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Old June 28th, 2006, 08:50 AM   #1
Skybean
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CN Tower celebrates 30 years on top

CN Tower celebrates 30 years on top
World's tallest building to be surpassed by Dubai tower in '08
Katie Rook, National Post
Published: Saturday, June 24, 2006



Retired ironworker Paul Mitchell says he does not often think of the moment in June, 1976, when, hoisted atop the world's tallest free-standing structure, he famously hammered into place the final piece of the CN Tower.

Waving to a crowd of thousands below, and with a storm approaching, neither Mr. Mitchell nor the tower's architect, Ned Baldwin, imagined their masterpiece would reign for three decades as the world's tallest building.

That the CN Tower, celebrating its 30th birthday on Monday, may be surpassed in height by The Burj Dubai, due for completion in 2008, does not matter, Mr. Mitchell said.

"Dubai can have it. We've had [the title] for 30 years, so God bless the citizens of Dubai."

The Burj Dubai's height is a closely guarded secret meant to deter competing projects.

A re-enactment of the CN Tower's final stage of construction will take place tomorrow at 6:45 p.m., when a giant crane helicopter is expected to circle the tower as it did when the antenna was topped. The Erickson S-64 Aircrane with a wingspan of 72 feet will land in the foreground and be on display during anniversary celebrations on Monday.

The skyline-defining, 553.33-metre tower is a must-see Toronto destination, said Sajad Hassa, a traveller from Manchester, England, regardless of its height.

While the outdoor-adventure enthusiast will be Vancouver-bound during the anniversary celebration, Mr. Hassa said he rushed to the tower yesterday morning. "It's amazing to be able to stand on top of Toronto. It would take days and days to see the whole city."

The draw of such a height surprises Mr. Baldwin to this day. "My biggest doubt was that people would pay money to go up," he said. "It ama- es me people get such a charge from it.

"I fully expected it would be surpassed within the next three to five years."

Mr. Baldwin, now of Baldwin & Franklin Architects, had just over five years experience as an architect when the CN Tower project got under way in 1970, he said.

"The tower was built at an ideal time in history when it was a bit of the Wild West.... The approval process was much simpler," he said. "Today, you'd have a hard time persuading boards of such a high-risk project. As it turns out, it was a brilliant decision."

Island airport pilots who protested the development, fearing for flight safety, soon "loved it because it was a honing beacon."

Still, the horizdon's fixture is not without skeptics.

Said George Baird, University of Toronto's dean of architecture, landscape and design: "I confess I am not a habitue of the tower. I mean, I have been up it. I might have only been up it once, and the time I did go up it, I found myself thinking maybe it was a little too high for the best view because you don't get any foreground."

The CN Tower is without doubt one of Toronto's defining features, but, he said, "it's one of those pieces of construction that are handsomest in the middle distance."

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Tall Facts

- On a clear day, visibility can be more than 160 kilometres.

- The CN Tower weighs about 117,910 metric tonnes or about the equivalent of 23,214 large elephants.

- The tower is made of 40,524 cubic metres of concrete, enough to build a sidewalk from Toronto to Kingston.

- The upper reaches of the CN Tower are built to withstand turbulent winds, with a wind resistance factor of up to 418 km/h.

- Lightning strikes the CN Tower an average of 75 times a year. The electric shock is grounded by long copper strips running down the tower to massive buried grounding rods.

- The tower's glass floor is 23.8 square metres of solid glass that could withstand the weight of 14 large hippos.

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Last edited by Skybean; June 28th, 2006 at 08:57 AM.
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Old June 28th, 2006, 06:32 PM   #2
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Happy Birthday!!!

It may not be the tallest in a couple years but the fact that it held the title for 30 years is outstanding.

Just to comapre...kind of scary. But it's time to pass the torch.
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Old June 29th, 2006, 06:25 AM   #3
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It sure was ugly
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Old June 29th, 2006, 06:58 AM   #4
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It sure is an iconic tower that i am proud to have in my city because it sure can make people envious
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Old June 29th, 2006, 07:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcanadian
Happy Birthday!!!

It may not be the tallest in a couple years but the fact that it held the title for 30 years is outstanding.

Just to comapre...kind of scary. But it's time to pass the torch.
CN looks so average in that pic
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Old June 29th, 2006, 07:00 PM   #6
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Last edited by Skybean; June 29th, 2006 at 07:05 PM.
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Old June 30th, 2006, 05:48 PM   #7
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Good thread,
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Old July 2nd, 2006, 04:21 AM   #8
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WOW! I never knew the Eiffel Tower was THAT tall!!
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Old July 2nd, 2006, 10:58 PM   #9
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I didn't know the Space Needle was that short!
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Old July 4th, 2006, 05:44 PM   #10
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I love the CN Tower!!!
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