The CN Tower – An Architectural Triumph

April 26th, 2015 Posted in Global Real Estate

The CN Tower - A Wonder of the Modern World

The CN Tower – A Wonder of the Modern World

Each major city in the world must have at least one tower that stands over the skyline to really give it definition. These towers invariably end up on postcards and other visual media for sale, and as often as not they find their way into the civic logo as well, as a means of identifying the city visually in combination with its name identifying it verbally. The most famous towers can even identify a city without the need to mention its name. People see the Eiffel Tower and they think of Paris. They see the Empire State Building and think New York. More recently, the Burj al-Arab has performed this role for Dubai. In Toronto, a city which embodies the Canadian tradition of having wealth, power and success without needing to shout about it, there is still such a tower – the CN Tower.

In a lot of ways the CN Tower is situated in an ideal place to give Toronto a further boost to its identity. This is due in no small part to the proximity it has to Toronto’s major sports arena, the Rogers Centre. Originally known as the SkyDome, the Rogers Centre was a ground-breaking example of the now common mega-structure, multi-use sporting arena with a level of technological advancement that really makes you draw breath. One of the first stadia in the world to feature a sliding roof, the SkyDome made it possible to play games “outdoors” when the weather suited and “indoors” when necessary. This is now commonplace in sporting arenas, but in 1989 when it opened was huge news.

Any wide-angle view of the SkyDome/Rogers Centre will typically involve the CN Tower, which imprints it on the consciousness of baseball and football fans from all over North America. Completed in 1976, as part of a rash of skyscrapers being built in the city, the CN Tower is as recognizable a part of Toronto as any of the above buildings are to their home cities. In fact, it was the world’s tallest free-standing structure for over thirty years, from the point where it surpassed Moscow’s Ostankino tower in 1975 to the winter of 2007 when it was finally surpassed by the Burj Dubai, still under construction at present.

Unlike many of the world’s most notable towers, the CN Tower was built with a technical purpose in mind rather than office and commercial space or residential properties. It is used primarily for communications, although it does contain a restaurant, a gift shop and other elements that attract tourists as well as providing a meeting-place and a landmark for the people of Toronto. When the similarly-sized Ostankino Tower had a fire in 2000, with the deaths of several people, the response from many was to fear that the same thing could happen in the CN Tower, given the similar heights and ages of the buildings. The fact, though, is that the CN Tower was built much more safely, with fireproof building materials, stringent emergency monitoring and automatically-replenished water reservoirs at the top of the building.

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the realestateexpedition.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to A Dawn Journal. This article originally published on the above website on Aug 8, 2009.

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