Toronto Powerhouse Generating Station - Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Bon Echo
N 43° 04.318 W 079° 04.425
17T E 656824 N 4770607
Quick Description: One of several hydroelectric stations to harness the power of the Niagara River at Niagara Falls. It's also the first Canadian-owned generating station to be built.
Location: Ontario, Canada
Date Posted: 12/28/2017 9:44:34 AM
Waymark Code: WMXCTM
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member fi67
Views: 7

Long Description:

Although only partially completed in 1906, that was the year when this building first produced electricity. It was the new era of electricity generation and this building was constructed to supply electricity to Toronto.

The building date stone is placed high upon the building front, near the main entrance. The name "Electrical Development Company of Ontario Limited" is also cast in stone.

The following is adapted from the Niagara Falls Museum website:

Although the power generating potential of Niagara Falls has long been recognized, the development of electrical power stations along the Niagara River began in earnest in the early 1900's. a group of Canadian investors founded the Electrical Development Company and made an agreement with the Niagara Parks Commission on January 19, 1903 to generate a maximum of 125,000 horsepower of electricity. The Electrical Development Company Powerhouse was built 6/10ths if a mile above the Horseshoe falls, midway between the Ontario Power Company screenhouse at Dufferin Island and the Canadian Niagara Powerhouse. The plant was situated on an area which was reclaimed from the Tempest and Whitehorse rapids, some of the most turbulent water in the Upper Niagara River, ranging in depth from 8 to 24 feet. Water was diverted from the river at Tempest Point and gathered from the rapids by a wing dam with a length of 785' and a maximum height of 27'. The total capacity of the plant was 137,500 hp, produced by eleven generators of 12,500 hp each, one being a spare.

The cornerstone of the plant was laid in 1906, and the plant first produced electricity on November 21 of that year. Half of the total project was completed by 1907, but further development was delayed until 1911. In March, 1908, the plant was leased by the Toronto Power Company and became known as the Toronto Powerhouse. Construction of the plant was finally completed in 1913.

The Toronto Powerhouse produced 25Hz electricity, which is now used in a very limited number of applications. Thus, because the water could be used more efficiantly by the sir Adam Beck Generating Station at Queenston, Ontario Hydro ceased operations at the Toronto Powerhouse in 1974.

Source:; Accessed Dec 28 2017

Further details about the building, from Wikipedia:

The Toronto Power Generating Station is a former generating station located along the Niagara River in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, slightly upstream from the newer Rankine power station. Completed in 1906 in the Beaux-Arts-style, the station was designed by architect E. J. Lennox and was built by the Electrical Development Company of Ontario under supervision of Hugh L. Cooper to supply hydro-electric power to nearby Toronto, Ontario.

The plant is built on top of a deep wheel pit, with turbines at the bottom of the pit, turning generators at the top by means of long vertical shafts. The water from the turbines runs out through a brick lined tailrace which eventually comes out at the base of the falls. In its prime, it had a generating capacity of 137,500 horsepower (102,500 kW).

The plant ceased operations on February 15, 1974 as Ontario Hydro looked to make better use of the available water downriver at the Sir Adam Beck Hydroelectric Power Stations in Queenston. In addition, the plant produced "25 Cycle" electricity, now largely unused. The vacant plant was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1983, due to its importance in the development of business, industry and technology in Ontario, its status as the first wholly Canadian-owned hydro-electric facility at Niagara Falls, and the unusual application of Beaux-Arts design to an industrial plant.

Ownership of the Toronto Power Generating Station was transferred to the Niagara Parks Commission in 2007. Structural assessments were subsequently undertaken in order to consider future adaptive reuse options for the facility. In its current empty state, the plant has been the subject of urban exploration activities.

Source:; Accessed Dec 28 2017

The water from this generating station was diverted from the upper Niagara River and was released behind the magnificent Niagara Horseshoe Falls. The trailrace, a brick-lined tunnel, was explored and photographed in 2003. To view the photos and read the narrative of the adventure, visit

Operational: no

Type of power station: Underground

Type of turbine: Other/Unknown

Visitor center: no

Date built: 1/1/1906

Generation capacity: 102.5 MW (137,500 HP)

Operator: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
For posting a log to an existing waymark, you will need to post a unique picture of the power station. If is not open to the public, please do not enter private property. A picture from the distance is sufficent. If it's possible to enter the machine hall, a picture of it would be nice. Please add some additional informations if possible.
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