The CN Tower is rude enough to more or less spotlight itself, making my job here somewhat difficult. It’s the most recognizable piece of the Toronto skyline, something like the Empire State Building or Eiffel Tower of Toronto. It is our defining landmark, apparently merits the title of Canada’s National Tower, and is a Wonder of the Modern World. Although it does receive plenty of press as it is, if I really want to do a “tourism spotlight”, starting with the city’s biggest attraction is kind of a no-brainer.
My chosen approach, this week, is to cherry-pick five facts about this particular destination that I find the most interesting, ranked in no particular order. It was suggested to me that “the glass floor gives me vertigo” does not an interesting fact make, so in its stead I begin with…
1. It has a practical purpose.
I originally wanted to approach writing about the CN Tower based purely on its aesthetic contributions to our great city. With that in mind, the fact that the CN Tower provides transmissions for all major Broadcast, AM, FM, and DAB radio stations, as well as wireless service providers, is something to think about. I’m fairly convinced that this is not uncommon knowledge, but much like we don’t always remember that Marylin Monroe could sing and act on top of posing for iconic photographs, it can be easy to forget that iconic landmarks might have some sort of use.
2. The lighting marks special occasions.
Having spent most of my adult years on the West Coast I can probably be forgiven for only having noticed this during Pride, when the CN Tower wears rainbow in solidarity. You could keep track of any reason for a particular colour scheme here, and they actually take suggestions! There are guidelines in place for what sort of occasion the tower will commemorate, though, which is unfortunate. I would have liked the day I get my first cat commemorated. You can check out this article for five memorable light displays!
3. You can get married along the edge.
One of the more exciting things that are possible to do on the tower is walking around the circumference of the roof, with safety restraints of course. As of this date, it’s still possible to book such an adventure. The Edgewalk website has you covered for information, which includes the fact that it’s entirely possible to get married along the roof of the CN Tower. While this is not something I would choose for my own life, I cannot deny that it would make for a memorable wedding. Just imagine the pictures!
4. There’s a time capsule hidden in the walls.
If you can hang on until 2076, you will be able to witness the official opening of the time capsule that’s been tucked away in the tower. It mostly contains evidence of the excitement the tower generated; letters from schoolchildren made to write about the tower, a video of its construction (pleasantly dated most likely), and letters from the Provincial premiers of the time congratulating the tower among other items. With modern medicine on our side, we might just stand a chance of seeing this unveiled!
5. It stores wine at record heights.
The CN Tower has a very impressive resume to start with, having held the records of World’s Tallest Free Standing Structure, Tallest Building and Free Standing Structure, and Tallest Tower within its lifetime. It also has the honour of hosting the highest wine cellar (351 metres above ground), which has been outfitted to look not unlike the traditional underground sort. The CN Tower, then, probably wouldn’t be a terrible place to be trapped in if there ever is a zombie apocalypse; it’s high up, there’s wine, and the glass floor would allow us a unique vantage point from which to witness the goings-on below.
All this being said, this is a major tourist center, flocked to by millions of people each year. Whether that makes it a must-see destination, or a place to be avoided like the Plague, is totally up to you. Unless we are hit with a great calamity, it will be a part of the landscape for however long you’re in Toronto.
Also, it turns out you don’t have to leave the house to get souvenirs from the gift shop.