The CN Tower

Defining the world's tallest building or the world's tallest tower has historically been a bit of a bumpy process. The debate focused on what should be defined as a building or tower, and what part should be measured. One tower that has been a central focus of the debate is the CN Tower.

The CN Tower was built by the Canadian National Railway. A popular tourist destination located in the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the CN Tower, stands at a height of 553.33 meters, 1 815 ft. During construction in 1975, it overtook the height of Moscow's, Ostankino Tower, making it the tallest free-standing structure in the world. It held the record until recent years where it lost its famous title and is now no longer identified as the tallest tower in the world.

In 1995, the American Society of Civil Engineers declared the CN Tower as one of the modern "Seven Wonders of the World." Guinness World Records labeled the CN Tower as "the world's tallest self-supporting tower" and "the world's tallest free-standing tower." In 1996, Guinness changed the tower's classification to "World's Tallest Building and Freestanding Structure."

The Petronius Platform oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico is taller than the CN Tower standing at 609.9 meters, 2,001 ft, but a large part of the structure is located underwater. Emporis and the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat labeled the CN Tower as "the world's tallest free-standing structure on land."

After being famous as the largest free-standing structure in the world for 31 years, in 2004, the Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan, which stands at 508 meters, gained the title, ‘Tallest-Building.’ On September 12, 2007, The United Arab Emirates' building, Burj Dubai, which was still under construction, overtook the record by reaching 555 meters tall. The actual designation became certified as the "Tallest Building in the World" when the building officially opened on January 17, 2009. Burj Dubai in Dubai reached 818 meters, 2684 ft., in height. Although, the Burj Dubai has its 124th-floor observatory, 442 meters in height, the CN Tower's Sky Pod is 447 meters above ground.

The CN Tower attracts about 2 million visitors each year. Things to do in the tower include watching a film about the tower’s construction, walking on glass floor, having a delicious meal 1000 ft above ground at the revolving 360 Restaurant, and enjoying the spectacular view. On a clear day, visitors to the CN Tower's observation deck can view over 160 kilometers (100 miles.)

Interesting facts about the tower include: It opened to the public on June 26, 1976, six glass-faced elevators travel at 22 km/hour (15 miles/hour) to reach the observation deck in 58 seconds, the glass floor was the first of its kind when it was opened in June 1994. It is 23.8 square meters (256 sq. ft.) of solid glass. The 360 Restaurant makes a complete rotation every 72 minutes.

For over 30 years, the CN Tower held the record for the tallest free-standing structure on land. The Tower now stands as the second-tallest free-standing structure on land in the world.

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