Fun and interesting CN tower facts

33 Interesting Facts About the CN Tower in Toronto

In today’s post, we’ll explore 30 interesting facts about the CN Tower, showcasing its significance and impressive architecture. Let’s get started!

The CN Tower, standing tall and proud in the heart of Toronto, is an architectural marvel that has become synonymous with Canada‘s largest city. Since its completion, the CN Tower has captivated locals and tourists alike, offering breathtaking views of Toronto and beyond.

1. The CN Tower can be found in Toronto, Ontario. Toronto is Canada’s largest city. The tower sits in downtown Toronto, on the shore of Lake Ontario, one of the five Great Lakes, opposite New York State.

2. The CN Tower was originally constructed as a communications tower. It was designed to improve broadcasting signals for radio and television across the region. Unsurprisingly, it is also used as an observation tower.

CN tower and other buildings of downtown Toronto, with Lake Ontario in the background
CN Tower rises above the other skyscrapers around it.

3. The CN Tower is named after the company that built it. The name CN refers to the Canadian railway company Canadian National. CN built the tower on a former Railway Lands location.

4. The architect credited for the tower’s design is John Andrews. From Australia, he was the first internationally recognized architect in his country. Besides the CN Tower, he has done works in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Washington D.C., and many in Australia.

5. Construction of the CN Tower began on February 6, 1973, and it took nearly three years to complete. Its grand opening to the public was on June 26, 1976. More than 1,500 workers helped build the tower.

6. Working on the construction of the CN Tower came with great risks. There were very few safety procedures and most workers were only provided with a harness. Despite the risks, only one person died during the tower’s construction – which, of course, is one too many.

7. It cost approximately $63 million to build the tower. That’s equal to roughly $230 million today. The tower returned its original investment in less than 15 years.

CN tower riding above the silver dome of Rogers Center and lights from cars driving by
The CN Tower and Rogers Center

8. The CN Tower is an impressive 553.3 meters (1,815 feet) tall. At the time of opening, it became the tallest freestanding tower in the world. It was overtaken in 2009 by the Burj Khalifa, which is 830 meters (2723 feet). 

9. The tower holds the record for the highest wine cellar in the world. Referred to as the “wine cellar in the sky,” the CN Tower cellar sits 351 meters (1151 ft) above the ground and can hold over 9,000 bottles of wine.

10. The CN Tower weighs approximately 118,000 tons. That’s the equivalent of the weight of 23,600 elephants!

11. The tower’s elevators are among the fastest in the world. They travel at a speed of 22 km/h (13.5 mph) and can take visitors to the top in less than a minute. There are 11 elevators in the building in total. 

12. The CN Tower has 1,776 steps and 144 flights. For context, the Empire State Building only has 1,576 steps and 86 flights. CN Tower has almost 100 hundred more steps than the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Several clusters of fireworks going off around the pod of the CN Tower
Fireworks at CN Tower

13. CN Tower has three observation decks. These are the Glass Floor Level, the LookOut Level, and the Skypod. The main observation level is on the 114th floor of the tower. See the various levels here.

14. Engineers designed the CN Tower to withstand earthquakes with a magnitude of up to 8.5 on the Richter scale. With its slender design, the CN Tower can also sway up to 1.5 meters (5 feet) in high winds. This allows it to withstand powerful gusts without structural damage.

15. Despite its wind-resistant design, the CN Tower had to close in 2021 as a result of wind damage. Strong winds shattered some glass panels in the tower’s elevators. 

16. During the winter, the CN Tower’s exterior can develop ice formations. In 2007, a pedestrian was hit by a piece of ice that fell from the tower (luckily, he survived). The tower was temporarily shut until it was deemed safe.

17. Thousands of birds die as a result of colliding with the CN Tower. A Canadian group that tracks bird deaths in Toronto once counted as many as 100 bird deaths in just one night.

Close up of the multi-level pod at the top of the CN Tower
The signature Skypod

18. WWF-Canada holds an annual CN Tower Climb for Nature event. Every year 5,000 people climb the steps to the top to raise money for wildlife projects around the world. In 2023, the event raised more than $1.4 million.

19. Almost 2 million people visit the CN Tower every year, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in Canada. However, it is nowhere near as popular as Niagara Falls, which attracts 20 million visitors a year. 

20. Speaking of Niagara Falls, you can see it from the CN Tower on a clear day!

21. The Skypod is the tower’s highest level tourists can visit. At 447 meters (1,465 feet). The view from this deck stretches far beyond the city, providing a unique opportunity to see the surrounding regions of Ontario.

22. Throughout the year, the CN Tower hosts special events and festivities. These include Canada Day celebrations, New Year’s Eve parties, and themed light shows.

Looking down through a glass floor at the cement base of CN Tower
Looking down through the glass floor

23. The CN Tower is a popular tourist destination with thrill seekers. In 2011, the CN Tower introduced the EdgeWalk, which allows adrenaline junkies to walk hands-free on a 1.5-meter-wide ledge encircling the tower’s main pod. 

24. Meanwhile, the CN Tower’s Glass Floor offers visitors a unique experience of walking on a transparent floor. From this floor, tourists can see the ground from a dizzying height of 342 meters (1,122 feet).

25. In 1986, a man that goes by the name ‘Spider Dan’ climbed CN tower. He climbed the external face from the base to the Skypod with no ropes and just chalk on his hands. The climb only took him 1 hour and 14 minutes to complete.

26. Famous daredevil and stuntman Dar Robinson is the only person to jump off the CN Tower. He was paid $150,000 to double for actor Christopher Plummer in the movie “Highpoint.” He made the jump twice.

27. As part of a special event, the Canadian Forces Parachute Team also known as the SkyHawks, once wowed visitors by performing an exhilarating helicopter rope drop from the CN Tower.

Toronto city downtown view looking through the fence around the base of the pod of CN tower
Looking through the fence at the base of the pod

28. The CN Tower features a 360 Restaurant, located at the LookOut Level. This restaurant rotates as visitors sit down for food. It completes a full rotation every 72 minutes.

29. Since its opening, CN Tower has been visited by countless celebrities, politicians, and royal members. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visited the CN Tower in 1976, just months after its grand opening.

30. The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, visited the CN Tower during his Bad World Tour in 1984. Other music artists such as Jason Derulo and U2 have also visited. The CN Tower was even featured in Drake’s “Views From The 6” song cover.

31. The CN Tower is also a big hit with sports stars. In recent years, athletes like Raptors forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and tennis player Eugenie Bouchard have visited.

32. Over the years, the CN Tower has served as a backdrop in many popular movies. Movies you can see the tower in include “Police Academy” (1948), “Resident Evil: Afterlife” (2010), and “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” (2017).

33. The CN Tower can be seen in some of your favorite TV shows too. Some of the most popular include “The Amazing Race Canada”, “Top Gear“, and “The Bachelorette Canada“.

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