The CN Tower

Originally planned to carry an antenna much taller than the skyscrapers of Toronto surrounding it, (1815 feet 5 inches high) the architects' design was changed to include a tourist attraction. There is a revolving restaurant at the 1150 ft height, and a Sky Pod observation gallery at 1465 ft. Together with the tower itself, each of these are the world's highest. Compare to the height of the granddaddy of them all - the Empire State Building - which is 1454 feet.

The CN Tower was built for the Canadian National Railway at an original cost: $63 million (which would represent $250 million in cost adjusted to1997 dollars) by 1537 workers.

The tower construction began February 6, 1973 and was completed 40 months later in 1976. It opened to the public on June 26, 1976 and had its official opening on October 1, 1976. Canadian National owned the tower until 1995, when ownership was transferred to a public company. Since then, the CN Tower cannot be sold, only leased.

The three legs and central core were built hollow to ensure flexibility in winds, using reinforced concrete and post-tensioned steel. In 1995, the CN Tower was classified as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The stability of the tower results from a low centre of gravity, due to a massive buried foundation beneath the visible structure. The 22 foot thick concrete and steel base used 9200 cubic yards of concrete, 500 tons of reinforcing steel and 40 tons of tensioning cable. The total weight of the tower is 130,000 tons.

Tourists are transported in six glass-fronted, high-speed elevators at a maximum speed of 15 miles/hour (22 ft/sec). The Look Out level at 1136 ft can be reached in 58 seconds.


Additional history with photos that include a look down the hollow core at an angle resembling a view from Star Wars.

More facts with details of stunts and a list of the next-tallest buildings with public observatories, and the records according to Guinness.