Twelve amazing photos of the CN Tower being built

Twelve amazing photos of the CN Tower being built

Photograph courtesy of the City of Toronto Archives, fonds 124

Forty-five years ago today, construction began on the CN Tower, a.k.a. Drake’s benchSimpsons’ travel destination and inspiration for Toronto’s creepiest mascot. It took Canadian National Railways more than three years, 1,500 workers and $63 million to build what was then the world’s tallest free-standing structure. Here, a look back at the big build.

In August 1973, the tower was already a hefty stump, already bigger than most buildings in the city:

By September, they’d added some more height:

Here’s the view from Yonge and Front, around the same time of year:

And a little farther east, from the Distillery. This was taken in November 1973:

This photo gives a better sense of its scale:

Here’s the view from above:

That crane looks tiny:

Construction on the main pod began in August 1974:

It was a very different skyline back then:

By early 1975, helicopters had started placing the final sections of the tower:

The tower’s official opening was October 1, 1976: