CN Tower finally open to the public
By Aaron Guillen, Staff Reporter
The CN Tower, the world’s tallest tower and free-standing structure, has been officially opened to the public, following a three-year construction process. This groundbreaking success stands at 1,815.4 feet high, and came with a price tag of $63 million.
The new tower is just the beginning of the MetroCentre, a massive office and entertainment undertaking that Toronto officials say will turn the city into a bustling hub. Those who visit the tower can take in the breathtaking 360 degree view.
Only a couple years ago, many high-rises began popping up all around Toronto. Although this building boom brought about the beginnings of a downtown skyline, it also brought problems. Issues with broadcasting arose as the signals that were being sent out from transmitting towers would bounce off of the buildings. The only solution was taller towers, ensuring that everyone could receive quality television and radio broadcasts.
By 1972, Canadian National (CN), a railway company, began coming up with a way to solve the communication problem. Their eventual solution, the CN Tower, would be built on Railway Lands, a large railway switching yard that had been rendered useless.
Over the last three years, engineers brought the blueprint of the CN Tower to life, through multiple and elaborate tests, including the assessment of the surrounding soil and earth to ensure such a massive structure could be supported. As construction neared completion, the helicopter “Olga” gained popularity as many flocked to watch the vehicle transport the 46-piece antenna from bottom to top. Olga’s efficiency cut the construction time by almost five months.
Some question if the tower will hold up for a lifetime or more. Interestingly enough, Ned Baldwin, one of the architects who worked on the project, argues that that there is one situation that might bring it down sooner than later.
“If you x-ray the anchorages and found corrosion, and you couldn’t engineer a solution, you’d have to take it down. Without it, the tower would be thrown into tension under high winds and would fall down,” Baldwin told the Toronto Star.
However, thanks to the expertise of the professional engineers of today, it’s guaranteed that the anchors will steadily keep the structure upright for at least 300 years.
Complete with 147 floors, including a restaurant and three observation points—the Space Deck, the Indoor Observation Level, and the Outdoor Observation Terrace—the CN Tower is a must-see attraction for Toronto tourists. It will be admired for decades to come.