Monday, 29 June 2015

Checking out Toronto from the Edge with Ford Canada

Perspective is a fascinating thing. Just as our personal perspective causes us to view the world differently based on where we stand on issues, where we physically stand literally shapes how we view our world. You may have seen this fascinating post that explores how shockingly different major landmarks appear from different vantages; it makes the impact of perspective shockingly clear.

Last week, I was invited by Ford Canada to test drive the all new 2015 Ford Edge, and also to experience Ontario’s capital from a few unique perspectives.

Coming from a small town, we referred to Toronto as “the City” growing up. Despite being one of several cities within driving distance, everyone knew what you meant when you said: “I’m driving down to the City today” or “They are coming in from the City.” Like many from small towns, my personal perspective of Toronto was narrow and clouded by fear of the unknown.

Having family in “the City,” we made regular trips in, mainly to the west and north ends. Though somewhat rare, we did make it downtown for the odd baseball or hockey game, or on a field trip to a museum or other attraction. These infrequent trips provided a limited physical perspective of Toronto; that of a tourist who viewed the city as a novelty, a place full of visual “treats” and sensational experiences.

As a young adult, my perspective of Toronto widened as I took apartments in the city’s west end and worked for a few years in the core. My personal perspective also widened as I began to experience the culture of the city and befriend its people. Physically, I experienced the city from the top of office buildings, from side streets, fancy restaurants and seedy bars.

We met the Ford team at Steam Whistle Brewery to learn about the new features of the completely redesigned Edge. The perspective from the brewery was nothing new to most who have visited the city.

I was pleased to hear that the mid-sized crossover SUV was built in Canada, adding critical jobs. Hopping into one of the Titanium models, we weaved through the city streets, testing out the solid navigation system and enjoying the incredibly quiet cab, complete with well-crafted and immensely comfortable leather seats. We met at Polson Pier, a site I'd only ever visited at night to attend concerts and events at the Sound Academy (formally the Docks, for those old enough to remember).  In the daylight, we were treated to another perspective of this great city. This time, it was a beauty.

At Polson Pier we put the Edge through its paces on a closed course. Encouraged not to hold back, we challenged the vehicle through aggressive acceleration and breaking and tight turns and slaloms. The Sport model stood out firmly in these tests, feeling glued to the road and incredibly responsive. At 315 horsepower, it also had guts to spare. We gave some of the impressive driver assist technologies such as assisted parallel and perpendicular parking a try, all while enjoying the view.

The front end wide angle camera lets you pull out of tight parking spots confidently.
We took a test drive to enjoy another perspective of Toronto, the sprawling York University Glendon Campus.

We then returned to the Steam Whistle Brewery to prepare to experience Toronto from one of its most thrilling perspectives: the CN Tower EdgeWalk!

Thorough and repetitive safety checks preceded our rapid ascent up the tower’s elevator to just above the LookOut level. Stepping out the door onto the grated walkway that wraps around the tower, we were greeted with an incredible view of the Toronto Island. Taking our first, terrifying glance over the edge, we saw the Steam Whistle Roundhouse building and the Roger’s Centre, positively dwarfed-looking from 116 storeys up (1168 ft!). Walking around the tower and attempting the various lean-outs recommended by our guide, it is truly something to experience Toronto from one of the widest possible perspectives. The city is truly immense.

Perspectives. Whether you view "the City" from a bench in High Park, Yonge-Dundas Square, the top of the CN Tower or through the panoramic sunroof of a Ford Edge, there is always something that changes how you feel about a place.

How has viewing something from a different physical perspective changed your personal perspective about something? Share in the comments.


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