Welcome to Toronto
Toronto Travel Blog› entry 6 of 11 › view all entries
We arrived on time in Toronto-Pearson International. It's a nice little walk to passport control. The lines were not that bad waiting to go thru customs. We headed downstairs to the baggage claim area. Our bags were among the first to come around on the belt. Which was really nice. Next we had to pick up our car from Avis. Had to walk outside the terminal and across the street to the rental area. All rental car company's are located here. We had to wait about thirty minutes for our car. They were waiting for the cars to arrive and be cleaned before they could give it to us. It was the same for the gentleman ahead f us too. Finally we loaded up the car and it's off to downtown and our hotel.
You take the 427 south to QEW(Queen Elisabeth Way), take the QEW East into Toronto and we had to exit at the Bay Street exit. The traffic here is crazy and you better learn how to fit in here. Everyone is in a hurry and on the move. You have to pay attention to the signs, the right lane always seems to be an exit only. Construction, Construction, and Constuction. It's going on all over the city. Just be prepared for stop and go traffic and be paitent.
We made it to the hotel with no problems. The service was good. Checking in was ok. When ask if we wanted to upgrade for $30.00 for a waterfront view and I said no, the frontdesk person got an attitude with me. We ere not going to be sitting infront of the window looking at the water. You are only going to be sleeping there.
The CN Tower - Before we left I bought the Toronto CIty Pass booklet. It included the CN Tower, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Zoo, Ontario Science Centre, and Casa Loma. We had plans to use four out of the five coupons but only used three.
Construction on the CN Tower began on February 6, 1973 with massive excavations at the tower base for the foundation. By the time the foundation was complete, 56,000 t (61,729 ST; 55,116 LT) of dirt and shale were removed to a depth of 15 metres (49.2 ft) in the centre, and a base incorporating 7,000 cubic metres (9,156 cu yd) of concrete with 450 tonnes (496 ST; 443 LT) of rebar and 36 tonnes (40 ST; 35 LT) of steel cable had been built to a thickness of 6.
To build the main support pillar, a hydraulically-raised slipform was built at the base. This was a fairly impressive engineering feat on its own, consisting of a large metal platform that raised itself on jacks at about 6 metres (19.7 ft) per day as the concrete below set. Concrete was poured continuously by a team of 1,532 people until February 22, 1974, during which it had already become the tallest structure in Canada, surpassing the recently built Inco Superstack, which was built using similar methods. In total, the tower contains 40,500 cubic metres (52,972 cu yd) of concrete, all of which was mixed on-site in order to ensure batch consistency.
The antenna was originally to be raised by crane as well, but during construction the Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane helicopter became available when the United States Army sold off theirs to civilian operators. The helicopter, named "Olga", was first used to remove the crane, and then flew the antenna up in 36 sections. The flights of the antenna pieces were a minor tourist attraction of their own, and the schedule was printed in the local newspapers. Use of the helicopter saved months of construction time, with this phase taking only three and a half weeks instead of the planned six months.
Two years into the construction, plans for Metro Centre were scrapped, leaving the tower isolated on the Railway Lands in what was then a largely abandoned light-industrial space. This caused serious problems for tourists to access the tower. Ned Baldwin, project architect with John Andrews, wrote at the time that "All of the logic which dictated the design of the lower accommodation has been upset," and that "Under such ludicrous circumstances Canadian National would hardly have chosen this location to build."
Dundas and Yonge Street - Were the two strrets meet is the place to hang out and have a good time.
It was time to go back to the hotel and get some sleep. It was 8:00pm and we had both been up since 3:00am. We had another long day tomorrow as we were driving to Niagara Falls. The first day in Toronto was FANTASTIC!!