Commercial Use of CN Tower

Overview

Canada's National Tower is committed to sustainability, accessibility, and inclusivity. We stand tall. We elevate every occasion. We celebrate infinite possibilities. And we return value to form a lasting legacy for all Canadians. 

Canada Lands is the steward and guardian of this iconic national landmark. We take our responsibility to safeguard the treasured status of the CN Tower seriously. Canada Lands Company Limited is a federal Crown corporation that reports to the Government of Canada. Canada Lands Company Limited owns and operates the CN Tower through its subsidiary Canada Lands Company CLC Limited. Together, these two entities are “Canada Lands.” 

Our mandate includes controlling commercial use of designs of the CN Tower to maintain the integrity of the CN Tower as a symbol of Canadian pride and innovation, and to prevent trading on the goodwill in the iconic imagery of the CN Tower without our permission.   

We do this through our licensing program. Designs of the CN Tower are protected as both official marks and trademarks. While the CN Tower appearing within the Toronto skyline is generally free for use, all other uses of CN Tower designs for commercial purposes (e.g. on merchandise, souvenirs, in advertising or media) require a license. No license is required for private, non-commercial uses.

The CN Tower licensing program gives back to the community. Proceeds from our licensing program are donated to the United Way, in support of its work to build strong, healthy communities from coast to coast .

Apply here for permission to use an image or other design of the CN Tower or read our FAQs and Guidelines to learn more about our licensing program.

FAQs

What is an Official Mark?

Official mark protection permits public authorities, like Canada Lands, to protect public symbols from being capitalized without permission of the official mark holder. 

What is a Trademark?

Trademark protection permits entities and individuals to protect distinctive and recognizable designs and other signs from being commercially misappropriated and misused by third parties in a way that causes confusion or depreciates or dilutes the reputation and goodwill that has been built up in the mark. Canada Lands also owns several trademark registrations for designs of the CN Tower. You can learn more about trademark protection on the Canadian Intellectual Property Office’s website.

Do I need a license?

Everyone has implied permission to make commercial use of the CN Tower as part of the Toronto skyline provided conditions are met. For example, if the CN Tower is featured as part of the skyline, the use must be in good taste. However, if the CN Tower is the focal point, ornamented, or otherwise altered, permission may be required. See our Guidelines for details.

A license is also not required for personal, non-commercial uses, or journalistic uses of designs of the CN Tower. Put simply, you do not need our permission to take a photo and post it to your personal social media account, or to capture a special memory of your visit. 

Canada Lands’ permission is required to use a design of the CN Tower in association with a business, on merchandise, in marketing materials or for any other commercial purpose.  

What qualifies as a design of the CN Tower? 

A design of the CN Tower includes a photograph featuring the CN Tower, an image such as a graphic, painting or drawing of the CN Tower, an outline of the CN Tower, a sculpture of the CN Tower, and any other likeness of the CN Tower.  

What purposes are commercial purposes?

Commercial purposes include: 

promotional uses, for example, a design of the CN Tower appearing in advertising or marketing materials such as print ads, commercials, catalogues, websites, etc. 

packaging and labelling uses, for example, a design of the CN Tower appearing on a label or packaging for a product, etc. 

merchandise related uses, for example, a design of the CN Tower appearing on clothing or any other product, or the shape of the CN Tower being used as the shape of a product, etc.

as a souvenir, for example, a statue of the CN Tower as a keychain or a photo of the CN Tower as a postcard, etc.

in media, for example, the CN Tower being featured on the cover of a book, the CN Tower being featured in or used as the set of a movie, show, video, commercial, or in editorial, non-journalistic uses etc. 

For clarity, use by not-for-profits and charities is considered commercial use.

For requests to film at the CN Tower, please go to Media Inquiries.  

Can I use the CN Tower in my company’s logo? 

With few exceptions, we do not grant permission to incorporate designs of the CN Tower in trademarks.  

But the CN Tower belongs to all Canadians. Why do I need a license? 

Yes. The CN Tower does belong to all Canadians. In alignment with our work to enrich communities and experiences, proceeds from the CN Tower’s licensing program are donated to the United Way, in support of its work to build strong, healthy communities from coast to coast.

Guidelines for the CN Tower Licensing Program 

Our licensing program is wide ranging, and includes marketing materials, merchandise and media. Permission is required for both promotional and editorial uses, as well as merchandising, along with any other commercial use where we believe consumers may be misled into believing there is an association with Canada Lands. Whether you are planning to use an image or design of the CN Tower in marketing or promotions, on or as merchandise, or in media, please see the following general guidelines. For requests to film at the CN Tower, please go to Media Inquiries.  

1. IMPLIED PERMISSION TO USE CN TOWER DESIGNS AS PART OF THE SKYLINE

a. Canadians are permitted to commercially use designs of the CN Tower as part of a panoramic of the Toronto skyline (including photographs and illustrations of the skyline) provided:

i. the use of the CN Tower design is in good taste and in keeping with the CN Tower’s treasured status;

ii. the use preserves the integrity of the iconic imagery of the CN Tower and is consistent with the CN Tower being a point of national pride; 

iii. the use does not suggest Canada Lands’ affiliation, sponsorship or endorsement; 

iv. the CN Tower appears approximately to scale relative to other recognizable features of Toronto’s skyline; and,

v. the CN Tower is not ornamented or otherwise altered.   

b. Canada Lands’ permission is implied, and we reserve the right to object should we conclude the above requirements are not met. Inquiries can be sent to our licensing department for an assurance that a license isn’t required. 

2. EXPRESS PERMISSION REQUIRED TO USE CN TOWER DESIGNS OTHERWISE

a. Canada Lands’ express permission is required for any commercial use of the CN Tower other than as part of a panoramic of the Toronto skyline.

b. Permission may be granted if:

i. the use of the CN Tower design is in good taste and in keeping with the CN Tower’s treasured status;

ii. the use preserves the integrity of the iconic imagery of the CN Tower and is consistent with the CN Tower being a point of national  pride; 

iii. the use does not suggest Canada Lands’ sponsorship or endorsement unless otherwise agreed; and, 

iv. the parties mutually agree to any and all other terms and conditions set by Canada Lands, including with respect to any trademark notices, disclaimers, quality, and other terms.

c. Permission is subject to:

i. A written license agreement, including notice requirements; and,

ii. A usage fee. Fees depend on the nature, scope, reach, and duration of the intended use, and for certain uses a flat fee will be acceptable, and for others a royalty may be required. 

d. Licensing inquiries should be submitted to licenseinquiries@cntower.ca, and be accompanied by:

i. The name and contact information of the party requesting permission, and the name and contact information of the person submitting the request if different. Please ensure the request is submitted using the formal legal name of the requester and include a mailing and email address. By submitting a request on behalf of another entity, you represent and warrant that you are duly authorized to act on behalf of and bind that entity.

ii. A brief outline of the proposed commercial use, including the nature, scope, reach and duration of the proposed use.

iii. Specimens, mockups and/or other proposed creative in one of the following file types:  [.pdf, .jpg, .indd, .doc, .word, .ppt]   LIMIT: [10] MB per email.  We may require delivery of samples to us for inspection.

e. We aim to process requests for permission within ten (10) business days of receipt. We accept requests for expedited processing. If an initial request is denied, where possible, we will aim to provide suggestions towards permission being granted. Once a request is approved, a license agreement and payment of a fee is required.  

f. Canada Lands proudly donates proceeds from our licensing program to charity. This year, donations will be made by Canada Lands to The United Way.   

3. GENERAL

a. While we welcome the opportunity to license commercial uses of the CN Tower, and generally aim to find a way for permission to be granted, Canada Lands has sole and absolute discretion to make any and all determinations under these guidelines, including whether a particular use qualifies for implied permission to use the CN Tower as part of the panoramic skyline and whether a use is in good taste, and to grant or refuse a request for express permission for other commercial uses. We reserve the right to deny any requests in our sole and absolute discretion for any reason. We also reserve the right to enforce against any unauthorized uses of CN Tower designs including to preserve and maintain the positive image of the public symbol, and prevent confusion, as well as dilution and depreciation of our marks.  

b. Any and all use of the CN Tower endures to the benefit of Canada Lands. No rights may be acquired in designs of the CN Tower, and only Canada Lands, as owner of the marks, can prevent third parties from using designs of the CN Tower. With few exceptions, we do not grant permission to incorporate designs of the CN Tower in trademarks.  

c. We do not control personal, non-commercial use of designs of the CN Tower. For clarity, use by not-for-profits and charities is considered commercial use. 

d. Copies of requests may be maintained in Canada Lands’ archives, and no materials submitted will be returned. By submitting materials, you acknowledge and agree that you will refrain from advancing any claims against Canada Lands including with respect to the approval or refusal of your request, and that any similar ideas, concepts or plans that are commercialized by us or any third party would be merely a coincidence.

e. Questions regarding these guidelines can be sent to licenseinquiries@cntower.ca.

f. The terms and conditions of any license agreement will govern and prevail.