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How to lose an hour searching the internet for Lego versions of the CN Tower

Posted by Derek Flack / November 4, 2010

CN Tower LegoIt all started innocently enough. After seeing a Gizmodo post on a new addition to the Lego Architecture series, I got to thinking about the CN Tower's little-brick history. Despite its lack of inclusion in the official offerings, I was pretty sure that I remembered seeing a mock-up of the tower at a Christmas display at the former Simpson's store at Richmond and Yonge when I was a kid, so I took to Google in search of some verification.

That never came.

And after a few minutes I realized I was being silly. That display -- if it actually existed and doesn't just stand as a childhood fantasy -- was surely installed well before the period in which all things are indexed by one search engine or another.

But that's not to say that I found nothing. On the contrary, though I didn't know it at the time, I had unwittingly set out on a CN Tower-based quest that would reveal a level of kitschiness with which I was formerly unfamiliar.

Here's the narrative:

After the Gizmodo post, my specific search was as follows: "Lego CN Tower," which, amongst other things, revealed both the models below and the one found in the lead image.

CN Tower LegoCN Tower LegoAll of these are impressive in their own way, whether it be based on size or the faithfulness of the representation, but there's an even better Lego version of the tower. Built by Allan Bedford back in 2006, the model depicted below is the best one my search revealed. It's not only huge (11 ft. tall), but it gets the colour scheme and observation deck just right, which are apparently areas that others struggle with.CN Tower legoThat should have been the end of my searching, but in the course of looking for images of these various models, I ran into two wacky toys that kept me at it. Both look like they'd be an absolute nightmare to assemble.

CN Tower puzzleCN Tower PuzzleIntrigued, I then decided to see what a search of the CN Tower returned on Ebay. With 304 results, there's quite a lot to choose from. From decorative spoons to 1980s-style frosted glasses to cuff links, our iconic tower is "well" represented. So, given the sea of trinkets and, let's be honest, total garbage I found, I've "curated" a short list of some of the most noteworthy items.

Another puzzle that looks mind-bogglingly difficult
CN Tower Puzzle

A pretty sweet shower curtain
CN Tower Shower Curtain

CN Tower-shaped coktail glass
CN Tower glass

Cookie cutters?
CN Tower Trincket

One of the nicest plates I've ever seen
CN Tower Glass Plate

Why not silver?
CN Tower Spoon

Only one left! (There were actually at least three of these)
20101104-CN-silver-satue.jpg

A pretty slick swizzel stick
20101104-CN-swival-stick.jpg

A CN Tower (but not actually the CN Tower) wall logo
CN Tower logoI'm quite sure there's even more CN Tower junk floating around out there, but having put in an hour, I had to end my my searching. But, if you know of any particularly interesting CN Tower-themed memorabilia, let me know, and I'll add it to this list.

Discussion

26 Comments

Jay / November 4, 2010 at 09:35 am
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Not sure if anyone remembers the giant lego CN Tower they used to have in the lobby. It was back before it was renovated in either the late 80's or early 90's. I think the thing was about 40ft high.
cosmosuave / November 4, 2010 at 09:47 am
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I'm pretty sure that in the late 70's there was a giant lego tower in the lobby amusement area of the CN tower when I visited it as a kid...
Sam / November 4, 2010 at 10:09 am
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I too remember the Simpsons display. I was probably pretty young, but I seem to remember they had an entire Legoland exhibit one year - probably during the Christmas season.
W. K. Lis / November 4, 2010 at 10:28 am
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I remember, in the very early days, that one could buy whiskey in a CN Tower shaped bottle, at the LCBO.
Sean / November 4, 2010 at 11:06 am
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That shower curtain is sweet.
Fig / November 4, 2010 at 01:02 pm
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The legoland display at Simpsons was there in either 1984 or 1985 - I don't remember the CN Tower specifically but the display was really impressive.
Ben / November 4, 2010 at 01:22 pm
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On the plus side: you got to see quite a few cool CN Towers :D
dilla / November 4, 2010 at 01:22 pm
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I did the mind-bogglingly difficult 3D puzzle. Totally worth it.
Dan / November 4, 2010 at 02:19 pm
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I was featured in Lego magazine at the age of 4 and again at 5 with a lego CN Tower I built. Still have the magazine.
Elizabeth replying to a comment from Dan / November 4, 2010 at 10:27 pm
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ughh, I think you need to scan and submit that!
Jeremy Wilson / November 5, 2010 at 08:23 am
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Yes, I remember the Lego CN Tower in the lobby very well.

I also remember the completely awesome arcade that used to be there, which they tore out to put in "Tour the Universe". I used to have one of the fake holographic boarding passes from that, long lost in some move over the past 25 years.

I believe that space is all gift shop now. A sign of the times.
OLD GEEZER replying to a comment from Jeremy Wilson / November 5, 2010 at 08:43 am
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I have an ASCII rendered photo of my dad and I from the arcade. For some reason, I recall it being called The Undercurrent.

Kevin replying to a comment from Jay / November 29, 2012 at 06:02 pm
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Yes, there indeed was a Lego CN tower in the lobby of the CN tower. It was 18' tall if I recall correctly. I have been searching for a pic but no luck. Post if you find one.
Lynrock42 / May 17, 2013 at 11:10 am
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Well, Old Geezer, I too have an ASCII photo of me and my Mom rendered during the opening of the CN Tower and would love to know who the artist was as I have discovered it is indeed an art form.
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