The Toronto Power Generating Station is a former generating station located along the Niagara River on the Canadian side. The building was completed in 1906 and was built by the Electrical Development Company of Ontario, hence the name inscribed above the doors. It supplied hydro-electric power to nearby Toronto, ON.
The plant is built on top of a deep wheel pit and when it functioned turbines at the bottom of the pit, turned generators at the top by means of long vertical shafts. The water from the turbines ran 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. In its place Ontario Hydro used the water downriver at the power station in Queenston, ON. The plant is now vacant and was designated a National Historic Site in Canada in 1983, due to its importance in the development of business, industry and technology in Ontario. It is the first wholly Canadian-owned hydro-electric facility at Niagara Falls.
On the weekend my husband and I took a drive to Ball’s Falls in the Jordon Valley. It was a perfect day, brisk and sunny. I met Kevin 48 years ago and I’m pretty sure he’s been telling about Ball’s Falls for the same length of time. Well he finally took me there and I wasn’t disappointed. I love most waterfalls and in the winter I particularly like them because of the ice that forms from the spray.
Ball’s Falls is situated on the Ball’s Falls Conservation Area and is named after the family that lived there in the 1800s. In an earlier post I wrote about the heritage site that is connected to this area. The falls helped generate enough energy for the the grist mill to make flour until the water flow diminished to the point where it wasn’t feasible to stay in production. Today the mill operates on day a year, using electricity to mill flour for a festival.
This year we decided as a family to cut down our Christmas trees. We’ve done it in the past and always get a lot of joy out of it. Two years ago there was a ton of snow on the ground and this year there was next to nothing. Nonetheless we had a lot of fun and I discovered a new landmark that I didn’t know existed.
The tree farm we used this year was a smaller place, owned by an older couple. There were no sleigh rides or wagons, hot cocoa or tree balers. It didn’t matter though because we were able to walk through the grounds at our own pace and not worry about hoards of people all eyeing the same tree. The dogs were also allowed to run freely. We just had to make sure that they didn’t wander off because there are coyotes in the area.
I don’t think the place even had a name. We just looked for the signs directing us to ‘Cut Your Own Christmas Tree’. From Toronto we drove westbound along the QEW and Hyw. 403 until we reached Hwy. 6 going north. From there we drove till we hit concession road #6 and went east. Luckily we had our daughter, Gaelan on the phone and she directed us onto the property.
In the next post I’ll describe the surprising landmark that we discovered while out ‘hunting’ for the perfect Christmas tree.