Thrill-seeking WWII veteran walks the edge of Toronto’s CN Tower
Published Monday, October 8, 2012 8:28PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, October 8, 2012 9:08PM EDT
Not everyone is brave enough to walk the edge of Toronto’s famous CN Tower, but for a 90-year-old WWII veteran, scaling the perimeter of the city’s landmark was the perfect way to spend time with his loved ones.
When Michael Welch of Toronto saw photos of his daughter doing the CN Tower’s “EdgeWalk,” he knew it was something he had to try.
So Welch’s family decided a group of them would do the walk with him on Monday, to celebrate his upcoming 91st birthday.
The walk along the tower’s exterior ledge, which takes place at a staggering 1,168 feet, is the world’s highest full-circle hands-free walk.
EdgeWalk participants wear special suits, gloves and harnesses that are attached to the tower.
As the smiling Welch suited up on Monday, he told CTV Toronto he was excited.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said.
The daring senior is no stranger to adventure. He was born in Argentina and moved to England when he was 19 years old to fly planes for the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.
He got his first computer when he was 85 and continues to drive his own car to this day.
And it’s this adventurous spirit family members say they admire most about Welch.
“We have a huge flock of grandchildren so he’s always been a huge inspiration to all of us,” said grandson Michael Freeman. “He’s well educated, he’s always encouraging us to further our education and just be worldly.”
Welch completed the EdgeWalk with three of his own children and three grandchildren.
The family even took the time to sing “Happy Birthday” to Welch from the edge of the tower.
After the walk, a flushed Welch said the experience was scarier than he expected.
“It’s scary… yeah, sure,” he said laughing. “I had no fear ahead of time, but actually doing it… that’s a different thing.”
While Welch is now heading off to Argentina to continue his birthday celebrations, he’s already thinking about how he can celebrate his 92nd birthday.
“What should we do?” he asked, grinning. “Parachuting?”
With a report from CTV Toronto’s Scott Lightfoot