The Toronto CN Tower is one of the most popular attractions in the city. Standing at over 500 meters tall, the Toronto CN Tower was the tallest free standing building on land for more than thirty years. It was eventually surpassed in 2007 by the Burj Khalifa, which is located in Dubai. Even today the Toronto CN Tower remains the tallest free standing structure in the Western Hemisphere. The tower has become a symbol not only for Toronto, but for Canada as a whole. Each year the tower brings in more than two million visitors, making it the most visited location in Canada.
The Toronto CN Tower was originally named the Canadian National after the company that first constructed the tower. The railway company was attempting to diversify their structure portfolio and was investing in structures that had nothing to do with the railway industry. Ownership of the tower was later transferred to the Canada Lands Company, which is a federal corporation.
In 1995 the American Society of Civil Engineers named the CN Tower one of the seven modern Wonders of the World. When the Toronto CN Tower was built, the city of Toronto was booming, and had had a number of skyscrapers constructed in the years leading up to the construction of the tower. At first, Canadian National was looking to construct a tall television and radio platform. Following the construction of a number of skyscrapers in the area, broadcasting was found to be too difficult. In order to ensure that the antennae would be able to send and receive transmissions without issues, the company decided that the CN Tower would have to be more than 300 meters tall, to ensure that the nearby buildings did not interfere with the signal.
Construction first broke on the tower on February 6th, 1973. It took a year and a half until construction of the main level was even ready. Canadian National used 45 hydraulic jacks to lift steel to the top of the tower.
The Toronto CN Tower first officially opened to the public on June 26th, 1976. By the time it was finished, it had cost more than $330 million to construct. After construction was finished, the area surrounding the tower began to develop. The SkyWalk was constructed in the late 1980s, and was later connected to the SkyDome and to a railway station nearby, making the location excellent for tourists and local visitors alike.
In 2000, a number of safety features were put into place at the CN Tower including fireproof building materials, a large sprinkler system in case of fire and two water reservoirs at the top of the structure which will automatically replenish themselves.
The location has become the symbol of the city and of the nation. Although controversy has surrounded the tower since its original construction, it remains the most popular tourist location in Canada. If you are planning a trip to Toronto, stopping to see the world's second tallest free standing tower (second only to the recently erected Burj Khalifa in Dubai) should be at the top of your list.
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