Generating Stations in Niagara

In North America, the development of hydroelectric power on a mass scale began at Niagara Falls. Given my location in the heart of the Niagara Region, and connections as an engineer, I have had unique opportunites to see many interesting things such as several generating stations in the region. Since it is difficult to get access to many of these places, I have documented them here so others can marvel at them as well.

My personal favourite, Canadian Niagara Power Company's Rankine generating station, stands stately at the top of Niagara Falls in Victoria Park - the old stone building blending-in surprisingly well in a park setting. This recently retired plant supplied 25Hz power to industries for 100 years and was the first large-scale power generator on the Canadian side of the falls. Continuing from where the Rankine story leaves off, a tour of a second older generating station, the Sir Adam Beck 1 Generating Station in Queenston, Ontario. This plant began as a 25Hz station and has been updated gradually to become a very modern plant fed partially with water from the new tunnel bored (using "Big Becky") under the city of Niagara Falls. Several of the photos on this page were taken during a rare opportunity to witness an upgrade to new generators. Finally, the the oldest operating generating station in Ontario, Decew Falls is 110 years old and still operating! Awarded an IEEE Milestone award, this plant originally employed 66 2/3 Hz and was one of the first to use high voltages for long distance transmission. It is a small plant fed from water diverted from the Welland Canal which crosses the region.

Rankine GS
The first major electrical development at the falls in Niagara, this plant at the top of the falls generated power for over 100 years at 25Hz.
Sir Adam Beck I
recently updated and still producing power for the province of Ontario.
Decew Falls GS
A milestone in engineering, this early plant operated with water from the Welland Canal and generated, originally, at 66.7Hz.