The Carillon Tower

The Carillon Tower is located at the Canadian entrance of the Rainbow International Bridge on Falls Avenue. The Carillon is 50.3 metres tall and consists of a set of 55 tuned bells, weighing a total of 43,000 kilograms, within this tower.

The bells were cast and tuned by the John Taylor & Company of Loughborough, England. The bells cost $48,000 to make and the inaugural performance took place on July 1st 1948.

The “Bourdon” is the largest bell, producing an E note. It weighs 10,000 kilograms and has a diameter of 2.4 metres with a height of 2 metres. The bell clapper for the Bourdon weighs 147 kilograms. The smallest bell weighs less than 4 kilograms and produces a B note. It has a diameter of 14.6 centimetres and a height of 13.3 centimetres.

The Rainbow Tower Carillon is played form a piano type keyboard by the carilloneur. Gloria Werblow of Williamsville, New York had been the carilloneur since 1986 until she retired in 2002 and the Carillon became automated.

To play the bells of the carillon one had to push down on a series of 55 oak batons, each spaced 5 cm apart, along with using a series of 30 foot pedals.

The keyboard, otherwise known as the clavier, is nine storeys above ground level in a tiny room. Above this ninth floor are the smallest 45 bells while the largest 10 bells are located below.

The batons and foot pedals are connected to stainless steel cables. Each cable connects to each individual bell clapper. The clappers are positioned 5 cm away from the wall of the bell. When the hand batons and foot pedals are pushed, the clapper strikes the bell. The clappers are balanced with springs so that even the 147 kg clapper can be easily rung.

In 1998, the Carillon Tower underwent extensive renovations to both the exterior and interior. The Carillon was silenced until completion of construction in April of 2001.

The Carillon is played daily from at:

  • 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
  • 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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