Toronto CN Tower & Auckland SkyTower

The last time we went to Toronto to go to the top of the CN tower we found out that there is CityPass ticket that we can buy that include admission to 6 Toronto attractions - Art Gallery of Ontario, CN Tower, Royal Ontario Museum, Ontario Science Centre, Casa Loma and The Toronto Zoo. The ticket is valid for 9 days from first use. For two weekends, it’s manageable.

This post is about Toronto's CN Tower and how it compares with Auckland, New Zealand's, Sky Tower. Every time I tour a new city it has been my habit to start at the highest elevation point of the city, with a map in my hand, and get a 360 degrees big-picture view of the surrounding area. Modern cities have their own version of super tall tower structures nowadays. Aside from using the structure as base of radio telecommunications antennas and the pride value the city gets from it, its other purpose are often hypothesized by just about anybody from the naïve (like “a lamppost providing light to the CBD”) to the absurd (like “It will provide the shadow for the worlds largest sundial when suitably calibrated for use by astronauts and other space visitors) to the comical (like “A rectal thermometer for some of the world's biggest @$$holes”) to the bizarre (like “Golf tee for Zeus”). Read the 101 uses for the Auckland Sky Tower complied by Paul Bourke here.

Auckland’s Sky Tower (completed 1997) comes very close to the CN Tower’s (built 1975) design. There are many similarities but the CN tower holds the record for being the World’s Tallest Freestanding Structure on Land by the World Federation of Great Towers at 553 meters (1,815 feet and 5 inches). The Auckland Sky Tower ranks 12th at 328 meters.

I am very fortunate to have been to both towers and here’s how they compare:

Toronto Skyline views from CN Tower - The picture bottom-left shows a partial view from the top of the Rogers Centre (home of the Toronto Blue Jays) - it would have been a nice picture if the retractable ceiling cover were open to exposed the green. On the bottom right is Toronto CBD where I work to earn a living. In that same picture you can see the Roy Thompson Hall (home of Toronto Symphony Orchestra) - the dome like structure on the bottom left hand corner.

Auckland, New Zealand, Skyline views from Sky Tower - These photos were taken 4 years ago and I have very limited memory of the landmarks because I was only visitng the place and I was living in Wellington during that time. Also the picture quality were not very sharp since I was only using a 2 megapixel IXUS 300 that time.

360 degrees observation decks - CN Tower (left) & Sky Tower (right)

Glass floors (dare to walk on air) - This is where the two are very similar and yet very different. The glass floor concept is similar but the height and "fear factor" is very different. At Auckland's Sky Tower it didn't take us a long time to dare. At CN Tower, it took me a long time to do just that - my wife didn't even dare. It has something to do with the visual view of how thin and thick the joists holding the glass floor are. At Sky Tower (pictured bottom right) the joists are much thicker and so it gives you a feeling of the integrity of the structure. At CN tower, these joists are thinner that makes you think twice. Another reason that might add to the fear was at Sky Tower there is a note in the floor saying that "The glass floor is as strong as the concrete floor you are standing on" while at CN Tower the absence of that note might be construed by the doubting mind as a sort of a "disclaimer".

Both are great and should not be missed if you are visiting Toronto and Auckland. The CN Tower is a winner for me because of its sheer height. However, you cannot Sky Jump from the CN Tower like you can from the Sky Tower and that atrraction makes the Sky Tower also a winner. I have seen people did this and they shouted & squealed like pigs being slaughtered - it must really be that scary!

Next CityPass destination – Royal Ontario Museum

3 Responses to “Toronto CN Tower & Auckland SkyTower”

  1. # Blogger Junnie

    i didnt see the changes between the Two Towers, but also the changes in Josh and Jonah! Ang galing, biglang tumangkad just like the towers!

    Great comparison...we seem to have the same passion for high places  

  2. # Blogger William

    Junnie, as usual great pics from your archives.

    I gave my IXUS 300 now to Josh and am oberving him take shots. Whenever he does that I remember myself 10 years ago with my brother's manual Nikon SLR. Now it's cheap and fast to learn the hobby because of Digital technology. Noong panahon there were tons of disappointments.  

  3. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Canadian here who has the visited the CN Tower many times, you're right about the glass, it does look really thin. I think they really highlight the horrible sheer drop you would experience if the glass broke. I can't tell in the picture but is the glass tinted in the SkyTower? If so, I think that would make it look less frightening when you walk on it. How did you find Toronto? Did you enjoy your stay and did you find Canada similar to Middle earth? I mean NZ ;)  

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meltingPOT is about people, places and events encountered during travel. It's observations on cultural diversity immortalized.

Name: William
Location: Canada

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