Harnessing the Power of Niagara Falls

Harnessing the Power of the Niagara River horseshoe_0.jpg

"It began modestly in 1757 with one small sawmill. Less than 140 years later, Niagara Falls became the world's leading producer of electrical power. Essential to power development at Niagara were Nikola Tesla, George Westinghouse, William B. Rankine, J. P. Morgan, Edward Dean Adams, and John Jacob Astor IV; crucial to its realization were the hundreds of now-nameless workers who hacked the power station's wheel pit from obstinate bedrock, and tunnelled its tailrace for almost two miles beneath the city.

"With the first generation of power in 1895, electrical power became plentiful and inexpensive. Revolutionary new electro-chemical and electro-metallurgical industries flocked to Niagara. For much of the Twentieth Century, Niagara Falls was the world's center of electrochemical and electrometallurgical production."

- Daniel Dumych

toronto power_0.jpg1906: The Electrical Development Company.

In November, 1906, The Electrical Development Company Ltd. (later called the Toronto Power Company) became the first Canadian-owned enterprise to generate electricity at Niagara Falls. Their Toronto Power Station was the largest of its type in the world when it opened. It was purchased by the Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario in 1922, and retired in 1973.