This year marks the 30th birthday of a Toronto attraction that you cannot miss—literally. The CN Tower is the world’s tallest building and the first thing you see when you arrive here.
The appeal of Canada’s National Tower is something that many of the city’s visitors can’t seem to resist. “The CN Tower has been a source of fascination for visitors since it first opened to the public 30 years ago,” says Jack Robinson, the tower’s general manager. And it’s probably safe to say that the 2 million people who visit the CN Tower each year would agree. Over the last three decades, the tower has remained one of the city’s premier tourist attractions and a true Canadian icon.
Construction of the majestic tower began in the winter of 1973. Over the next 40 months, Toronto’s skyline would be transformed by around-the-clock efforts of more than 1,500 seemingly fearless workers. When the CN Tower opened to the public on June 26, 1976, Toronto had not just a new attraction, but a new identity.
As if the tower had set a trend for growth, many of the city’s other prominent buildings have grown around the CN Tower in the past 30 years. It’s situated right downtown in the thriving Entertainment District, so there really is no better way to see the city than from its top.
But the CN Tower is far more than just an engineering wonder and a spectacular lookout spot. In its unique revolving dining room, 360 The Restaurant at the CN Tower, superb meals created with Canadian regional ingredients await. With its ever-changing views of the city, the dining experience is truly unforgettable. In fact, if you make your reservations at 360 Restaurant one hour before sunset, you’ll have enough time to take in a full view of Toronto before watching the sun set and the city light up.
Lighter meals are served in the more relaxed atmosphere of Horizons Café on the Look Out Level. Other attractions include the Glass Floor that you can stand on for a terrifying view of 342 m (1,122 ft.) down, the Sky Pod observatory, which soars 33 storeys above the main observation levels, and an exciting Lego Racers: The Ride motion simulator that’s sure to entertain the kids.
To mark the CN Tower’s 30th birthday, a special celebration is planned for June 26. Visitors will be entitled to a special “3 for $30” admission price, and the first 3,000 guests will receive a free gift bag. Visitors will also be treated to on-stage musical entertainment and Toronto mayor David Miller will issue a proclamation declaring June 26 to be CN Tower Day.DID YOU KNOW ABOUT THE CN TOWER?
Exactly how tall is it? The official height of the CN Tower is 553.33 m (1,815 ft., 5 in.). That’s a staggering 181 storeys!
Take me higher At an astounding height of 447 m (1,465 ft.), the CN Tower’s Sky Pod is the world’s highest man-made observation deck and provides a spectacular panoramic view of the city.
Watch out At a height of 346 m (1,136 ft.), the Look Out Level houses Horizons Café and provides an incredible view of the city and surrounding area.
Look out below Those who dare can peer 342 m (1,122 ft.) straight down while standing on the Glass Floor. The specially engineered floor can hold the weight of 14 full-grown hippos!
A shocking fact:The CN Tower is impervious to electrical storms. That’s a good thing considering that lightning strikes the CN Tower an average of 75 times each year.
Going up…fast Six high-speed glass-fronted elevators whisk guests from the ground floor to the CN Tower’s Look Out Level in a mere 58 seconds at a speed of 22 km/h (15 mph).
Stepping up The CN Tower houses the world’s longest metal staircase, composed of 1,776 steps. It has been scaled on foot, pogo stick and in a wheelchair, and even by two men carrying a piano.
A cool place The temperature can be as much as 10°C cooler on the outdoor Observation level than it is on the ground.
What a wonder The CN Tower is one of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Seven Wonders of the Modern World.
Fine dining comes full circle The 360 Restaurant at the CN Tower features a revolving dining area that treats guests to a complete view of the city every 72 minutes.
To commemorate the CN Tower’s 30th anniversary, the Royal Canadian Mint has issued a special silver collector coin that features an illustration of Canada’s National Tower and striking holographic imagery. The CN Tower coin retails for $69.95 and can be purchased at the tower’s gift shop or from the Mint at 1-800-267-1871 or www.mint.ca.—Andrew Wheeler