Toronto's 'iconic' weather beacon receives major upgrade

Dec 19 2019, 7:26 pm

It’s a bird… it’s a plane… it’s Canada’s oldest weather beacon?

Standing nearly 100 metres above University Avenue atop of the Canada Life building in downtown Toronto is the city’s weather beacon.

And after receiving some much-needed upgrades, the towering structure once again welcomes Torontonians to look to the sky for their weather forecast.

The beacon has been dark for several weeks following a major overhaul of its lights and wiring and on Thursday, December 19, they shine again.

Weather Beacon

Image courtesy of Canada Life

According to a release from Canada Life, all 1,004 of the beacon’s bulbs have been replaced with modern LED fixtures housed in polished stainless-steel enclosures.

The main beacon light has also been completely replaced with 108 LEDs, totalling 2,160 watts. This is the first major upgrade to the weather beacon since 1951. 

Canada Life

On top of the Canada Life building at 330 University Avenue, the Canada Life weather beacon is the first of its kind in Canada and has been a city landmark for almost 70 years.

These upgrades will make the beacon more energy-efficient and ensure this important landmark will continue to operate reliably for many years to come.

Image courtesy of Canada Life

So the next time you’re in the area, make sure to look up for the weather forecast.

Here’s how the weather beacon works:

  • 7 am: Weather forecast for the morning 
  • 11 am: Weather forecast for the afternoon 
  • 3 pm: Weather forecast for the evening 
  • 7 pm: Weather forecast for the following day 

The colours: 

  • Green: Clear weather 
  • Red: Cloudy 
  • Flashing red: Rain 
  • Flashing white: Snow 

The beacon tower lights: 

  • Running up: Warmer 
  • Running down: Cooler 
  • Steady: No change 

Ainsley SmithAinsley Smith

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