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La Tour du Parc Olympique

The structure

Made from 166,000 tonnes of concrete and steel, the world's tallest inclined tower soars at a 45-degree angle above the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve neighbourhood. At night, it's lit up in blue and white, the colours of Quebec.

Its function

A true Montreal landmark, the tower holds up (though not without difficulty) the shell-like roof of the stadium, a multi-use venue that hosts football games, monster truck shows and concerts.

The history

The stadium – the centrepiece of the 1976 Olympic Summer Games – was designed by French architect Roger Taillibert, creator of the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. Up until 2004, the Expos baseball team alternately thrilled their fans and broke their hearts, but it was Pink Floyd that drew the largest crowd of all – 78,322 – in 1977.

The heights

A two-minute ride in a windowed funicular takes visitors 165 metres up for breath-taking views of the city's east end. It's all made possible by a hydraulic system – a unique feature on a curved structure. At the top, capture the moment in the photo booth.

The view

On a clear day, you can see up to 80 kilometres away. The panoramic view will give you a whole new perspective on the St. Lawrence River, Parc Jean-Drapeau and even Mont Saint-Hilaire in the Richelieu Valley. Not bad for $22.50 ($15 for Quebec residents).

4141, Av. Pierre-de Coubertin, 514-252-4141, parcolympique.qc.ca

The CN Tower


The structure

Located downtown just south of Front Street, this concrete tower – strengthened with 450 tons of rebar – is likely Canada's most recognized icon. It's considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Its function

It was originally built as a telecommunications hub by the Canadian National Railway, and still serves over 16 Canadian television and FM radio stations today with antennas that extend 421 metres above ground.

The history

The tower was designed by WZMH Architects as the world's tallest free-standing building, at 553.33 metres, a title it held until Dubai's Burj Khalifa came along in 2007. On opening day, October 2, 1976, a time capsule that included a letter from Pierre Elliott Trudeau was sealed. Stuntman Dar Robinson jumped off the CN Tower in 1979 and 1980, and climber Dan Goodwin scaled the tower Spider-Man-style in 1986.

The heights

Adrenalin junkies can book EdgeWalk, where you can walk the circumference of the restaurant's roof at the wuthering height of 356 metres above ground (harnesses are included). A more relaxed experience awaits at the revolving 360 Restaurant; toast your ascent with a bottle from the world's highest wine cellar. LookOut Level admission is $32.

The view

From the SkyPod, the tower's highest observation deck, you can see the mist from Niagara Falls. The deck is currently under renovation, so admire it from afar: At night, it glows with 1,330 multicoloured LED fixtures.

301 Front St. W., 416-868-6937, cntower.ca

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MONTREAL     TORONTO     TWIN CITIES    

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