Celebrate the CN Tower on June 26: Snapshots in History

June 28, 2016 | John P.

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CN Tower

On June 26 and beyond, Torontonians and others should take a moment to celebrate the CN Tower, currently the seventh tallest freestanding structure in the world. For over thirty years from 1976 (opening to the public on June 26th of that year) to the completion of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and the Canton Tower in Guangzhou, China, the CN Tower held two records as the world’s tallest freestanding structure and the world’s tallest tower. (View the list of the tallest freestanding structures in the world.)

The CN Tower, built by the Canadian National Railway Company (CNR), stands at 553.33 metres (1,815 feet 5 inches), a dominant icon of the Toronto skyline. 1,537 workers were involved on the construction project over a 40-month period from February 6, 1973 onwards, working five days per week and 24 hours per day. The public opening occurred on June 26, 1976.

Workmen pouring bucket of concrete on CN Tower slip form Toronto Star August 21 1973

STEEL REINFORCING BARS and steel pipe-the backbone and arteries jut up from the rising CN Tower on the Metro waterfront Toronto Star January 2 1974


Seeing 90 Miles--or 1,500 Feet Down. The revolving restaurant in the Sky Pod of the CN Tower is 1,150 feet up, and offers a view of Niagara Falls on a clear day Toronto Star March 8 1976


Following the privatization of the CNR Company in 1995, the Government of Canada retained ownership of the CN Tower through a federal crown corporation called Canada Lands Company. Henceforth, the CN Tower could also be referred to as the Canadian National Tower or Canada’s National Tower rather than previously referring to the CNR Company itself.

In addition to serving as an entertainment and tourist destination with sightseeing opportunities and the revolving 360 restaurant, the CN Tower serves an important role as a telecommunications conduit for FM radio and television broadcasts, not to mention wireless paging and cellular telephone signals.

View the full collection of Toronto Star photographs about the CN Tower accessible through Toronto Public Library collections.

Consider the following book titles from Toronto Public Library collections:


The CN Tower by Meg Greene     CN Tower by Simon Rose   Towering giants and other tall megastructures  

The engineering book from the catapult to the Curiosity Rover 250 milestones in the history of engineering   Modern buildings identifying bilateral and rotational symmetry and transformations  


Or consider the following DVD for borrowing:


The height of excellence construction of the CN Tower