CNTower130907.jpg

CN Tower No Longer the Tallest

Photo by blogTO flickr pooler Avninder.

Alas, poor Toronto. We're broke, transit fares are going up again, and our most recognizable icon is no longer the tallest free-standing structure in the world. We dressed you up like a high-class Manhattan call-girl with a zillion little LED lights, but we couldn't make you taller.

What really rankles is that the building that beat us isn't even done yet. The $4.1 billion dollar Burj Dubai won't be finished until 2009, and it still managed to surge past our humble tower on Wednesday. And just how spectacular is the Burj Dubai smackdown? The CN Tower is 553 metres tall, while the new, Dubai-based height champion will be 800 metres, a full 247 metres closer to space.

Of course, CN's status was as the world's tallest building was always controversial. It was definitely the world's tallest free-standing structure, and we were acknowledged by the Guiness Book of World Records as the tallest building as well. But the ever-snooty Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat says a 'building' has to have businesses or people living in it, so the CN Tower didn't make the grade. Jerks.

Still, we had a good run. A 30 year record is unheard of, at least in the world of professional sports. The challenge now is to come up with something new, fresh and totally new millennium. We could be the city with the second largest free-standing structure that shoots a five hundred foot pillar of flame out the top. That would get Rochester's attention. But to make that happen, we'd probably have to raise TTC fares again.


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