The History of CN Tower


The CN Tower (Canadian National Tower) is the tallest structure in North America, being visited by more than 2 million people each year. It stands at 553 metres above ground. It was the tallest structure in the world until 2007. The tower is an icon of the city of Toronto, and all of Canada, being a national symbol.

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That the CN Tower is one of the most iconic landmarks in the world, is not any news, but what most people do not know is when and how it started. In the mid-60s, a construction boom started in the city of Toronto, where lots of people from all over Canada were moving. Toronto was growing from a regional city to a cosmopolitan metropole. Skyscrapers were rising to support the significant number of new residents, companies and visitors. In addition, Toronto was urging for better transmission signals since the existing transmission towers were not high enough to catch up with the city’s new buildings. So to fix this problem, and to show Canada’s aspiration for innovation and industry, Canadian National, the corporation that operated the country’s largest railway network, hired more than 1500 workers for around three years and four months to build the CN Tower. The CN became the tallest tower in the world once it completed, capable of broadcasting signals for all the region and beyond.

CN Tower night

The construction planners found the perfect location in the Railway Lands, which belonged to CN Railway, between Front Street and Lake Ontario. The construction started on February 6, 1973 with all crew already on site. They started removing 56 metric tonnes of ground and shale for the foundation. After the foundation concluded, construction workers started building the CN Tower concrete shaft, which was a hexagon-shaped core with three curved support arms. Additionally, to produce the CN tower’s tapered contour, the workers poured concrete into a massive mould known as slip form. As concrete hardened, the slip form, supported by a ring of climbing jacks powered by hydraulic pressure, moved upwards, decreasing in size to impart the curve in the tower. Around February 1974, the CN Tower, even though it did not completed, it was already the tallest structure in Canada. In August of the same year, construction workers started to build the 7-storey sphere that would hold the observation decks and restaurants of the tower.

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Topping It Off
Around March 1975, the CN Tower finally approached completion. With only the giant antenna missing, the tower was almost ready to go, when Olga a big Sikorsky helicopter used for lifting and carrying the 39 antenna pieces into the site, flew into Toronto Skyline to complete the job. CN Tower finally constructed on April 2, 1975, but because of final adjustments and details, the tower only opened to the public on June 26 of that same year. The CN Tower with its 553 metres, remained the tallest building in the world until it was surpassed by Dubai’s Burj Khalifa in September 2007, still under construction.

In 1995, Canadian National sold CN Tower to the Canada Lands Company, a federal Crown specialized in attractions of national interest. Keeping the same name, only after did the CN Tower truly become Canadian National Tower, which is nowadays the most famous landmark in Canada, visited and known by its Canadian citizens and so many international visitors from all parts of the world. Today, the CN Tower is the centre of all telecommunications in the Toronto Area, serving more than 17 Canadian television channels and FM radio stations. It is also the workplace of more than 500 people during the year, and also a famous popular international destination for tourists visiting the city.

The CN Tower has a lot of features inside it, some of them are old, some are brand new, but it is always a memorable place for everyone who has the opportunity to visit. One of the most renowned features is the glass floor, installed only in 1994. The Glass floor allows the visitor to take a look at a different kind of view, which means, everything below CN Tower. CN Tower also features a light show for every holiday. In recent years, the CN Tower installed an intelligent LED illumination, substituting the old ones, the system is energy efficient, cost-efficient benefiting the environment. The light show consists of colours dancing and moving, providing a beautiful and charming view to the spectator.

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