Many cities have a clear landmark with which they are identified. Toronto has the CN Tower, this massive urban phallic symbol. I see it every day, so I thought I might do a little research.
Having arrived in the country five years after it was completed, I only know Toronto with this huge structure as a part of the landscape.
It is 1,815.4 feet high (553.33 metres). They used to say it was the world’s tallest free-standing structure. I don’t know is that is still true. I seem to recall that there are controversies about this.
Once upon a time, not recently, I walked up the beast as part of a United Way fundraiser. I will never do that again.
Just to get a couple of facts straight: construction on the tower was completed on February 22, 1974. The antenna was completed on April 2, 1975. It was opened to the public on June 26, 1976. The official opening was on October 1, 1976. It took approximately 40 months to finish. At the time, it cost $63 million to build.
Why was the CN Tower built, you may ask? According to this helpful website:
In the 1960s, Toronto’s growing skyline created problems for radio and television transmission because the pre-skyscraper transmission towers were simply not high enough to broadcast over the buildings. The prime function of the Tower is a telecommunications hub and several Canadian radio and television channels broadcast from there.
If you ever find yourself in Toronto, just remember that the CN Tower is on Lake Ontario, therefore, south of the downtown. That fact might help you if you get lost.
(Cross-posted at Lippmann’s Ghost.)