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In and Around CN Tower
Toronto Canada
Frances Spiegel - Click to Enlarge

By Frances Spiegel 

Welcome to the CN Tower, said to be the world's tallest free-standing tower. The Tower is open daily and is fully accessible. It was built between 1973 and 1975 by Canadian National (CN), the government telecommunications company, as a radio and television transmission mast. At over 553 meters the CN Tower is twice as high as the Eiffel Tower. 

CN Tower - Toronto, Canada At first glance I could not see what all the fuss was about. All I could see was a very tall concrete tower with little to endear it architecturally. We joined a long queue in the blustery wind and snow. Was it worth it? I asked myself.

Although primarily intended as a communications mast, the tower also features a revolving restaurant, a nightclub, a souvenir shop, and a café, in addition to many exhibitions and displays.

My ears popped as the external glass-fronted elevator sped skyward at over six meters per second. It takes just 58 seconds to reach a height of 346 meters.

Indoor and outdoor Look Out galleries provide stunning views of Toronto and the surrounding area. On a clear day you can see for a distance of up to 75 miles including Niagara Falls and Buffalo, U.S.A. Also on this level is the "360 Restaurant". This revolves around the outside of the tower taking 72 minutes to make one revolution. You need to book in advance to be sure of a table without queuing. To fully enjoy the views ask for a window table.

Down one level at 342 meters is the Glass Floor. Covering an area of about 250 square feet it is strong enough to take the weight of fourteen large hippos. On my hands and knees, staying safely at the edge of the glass, I peered nervously straight down at the forecourt below where the queues for the tower resembled an army of worker ants. This is not for the faint-hearted. You would not get me onto the glass - not for all the geese in Canada! My traveling companion, however, edged his way cautiously onto the glass floor, first on his hands and knees, and then with great courage he just about made it to a standing position before stepping back quickly onto the solid concrete floor.

For an extra charge you can take a second elevator up another 100 meters to the Sky Pod. The viewing gallery is small and confined and we could see much the same views as on the lower lookouts. It probably wasn't worth he extra expense but, as my companion said, "You only do these things once, don't you?"

Now that I've seen the CN Tower for myself I understand what all the fuss is about. It represents Toronto's achievements. It is not just a communications mast or a viewing point. The Tower symbolizes the rise of a world class commercial center. I had to admit that this must be Toronto's most spectacular landmark.

Infospot: CN Tower
310 Front Street West. a

Phone: 416-868 6937

Open: Daily Jan-April 9am-10pm, May-Dec 8am-11pm.

Admission (at December 2000)  CDN$15, Seniors CDN$13, Children CDN$11.

Extra charge for SkyPod CDN$4. 

Subway: Union Station, walk through SkyWalk

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Email:  f.spiegel@btinternet.com (Frances Spiegel)
Web: http://www.metronet.co.uk/fran 

Frances Spiegel was born in Bushey, Hertfordshire, UK, and has made London, England, her home where she lives with her husband and children. Frances writes about travel, crime fiction, autobiographical short stories, and historical theme pieces and her other interests include architecture and history. (More about this writer.)


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