Yesterday I had to do some photography from the CN Tower as part of a project (it’s a tough gig, I know) and I got to thinking about what an amazing engineering achievement the tower is. My father is fond of telling me about how he and a friend spent April 2nd, 1975 lying on the hood of the car with a few beers and watching the helicopter putting the antennae on. How amazing it must’ve seemed to Torontonians at the time.
Today this tower forms the most distinctive part of our skyline.
In 1995, the CN Tower was designated a Wonder of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. I’ve shot the CN Tower many times, here are a few of my favourites coupled with some facts about this awesome human achievement!
The CN Tower at 553.33 meters (1,815 ft., 5 inches) was once the tallest building, tower, and freestanding structure, but as of 2010 retains the title of world’s tallest tower. Here is a shot I took from a helicopter, of the iconic tower.
1,537 workers toiled five days a week, 24 hours a day over 40 months to build the CN Tower. Here it is towering over the business core, dwarfing some of our tallest sky scrapers. This shot was taken from the roof of my old apartment.
The CN Tower was built to withstand an earthquake of 8.5 on the Richter scale (the Kobe earthquake in 1995 was 7.2 on the Richter scale). The upper reaches of the CN Tower were built to withstand winds up to 418 km/h (260 mph). It can also bend, apparently in high winds the sky pod can move by as much as a metre! Here the tower is barely visible on a super foggy morning.
Lightning strikes the CN Tower an average of 75 times per year. Long copper strips run down the CN Tower to massive grounding rods buried below ground to prevent damage. I’ve had the good fortune to get a few great shots of this happening.
On a clear day, visitors to the CN Tower’s observation deck can see over 160 kilometers (100 miles) — that’s all the way to Niagara Falls and across Lake Ontario to New York State. Here is a photo of the view of the business core that I took at night.
The foundation of the tower is only 15 metres deep – a small percentage compared to it’s height! This is a graphic I did just for fun once, curving a photo I took of our skyline around to create ‘Planet Toronto’. I took the initial shot from the Toronto islands.