Toronto Skyline

Toronto Skyline
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Toronto Skyline

by Michael O'Brien

One of the most cosmopolitan cities in North America, Toronto, Canada is a shining jewel on the shores of Lake Ontario. With a panoramic skyline that reflects a unique of old and new architectural styles, Toronto is home to the tallest free standing structure in the Americas. A truly international city, Toronto serves as the provincial capital of Ontario and is home to over 2.5 million people making it the fifth most populous city in the Americas. Picturesque panoramas of the Toronto skyline are a popular subject for both professional and amateur photographers.

The Panoramic Toronto Skyline

Toronto is home to the largest financial district in all of Canada and the number of skyscraper office buildings is a reflection of the city's tremendous growth in population, culture and architecture.

Toronto's CN Tower

Alternately referred to as the Canada National Tower and Canada's Tower, this unique structure stands an impressive 1815 feet over the downtown Toronto skyline. Most commonly referred to as simply the CN Tower or the CN, the tower rivals other free standing structures including the Sears Tower in Chicago. The Sears Tower measures over 1720 feet which includes the towers and masts that sit atop the building's roof.

The CN was designed to be a primary platform for telecommunications. Since the project was first discussed around 1968, the observation decks and what came to be called the Sky Pod were not initially considered. The final design and construction included a revolving restaurant and observation platform. The restaurants and cafes sit over 1400 feet above the base that provides diners and visitors with a spectacular 360 degree panoramic view of the city and beyond. It is estimated that on a clear day, it is possible to see up to 75 miles. The Sky Pod makes one rotation in just an hour and the observation is considered among the highest in the world.

Several features of the CN are truly unique in world of high rise construction. In addition to the six elevators that ferry visitors up and down the tower, there is a massive internal staircase. The staircase is not used by visitors but was designed to provide an emergency access and escape route. In total, the staircase features almost 2600 steps. As a platform for modern electronic communications, the CN Tower provides service to over two dozen, radio, television, and microwave providers.

First Canadian Place

Despite the enormous height of the CN Tower, the First Canadian Place Building is the tallest building in Canada. Considered a true skyscraper, the First Canadian Place towers over 1100 feet above King Street in downtown Toronto. Opened in 1975, First Canadian houses the Bank of Montreal and provides over 2.5 million square feet of office and commercial space. Like the CN Tower, First Canadian Place serves as a platform for various telecommunication systems, including over a dozen radio, television, and microwave services.

Scotia Plaza Bank Building

Another icon of the downtown Toronto skyline, the Scotia Plaza Bank Building is a modern structure, completed in 1988. A few blocks from the First Canadian Place building, the Scotia Plaza Bank building stands over 900 feet tall. A multipurpose building, the Scotia Plaza provides over 2 million square feet of office, retail and residential space covering 68 floors.

Brookfield Place

Standing over 900 feet tall into the Toronto skyline, Brookfield Place is far from the usual skyscraper. From its modern exterior design to its spectacular interior atrium lobby, Brookfield Place is the third tallest building in all of Canada. The cathedral-like Allen Albert Galleria is considered a work of art among architects and Toronto residents alike. Part of Toronto's booming downtown financial district, Brookfield Place was completed in 1991.

A Mixture of Old and New

The Toronto skyline is indeed a mixture of old and new architectural styles. While modern skyscrapers are the visible feature of the Toronto skyline, many historic buildings remain icons of this beautiful city. From the gothic styling of the Saint James Anglican Church to the Old Vic building on the campus of Toronto University, Toronto and the surrounding area is home to picturesque buildings that can be found gracing pictures and panoramas of the city.

Home to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra the Roy Thomson Hall seats over 3000 people. Built in a design of sloping glass panels Roy Thomson Hall sides out as example of Toronto's modern architecture. Other popular attractions that add to the beauty of Toronto pictures and panoramas include the world famous Toronto Zoo and the Royal Ontario Museum.

Toronto Sports Attractions in Pictures

Like most large cities, Toronto plays host to a number of world class sports teams and venues. Popular subjects for amateur and professional photographers alike, Roger Centre is home to the Major League Baseball Toronto Blue Jays. Hockey is like a religion in Canada and Toronto is no exception. One of the oldest professional hockey franchises, the famed Toronto Maple Leafs play in the Air Canada Centre as do the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association.