The week in history and CONTEST: CN Tower opens to the public

40 years ago this week, Toronto's most recognizable landmark opened its very, very, very tall elevators to the world
cn tower

2016 marks the 40th anniversary of OWL Magazine. That's a big milestone for a pretty significant Canadian institution (if we do say so ourselves). But we must admit, there's an even more well-known national icon marking a 40-year celebration right now. Need a hint? Here's a baby picture...

CN Tower under construction

That's right! On June 26, 1976, the CN Tower was first opened to the public. This incredible landmark took 40 months and 1,537 workers to build. At 553.33 metres (1,815 feet 5 inches), it was the world's tallest free-standing man-made structure for 34 years. (It was overtaken by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2007, but hey, CN Tower — you're still number one in our hearts!)

Construction actually began on February 6, 1973 (a tower that big wasn't made overnight). The first step was removing over 56 metric tonnes (about 123,500 pounds) of earth from the ground just to fit the tower's base. The main concrete shaft alone is 335 metres (1,100 feet) high. The final piece of the tower's antennae was added on April 2, 1975. It had to be carried up by helicopter and then bolted on. For the record, I would not have wanted that job.

Come one, come all

It's easy to forget that the CN Tower was built primarily as a radio and telecommunications tower (in that line of work, being so tall comes in handy). But in addition to its daily duties, the tower is, of course, a major tourist attraction. It receives around 1.5 million visitors a year. Since it opened, the tower has been recognized many times over as a wonder of the modern world. It features one of the highest restaurants around (the slowly rotating 360 restaurant), a gasp-inducing glass-floored observation deck for the public, and even the daredevil attraction EdgeWalk (where visitors walk "hands-free" around the edge of the tower's main pod).

Look up. WAY up. Those are people enjoying an EdgeWalk atop the CN Tower. Yikes! (Getty Embed)

Today, the CN Tower is only the world's third tallest tower (though it is still the tallest in the Western hemisphere). But that doesn't make it any less an amazing architectural achievement. So congrats, CN Tower on 40 years of amazing the public! (We know how you feel!)

Lots of love,


Here's your chance to WIN!


We've got a pack of four passes to the CN Tower to give away to one lucky OWLconnected reader!

For your chance to win the pack, just tell us:

Why do you want to visit the CN Tower?

Answer in the comments below. Good luck!

Contest is open to residents of Canada only. Prize pack consists of 4 admission tickets to the CN Tower. Transportation to the tower is not provided and will be the responsibility of the winner. Contest closes on Friday, July 1st at 11:59PM EST. Winners will be randomly chosen. Prize courtesy of the CN Tower. Full contest rules and regulations can be seen here.

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  1. I’d love to go the CN Tower because I have never been and my parents often talk about things they’ve seen there like the glass floor.

  2. I would love to win this contest as I have never been to the CN Tower. Even though I live in Toronto and I even remember when The CN Tower was being constructed. I would love to be able to bring my three children as well as they have never been either. This would be a dream come true. 🙂

  3. My baby cousins live on the other side of the world and have never been up the tower. I’d like to visit the CN tower so I can Skype with them from the top and show them a view that they may otherwise not be able to see!

  4. I love going to the CN Tower because I get to look down and see everything in the city. I also like feeling like I am on the top of the world.

  5. I have to visit this year on the 40th anniversary to do the Edge Walk. It’s on my bucket list.

  6. I would love getting to take the Go train with my nieces and nephews to Union Station and telling them about getting to see the CN tower 40 years ago when it was newly built. I would love to share 40 years later with them when they were the age I was when it was built. Getting to experience the ride up the elevator with them would be a special memory.

  7. I would love to go up the CN TOwer to prove how brave I can be standing on the glass floor (Ok, pretending to be brave)..My son would love to go because the views ae “totally wicked” (he’s 7)!!!

  8. I want to visit the CN Tower because it is one of the iconic wonders of the world! Not only is it miraculously breathtaking, but it embodies Canada’s historical legacy. I have been fascinated with the CN Tower since I was younger and to visit there, I would be truly mesmerized and glorified. The glass floor would be a spectacular vision to be immersed into and I appreciate anything that represents Canada. The CN Tower symbolizes elegance and it personifies our country’s immaculate beauty and picturesque scenery. This would be a dream come true for me :))))

  9. I would love to go to the CN Tower to celebrate the Canadian citizenship to my daughter’s fiance, who is relay nice person and never been on the CNTower. This will make him feel so proud of the fact that he is a Canadian.

  10. We’d love to go experience the CN tower to see the beautiful site and see the architecture and work from all ppl involved in creating and building such a beautiful piece of art. Our family will be coming from Winnipeg in Sept and the CN tower is definately on our bucket list!! We dont get to take family vacation often, so this is a dream prize. Thanks to all!

  11. I want to visit the CN Tower because I have not gone up since I was a little girl and it would be a fun outing to do my parents and nana just like old times.

  12. I want to go to the CN Tower because my family has never gone on vacation, and we are trying to save money to go somewhere and if I won, we could all go with the money we have and the tickets!

  13. I want to see Toronto from above now that it is the city my life was saved in. Double lung transplant surgery May 13th! I haven’t been there for many many years

  14. I want to visit the CN Tower so I can view Toronto and surrounding areas from one of the world’s tallest free standing structures!

  15. I would love to win tickets to the CN Tower because I am sure that the view is breathtakingly beautiful. I would love to be able to check this off my bucket list. Thank you for the chance to win.

  16. I want to visit the CN tower to take my family and share in the experience of the 40th birthday! I have fond memories growing up and visiting the CN tower with my family. Everytime family came from overseas the first visit was to the CN tower.

    My children (9 and 11) have never visited the CN tower and I would love to share this important part of our Canadian Herirage with my family.

  17. I have always wanted to go to the CN Tower so I can go up to the top and be tall like clouds and wave at planes.

  18. I’d like to win this because my kids have never been to the CN tower. This summer would be a prefect time to go!

  19. I would love to take my boys to the CN Tower because they have never been there and would love to go. Thanks for the chance.

  20. Such a wonderful Toronto landmark that was and still is our first stop with visiting family and friends. Our Italian cousins arrive this summer for their first Canadian visit…and the #1 stop on their list: CN tower!!
    Looking forward to another 40 years that can be seen from our MIssissauga home right at this moment!
    Happy anniversary….

  21. I have never been up the cn tower,so it would be fun for mom and dad and me to visit sure is tall!

  22. This family has never been, as we live out of the city. Would love to see though, but I am scared of heights.

  23. Id love to go to the CN Tower , I have been but my family has not , its amazing there , id love for them to see it to! 😀

  24. I would love to take my family to the CN Tower because it would be a great way to spend time with my family and my kids have never been to the CN Tower either.

  25. I would like to win because I have never been which is just crazy & would love to take my kids to such a historic landmark.

  26. i want to visit CN tower because I’ve never been there.i have seen it from outside but i am curious how it looks from inside

  27. My family and I just moved to the city and the CN Towet would be a fabulous family excursion. My son had never been to the CN Tower-either have I. To be honest, I missed a school trip to the CN Tower when I was in Grade 4. I’d love to share this experience with my family in the great city I live in. Happy Birthday Owl Magazine and CN Tower-to 40 wonderful years of making children/patrons happy!

  28. We would love to visit the CN Tower to see the views of the rest of the city. We love visiting Toronto and learning and discovering all the history. It would be a fun experience.

    Thanks for the chance

  29. I would love to visit CN tower with my son and parents to show them amazing view of city from top of Toronto’s landmark.

  30. Hello, 🙂
    I always dreamed to live in Toronto, to visit all beautiful places that Canada has.
    When I got my permanent residence visa, the first thing I said was: OOOH MY GOD, I AM GONNA SEE THE TOWER IN LIVE.
    Now, I live here, but unfortunately I have never had a chance to visit this place. <3

  31. I’d love to go to the CN Tower because I have never been there before and I have heard a lot about it so I would love to go and it sounds awesome ?.

  32. Recently my 6 year old asked if she can see the whole of Lake Ontario from the top of the CN Tower. I’d love to take her!

  33. I would love to go to the CN Tower because I have never been there before. I have seen it from the ground but never gone up.

  34. I would love to go to the CN Tower because I have never been there before. I have seen it from the ground but never gone up. I think it would be a lot of fun!

  35. Im a new comer to Canada. I’ve heard a lot about CN tower. Eagerly waiting to visit this amazing skyscrape.

  36. we have never been to the CN tower but are going to be visiting TO in August ! My son has always wanted to go to the top of it ! thanks for the chance

  37. I went to the CN tower years ago when my children were small.
    I would love to visit now and see the changes in Toronto and maybe try the Edge Walk.

  38. I would really love to win this contest ,I really want want to go to the cn tower. I went once with mom when I was 6, and now I am 12 and it would be really awesome to go again.And I have never gone with my dad and my brother. I live in Toronto and every day I see the cn tower and think about how much fun it would be to go inside. My friend went and told me it is really fun. 😛

  39. I want to visit the CN tower beacause I don’t live in Toronto and don’t go there often. I’ve only seen it once and I’m almost 11! It’s so cool and I want to see it again with my family! ???

  40. I want to go to the CN tower because it sounds like so much fun. My parents once went on a date there. Apparently when you are up there you feel higher off the ground than you really are. The view looks amazing and I would love to go on the glass floor. It must be at least a tit bit scary though. The elevator would be a great place to be on too. Going up quickly and seeing all of the Toronto buildings shrink right before your eyes. I have 3 younger siblings and sometimes I wish I could just stay at the very tippy top of the tower so they can’t annoy me!

  41. I would love to go to the CN Tower because I think it would be and amazing experience. I also would love for my little siblings to come and experience it as well because I want them to be able to have these experiences when they’re young and be able to know some of the greatest things built in Canada!

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