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Canadian Giants

CN Tower

The world's tallest free-standing structure is Toronto's CN Tower. Opened in 1976, it stands 553.33 metres tall and weighs 117,910 tonnes. It took 40 months for the tower of steel, concrete and glass to be completed, at a cost of $63 million. Although it is 1,760 steps to the top (the world's longest staircase) millions of visitors are whisked up in glass elevators that reach speeds of 22 km per hour. On windy days the top of the tower can sway as much as 1 metre from the center; the tower is struck by lightning about 30 times a year. Now that's electrifying!

Photograph of the CN Tower and the Toronto skyline at night

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CN Tower

Photograph of the CN Tower being struck by lightning

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The CN Tower being struck by lightning

References

Bowers, Vivien. Only in Canada!: from the Colossal to the Kooky. Toronto: Owl Books, 2002.

Spencer, Bev. Made in Canada: 101 Amazing Achievements. Toronto: Scholastic Canada, 2003.