Friday, February 05, 2010

SkyWatch Friday ~ World Class

Looking west from the Beach Area of Toronto.
I am in Toronto again as my Ottawa housesit goes sideways. Wednesday was one of those wonderful winter days when the sun shone, the temperature rose and the winds calmed so I walked for miles along the Lake Ontario shoreline. As I headed home for dinner I realized my homing beacon was and is the CN Tower!
(Remember all photos can be clicked on to enlarge for more detail)
I haven't been up the CN Tower in years, mainly because I don't live in Toronto anymore but also any time I have wanted to go up the weather has been overcast or hazy. Yesterday dawned bright with puffy clouds so I took advantage of the day to see the largest city in Canada and environs from 446.5 m (1465 ft) or 147 stories!
Looking up, way up!
The CN Tower was and is an outstanding piece of construction. Construction began 37 years ago (Feb 6, 1973) and was completed ahead of schedule in 40 months at a cost of $63 million.
There have been $40 million worth of improvements since then including adding two more elevators by moving the 1776 stairs from their original location (behind the glass in the picture above) to the hollow hexagon core of the tower!
Looking south across the Toronto Islands towards Niagara Falls and the USA.
It officially opened on October 1, 1976. It held the World Guiness Book of Records for the tallest free standing structure until just recently, I believe surpassed by the tower in Dubai."SkyDome" home of the Toronto Blue Jays
The CN Tower was initially designed to improve communications in the boom years of Toronto's constuction of the 1960/70's when new highrise office buildings were interferring with radio and television signals causing what we older folk knew as "ghosting"(two signals coming in on top of each other). Remember "the rabbit ears"!
The original CN Tower design
The idea was to build a structure that would never be topped by building construction and to that end in Toronto they were successful.
The view looking north along Bay Street
One of the most unnerving features of the the CN Tower, other than the stomach churning ride on the elevator is the Glass Floor on the Observation Deck. I remember going up the tower when it first opened with my daughter and stepping off a packed elevator with a lineup of people waiting to go down and stepping on to what I thought was a free fall!
Looking down, way down!
I'm sure many of my grey hairs happened that moment! When I was up yesterday, the first stop is not the glass floor anymore and they have covered up much of the floor because of people's fears....believe me it is quite unnerving!
I still can not stand on the floor without shaking. I crawled out to take the previous picture and then someone offered to take my picture on the floor!
Messages in the snow....wish I had been there when it first snowed!
Despite the altitude the views are spectacular and I found I discovered things I did not know existed such as the Roundhouse(above) which I explored later!
Toronto's downtown financial district looking east north east towards Scarborough and Pickering
The building on the right is actually covered in real gold!
Lower left, Royal York Hotel, upper left Royal Bank Plaza, behind it Canada Trust Towers, lower right Union Station.
The building is the the Royal Bank Plaza and the 14,000 windows had 2500 oz. of 24 carat gold baked into them to help with insulation, believe it or not!
Train and transit entrance to Union Station looking east from the Skywalk.
The CN Tower was the brain child of the Canadian National Railway who had ventured into communications and was looking to rehab their old waterfront rail yards.
Looking east along the lakeshore to where the first photo was taken the night before!
For more beautiful skies from around the world why not join us at


eileeninmd said...

Great sets of photos of the Toronto sky and tower! I think the glass flooe would scare me too!

Jacqui said...

Oh wow - what amazing pictures and a fascinating post. The glass floor story made me dizzy just reading it. thanks so much for dropping by

Gaelyn said...

The tower looks very futuristic, especially in the first shots. That must be one very rich bank to line the walls with gold. Those views and captures from high up are awesome, so google earth. And what fun the writing in the snow. But maybe not so much the glass floor. Great post. Sorry to hear you're having housing problems.

Bill S. said...

Beautiful photos of Toronto. I love the scenes from the top.

J Bar said...

Great skywatch post.
Sydney City and Suburbs

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Thanks for a great tour! What a view!

lissa said...

the Niagara Falls pic is heavenly

thanks for visiting my our skywatch

Angie said...

Fantastic set of photos, just WOW!!!!

Janie said...

Great views from that tall tower. I'd be terrified to step onto the glass floor, too!

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Carolyn: Wonderful sky captures with some great angles on the tower.

Lori Skoog said...

Familiar places! Have not been to Toronto in a long time, and it's only 3 hours away. Nice shots.

uncertainhorizon said...

I would be terrified to walk out there like that, I am in awe...

overtiredmum said...

Great tour of toronto - SOme good friends have just moved there. Hoping to visit them - after your tour might wait until summer xo

Linda said...

You're braver than I am, and I'm glad to see these views through your eyes because you'd never get me up there. I think I'd have died of fright at the glass floor.

ladycat said...

What a wonderful snapshots!!!

Marion said...

I am in absolute awe of you. There is no way I could have gone anywhere near that glass floor. Wow!

These are really super photos, thank you so much. I've seen photos of Toronto, of course, but none quite like these!

Tom said...

WOW! I have no head for hieghts such as these...... I think you are very brave indeed.... but my your bravery paid off... I did like the messages in the snow.

ms toast burner said...

Great post, Carolyn! Lovely photos and I did not know about the gold building!

Good for you on getting out onto the glass floor! I, after a lot of encouragment and shaking, went out onto the one in the Calgary Tower. It's nowhere near as tall and it was frightening enough!!


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