A Quick History of Calgary Tower for Tourists

A Quick History of Calgary Tower for Tourists

By Isabelle Morin

Calgary Tower is a stunning structure towering at 626 feet over the city. It’s a must-visit for all tourists nowadays, but it also has a quite interesting background and history. 

Calgary Tower was actually originally named the Husky Tower. It was only renamed to Calgary Tower in 1971 as a tribute to the citizens of the city. 

Airport officials still refer to it as Husky tower, however, to differentiate it from the tower at the Calgary International Airport. 

To expound more on the tower’s origin, it was put up in 1967 by Marathon Realty Company Limited and Husky Oil to commemorate the centennial of Canada and as part of an urban renewal plan for the city. 

It cost them CA$3,500,000 to build the tower, which was a lot of money at the time (still is now, but even more so then!). 

It’s also very sturdy because it has a good foundation. It weighs around 10,884 tonnes, with over 60 percent of it being underground. 

It was opened to be enjoyed by the public on the 30th of June, 1968. It’s actually the highest structure in Calgary from its construction until 1983, being replaced by Petro-Canada Centre’s west tower.  

Between 1987 and 1990, Calgary Tower underwent some renovations that sprouted a gift shop and a revolving restaurant, Sky 360, that a lot of tourists enjoy. 

By the way, Sky 360 is called a revolving restaurant because it revolves once every 45 minutes at lunchtime and once every hour at dinner, making for a new and fun experience for tourists. 

In 1990, they added a glass rotunda as its new lobby, adding a polished aesthetic to the tower. It’s also very momentous in the 1988 Winter Olympics because a cauldron was built on top of it for the festivities. 

They lit the torch when the games started on February 13, 1988 and continue to do so until present for important occasions and events like Canada Day. As you can see, it is not just a beautiful tower, but a significant part of the city’s culture. 

Speaking of being significant to the city’s culture, the LED lighting system that we all enjoy now was actually added in 2014. It’s wonderful because it has been programmed to make over 16.5 million color combinations and effects, making for a fantastic show. 

It also lights up on special occasions and festivals. It also serves to bring light and raise awareness  to pressing issues. 

Its stairs to the observation deck, consisting of 802 steps, are not open to the public except for a few instances for publicity and for the annual stair-climbing race where a lot of athletes participate. 

To add to all this, Calgary Tower is also a founding member of the World Federation of Great Towers along with other momentous towers like the Eiffel Tower. 

There’s a lot to learn here so it’s the best place for field trips for nurserypreschool, elementary school, high school, and college students. 

They can learn about the fascinating history of the tower, its significance to the people of Calgary, and even its architecture. It’s really nice to see how a structure brings people together.

Aside from the Calgary Tower, there are also a lot of places perfect for field trips such as the various recreation centers, amusement parks, and playgrounds available all throughout the city. 


We hope our quick run-through of the tower’s history helped you learn more about its legacy and significance to the people of Calgary. 

Is there more information about Calgary Tower we missed out on? Make sure to let us know in the comments! 

By the way, here are some interesting articles for you and your family that you can refer to: 

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