Tallest Buildings

While it was designed with the “Mine’s bigger!” mentality in mind, the CN Tower’s primary original purpose always was to be a telecommunications hub to resolve poor reception problems. And it is. I don’t know about you, but I’d say that’s pretty darn useful.

The “floors” of the CN tower are those laces down near the lake where you buys you ticket. The rest is the antenna. What was that, category five?

BTW, the Russians used to have a tower, built after the CN tower that was (is?) just 10 feet shorter (three meters for you young Canadians). Boggles the mind to go to so much trouble…

There are observation decks at 1,122 ft, 1,136 ft, 1,465 ft, and the restaurant at 1,150 ft. These don’t count as floors?

I can’t find any dictionary that wouldn’t include the CN Tower under its definition of a “building.” A building is a structure with walls and a roof. The CN Tower has walls and a roof. People can move around in it. It’s a building.

Well, the dictionary might think that the CN Tower is a building. A lot of Canadians might think that the CN Tower is a building, but the discussion is moot, because the people who are in the business of declaring what is the world’s tallest building don’t consider it a building.

If you in your heart want to think of the CN Tower as the world’s tallest building, then you have my permission.

But I don’t count for anything in this matter. :wink:

I think that as long as the Americans are in a position to make the rules, they will modify them to whatever specs are needed to put themselves in the lead.

However, I think Malaysia is the leader in this particular category.
I saw a special on the Learning Channel here in the States on the building of the Petronas Towers. I would be very frightened to take the walkway that connects the two towers at one of the higher floors.

I wouldn’t be able to look down, which is another reason why I didn’t pay to go up the CN Tower when I was in Toronto.

Someone beat me to starting this post. I would like to point out the info found at


under “cool stuff” and “records” about the CN Tower.

I am surprised that there was no mention of the CN tower in the answer, since it holds so many “World’s Highest” records according to Guiness.

Boy those are some great honors.

Don’t swell too much. Canada has the world’s tallest free-standing “Thing”. According to britannica.com, the world’s tallest “Thing” is a supported “2,063-foot (629-metre) stayed television broadcasting tower, completed in 1963 and located between Fargo and Blanchard, N.D., U.S.”

Here are some pictures of that bad boy along with some fun facts.

hmm… anyone else notice that the fools who don’t consider the cn tower a building don’t have anything to support their silly opinion?

cecil, too. hopefully he will come through for all of you and provide a decent arguement. well maybe not, considering there isn’t one.

I think the Straight Dope screwed the pooch on this one. The Jin Mao building in Shanghai China clocks in at 420.5 meters. For those that want to weasel around with definitions, as I’m sure Cecil will be at least tempted to do, this sucker is not all hotel. Only the top 35 floors of the 88-story Jinmao Tower, which bills itself as the third-tallest building on the planet, comprises Grand Hyatt’s 5 star hotel. Also the bar “Cloud Nine” is located on the 88th floor. So, this is probably the highest hotel bar in the world and perhaps even the highest bar???

The bottom floors are office space.

Actually, the Jin Mao is a really cool looking building externally. The hotel part has an atrium that streches up the 35 floors and the rooms are on the external wall. Be a good place to avoid if you’re feeling a little blue but probably a pretty awesome indoor bungji jump.

Having been to “Cloud Nine” several times, the conclusion is it is a little underwhelming. The trouble is the bar is too high up, and the building situated a little too far away from the river front. Thus, while you have a panorama view of the Shanghai Bund and all of the “puxi” side of Shanghai, you are a little too removed. That said, if you’re in Shanghai, it’s worth going to Cloud Nine at least once (but I wouldn’t stay in the hotel because it is pretty inconvenient to the rest of Shanghai).

Unless I’m completely misunderstanding the utility of it, I consider the CN tower to be in the same category as, say, the Washington Monument. It’s a tall structure. You can take an elevator to the top. There’s all kinds of stuff to do at the top, including exchanging money for goods and services, if I’m not mistaken, but that’s about it. The structure only exists for its own sake.

Most people in the Sears Tower at any given time aren’t there for the view or the 3D hologram rides. Ditto the Malaysian monstrosity, the Pyongyang, Chrysler building, Empire State Building, Flatiron building, John Hancock building, World Trade Center, etc. These buildings serve a purpose outside of their own existence. The business that occurs in these buildings is independent of the fact that these buildings are tall.

Is the CN tower used for “business purposes”? I dunno. The whole business purpose of the CN tower is being the CN tower, no? Maybe the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat definiton is a little vague, but IMO, slapping a restaurant on top of an antenna doesn’t make it a “a structure that is designed for business purposes.” OK, I’m being flippant but I think it’s a real distinction. Simply put, I think there is a difference between a business structure that happens to be tall and a tall structure that happens to have some business in it.

Blame the American Media Conspiracy if you want, I guess. I’m an American. Worse yet, I’m a New Yorker who is jaded by the ubiquity of tall structures. But I hardly have anger (“angeur”?) towards Canada. I have no problem admitting that the CN tower is a huge-ass tower; taller than anything on Manhattan Island and almost any man-made thing in the world. Hell, I could even consider it a building in many ways… it’s certainly more than an antenna. But based on my knowledge of the CN Tower, it’s hard for me to consider it to be in the same category as the other tall buildings I listed above.

Maybe Cecil had a similar line of thought (Alphagene says, flattering himself)

TV and radio reception in downtown “canyon” Toronto stunk prior to the completion of the CN Tower. Now it’s great pretty great everywhere you go since the “beam” comes “down” from the top of the tower.

I don’t know what the count is, but there are a bunch of folks who work every day at the CN Tower making sure it doesn’t fail in its broadcasting duties. The reason they had to build a pod was to house these folks while working. Since the tower and the pod(s - actually there are 2 - another way above the restaurant) were necessary, making the pod a little bigger to serve bad steaks at inflated prices with an incredible view of smog (most days you can hardly see the island - probably why Teddy doesn’t eat there regularly - let alone Buffalo or the Falls) made sense.

So, the tower has a business need other than just to look pretty! And… there are people who work there who’s purpose is other than serving the interest of visitors.

Another interesting fact(oid?) is that the CN tower has the highest bunch of kids signatures in the world. The final piece of the structure was signed by school children as they (the people who built it and didn’t want to buy a trashed helicopter) were waiting for the winds to die down enough for the Sikorsky helicopter to be able to take it up.

It is, simply, a magnificent structure built not for any one person’s aggrandizement but for the benefit of the community (TV and Radio reception). It is profitable, well-built and beautiful.

I think that for anyone still wondering what classification the CN Tower is:

The word building is in there. So wouldn’t that make it the worlds tallest building?

I never said that the CN tower didn’t serve a purpose, I just said that that purpose, in my mind, differs drastically from buildings like the Empire State Building.

Look at it this way, if the CN tower and the ESB are both considered buildings by your reasoning, Yuck, then what man-made structure isn’t a building? The Great Pyramids are buildings then, as is the Great Wall, and the Statue of Liberty. They all serve (or served) a purpose other than to look pretty, right? It seems logical to me at some point to separate structures like the CN tower and the Statue of Liberty from structures like the Empire State Building and the Pyongyong.


Please excuse my naive question. But what exactly is the purpose of the Statue of Liberty if not just to look pretty? Did it house ICBM’s? Don’t try to tell me she’s a lighthouse, because that does not seem likely given the shape of Manahttan Harbout.

The Statue of Liberty exists to defend Manhattan Island against Vigo the Carpathian.

No one reads Tobin’s Spirit Guide anymore…

The CN Tower isn’t a building, in the strictest sense. It was built to be a raised platform for telecommunications equipment. So it’s like the aforementioned antenna in ND: plenty tall, but not a building. In fact, without the touristy stuff, there’d just be a bunch of electronic gizmos up there with just enough space for a technician to crawl around in.

Incidentally, someone mentioned the really funny “Sacrilege Moment” on the Comedy Network about the tower, and I have an observation. Anyone else notice the Skydome located next door looks like a giant testicle?