go on an eight-day trip, passing the pristine waters of Lake Louise, gazing at the mountains in Banff and Whistler, and perhaps spotting some incredible wildlife along the way. Every $500 raised by Feb. 15, 2023 will earn you one ballot in the draw.

Vancouver Island Marmot
© Shutterstock

5. You’re making a difference for wildlife and climate change

When you climb the CN Tower, or you donate to someone who is, you’ll help WWF-Canada restore and protect habitats across the country. Our work focuses on places where at-risk species live that also store high amounts of carbon so we can fight wildlife loss and climate change at the same time.

Register today

Step by step, floor by floor, together we can help bring species back from the edge of extinction. Head over to wwf.ca/cntower to register as an individual, or with a team of friends and colleagues.

I look forward to seeing you at the top!