On Saturday 19 October, forty students from Marc Garneau gathered at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre at 6:45 am to prepare for the CN Tower Climb for United Way. The climb brought together about four thousand people this year, who each raised a minimum of $35 to support a good cause. United Way managed to raise more than $2.4 million through last year’s climb, and set a goal of $2.5 million this year.

“The money raised from this annual event will go to help more than 200 member agencies associated with United Way that provide essential services to create a stronger community in Toronto,” said JiaRui Pu, president of Marc Garneau’s United Way Club.

Marc Garneau was able to raise $1600 for this year’s climb thanks to all those who participated. Grade 11 student Sean Purcell raised the largest amount of $185 and said, “I sent emails to family friends and relatives to gain support.”


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MGCI students who participated in the climb. Photo courtesy of Henry He.

Conquering the 1 776 steps to reach the top of the tower proved to be quite an exhausting taskespecially for ambitious climbers looking to obtain a fast time. Many students realized after starting the climb how cramped and desolate the stairwells looked. Wide enough to fit two people standing side by side, it’s hard to move past people without a little bit of butting through. But after reaching the top, they were rewarded with a spectacular view of the city that gives the feeling of being on top of the world.

It takes the average climber 30 minutes to finish the climb. Michael Shu clocked in at a blazing 11 minutes which was the fastest climb time from MGCI.  The fastest climb ever was set in 1989 by Brendan Keenoy who reached the top in 7 minutes and 52 seconds.

When Mr. Hillman, the supervisor for the trip, reflected on how the day went, he said, “incredible, I loved to see everybody’s smiling faces at the bottom and then at the top… with a little bit more sweat. It was exhilaratingeveryone challenged themselves and made it to the top.”