The Worlds Tallest Freestanding Telecommunications Tower

Wed, 29 Mar 2006, 08:18

The CN Tower recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. For all of that time, it has held the record as the worlds tallest free-standing tower. Many people make the mistake of calling the CN Tower the worlds tallest building. However, architects do not classify it as a building since it does not have contiguously occupied floors.

Actually, some Torontonians get very upset when this fact is pointed out. Likewise, some Torontonians get huffy when it's pointed out that Yonge Street cannot possibly be the worlds longest street. Perhaps having superlatives such as these satisfies some emotional need to turn Toronto into a "world-class" city? Anyways, having the worlds tallest freestanding telecommunications tower is still nothing to sneeze at.

Thirty years as record holder is quite remarkable, especially considering that everyone expected higher towers sooner. Actually, the semantics quibbling over the title "worlds tallest building" will soon be over anyways. A building currently under construction in Dubai, the Burj Dubai, is expected to reach 705m in height, 170m taller than the CN Tower. Furthermore, if all current proposals are built, by 2010, there may be as many as six buildings taller than the CN Tower. These include the Al Burj in Dubai (expected to be taller than the Burj Dubai), the Fordham Spire in Chicago (610m), the Inchon Towers (610m), the Russia Tower in Moscow (600m), and the Freedom Tower in New York (541m to the top of the radio tower).

Even with all of these buildings, the CN Tower, at 535m, will still remain the tallest in its class, the tallest freestanding telecommunications tower. Given current technology, such as fiber optic cable and telecommunications satellites, there may be little need for such a tall telecommunications tower anywhere else in the world, and the CN Tower will hold its record for a long time to come.


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