The Top 9 Man-Made Wonders In Canada
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When most people think about the wonders of Canada, their thoughts immediately go to this country’s incredible natural vistas. The original Seven Wonders of the World are all made by humans, however. Canada offers a range of fantastic manmade wonders in addition to its oceans, rivers, lakes, mountains, tundras and other beautiful landscapes. Here are some structures that dazzle visitors with their beauty, size, engineering and innovative designs.
Banff Springs Hotel
This hotel was first built in 1888 and is notable for its impressive Scottish Baronial architecture. Perched above the Bow Falls and extremely close to the Banff Springs for which it is named, the Hotel now provides opulent short-term living for travelers capable of affording its rates. This former railway hotel is constructed of concrete and faced with stone, using techniques that were considered very modern in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Despite its old-fashioned exterior, the hotel provides every modern amenity in a classic atmosphere.
The Fairmont Le Château Frontenac is a stunning hotel located in Quebec City, the capital of the province of Quebec. This structure blends in with the fortress-like Old City, contributing late-19th century charm and a massive central tower. The Château Frontenac perches on cliffs high above the St. Lawrence river, providing great views to the travelers who stay in this National Historic Site.
Toronto’s iconic CN tower towers 553 meters, or more than 1,800 feet, above the city. Rising above Lake Ontario, this tower features LED lighting along its whole length and was the tallest free-standing structure when it first opened in 1976. It held this title and that of tallest tower for 34 years, until the Burj Khalifa was built in the UAE in 2009. At the top is the 360 restaurant, which offers impressive views of the city below, with a glass floor. Visitors can also try out the Edgewalk, which allows guests to walk around the main pod wearing a safety harness.
Montreal Olympic Stadium
The Olympic Stadium was originally intended to host the 1976 Summer Olympics. Mishaps and delays caused it to remain unfinished until 1987, however. As the second most expensive stadium ever built, costing $1.5 billion, this impressive structure is called the “Big Owe” by some. Most residents refer to it as the “Big O,” however, referring to its shape and association with the Olympics. This modern structure includes a 175 meter, or 574 foot, high tower that opens the stadium’s retractable roof. The tower itself is an architectural marvel in its own right, as the tallest slanted structure in existence.
Ottawa Library of Parliament
This library is extremely familiar to many people, but it passes by unnoticed on the front of the $10 bill. Dating back to the 19th century, the circular library is the only part of the original Parliament complex that survived a vicious fire in the early part of the 20th century. A marvel of architecture, the Library of Parliament features vaulted ceilings and carved wooden walls that have survived almost unchanged over the course of its 135 year existence. The centerpiece is a statue of Queen Victoria in pristine white marble.
This canal was actually completed in the early 19th century due to the possibility of an attack from the United States. This 202 kilometer, or 125.5 mile, waterway connects Ottawa and Kingston. Considered a World Heritage Site, this ambitious project covers 16 lakes, two rivers, an 18 meter, or 60 foot, tall dam and 47 locks. This canal was finished in 1832 and is not just an engineering marvel for the time period, but for all of history. Visitors enjoy boating in the warm waters of the canal during the summer, while winter skaters view the Rideau as the world’s longest skating rink.
As the longest point-to-point national highway in the world, the Trans-Canada highway is a road building marvel. It covers more than 8,000 kilometers, or almost 5,000 miles, stretching through all 10 provinces. The Trans-Canada first opened in 1962, but it took until the early 1970s to complete it entirely. Winding through prairies, tundra and many other biomes, the Trans-Canada connects all the other manmade wonders the country has to offer.
Vancouver Museum of Anthropology
This museum doesn’t just contain fantastic cultural artifacts; it’s also an interesting location itself. The building itself is made of glass and concrete, but it’s surrounded by accurate Haida homes, totem poles and tranquil reflecting pools. The grounds around the museum are lush and well-kept. Collections inside the museum focus on First Nations artwork and cultural artifacts, especially those of the Pacific Northwest. One important display is “The Raven and the First Men,” a sculpture by Bill Reid that has a place of honor on the $20 bill. The MOA also offers 500,000 other artifacts, covering cultures from around the world.
West Edmonton Mall
This shopping center is more than just an average mall. With 560,000 square meters, or 6,000,000 square feet, of floor space and more than 800 stores, it offers an incredible shopping experience. From its construction in 1981 until 2004, this was the largest shopping center in the world. It still offers the largest indoor waterpark and amusement park, as well as two hotels, miniature golf, an indoor lake, sea lions and ice skating.