I have a love/hate relationship with the CN Tower. On the one hand, I marvel at how it’s reigned supreme as the world’s tallest structure since 1976 until this year, when Dubai’s Burj Khalifa took the crown. On the other hand I despise how there’s almost no escaping its presence. No matter where you are downtown, it’s always towering in your face.
Sure, I’ve come to rely on gauging how far from home I am by seeking its pointy top, and yet its phallic grandeur rather annoys me. I cannot truly put my finger on why. Perhaps I am just subconsciously feeling belittled by its size and girth, leaving me with pangs of malehood inadequacy.
Aside from that tidbit of TMI, when it comes to Toronto real estate, if a property has even a glimpse of the Tower then you’re certain to find a photo of it on our Multiple Listing System, or some mention in the property description. Apparently, like any property with a vista, being within sight line of the Tower bestows an automatic cachet on properties and enhances its desirability. Even if you have to stand on a roof deck and turn your head 120 degrees to get a look.
I wish I could claim myself free from falling under the CN Tower spell but alas, I cannot. In fact, I have to confess I even designed my loft in The Button Factory to take advantage of its limited peek-a-boo view. My two level loft is much like a townhouse with north and south exposures, and by virtue of being located in the middle of the thirteen side-by-side unit complex, I overlook the gardens of my Little Italy neighbours. On the north side, just beyond my brick-walled garden, are twelve backyards filled with trees. It’s like looking into a forest constantly filled with birdsong. On the south side, I overlook seventeen gardens, most of which are intensely cultivated vegetable and flower plots along with a few fruit trees. This view contrasts the bucolic north side, being urban horticulture at its best complete with laundry lines, smokehouses, crop rotations and chattering children.
As good fortune would have it, from my second floor master bedroom through the 6 x 9 foot former factory window is a glimpse of the CN Tower. Its spire reaches above the rooftops of the houses on Clinton Street, standing tall behind a weathered telephone pole and one of those old-fashioned television antennas. It always makes me giggle, with its amusing vignette serving as a reminder of the evolution of technology through this century.
To capitalize on this sight line I elevated the master ensuite washroom two steps up. When you emerge from admiring yourself in the mirror, you automatically look out the window to a panoramic view of the prettiest city gardens and the peek-a-boo CN Tower. This view at night is enchanting, especially now that the Tower has its regular nightly light show.
For all my love/hate for the CN Tower, I adore this omnipresent reminder of where I live. Much like my very first blog, seeing the Tower reminds me of how Home is both my residence and my City, which makes me feel all tingly warm inside.
~ Steven and the urbaneer team
Rejuvenating The Button Factory