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Jul 30, 2021

8 min. read

What started life in 1905 as the first major power plant on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls has now been reimagined as a landmark that celebrates the heritage building and the science, technology and engineering behind hydroelectricity. Here’s why you should visit the Niagara Parks Power Station, the newest attraction in Niagara Falls.

Niagara's newest attraction opens this month

Set to welcome guests as of July 30 (under Ontario’s “Step 3” rules for reopening amidst the Covid-19 pandemic), the Niagara Parks Power Station sits atop the Horseshoe Falls on the Niagara River. It’s the only fully intact, decommissioned hydroelectric power plant of its era in the world.

An architectural marvel

The vision of architect Algernon S. Bell, the 183-metre-long rusticated stone building embraces both Beaux Arts and Romanesque Revival styles, with arched windows and a dark green clay-tile roof that blends with the natural environment. Inside, beneath 20-metre ceilings, there’s Queenston Quarry limestone, Italian marble, a beautifully-restored clock and 11 generators newly repainted a retro “Ford” blue.

“When guests come in, we want to give them that sense of awe, because everything that’s here is original to the plant,” says Niagara Parks Commission CEO David Adames. “We call it the cathedral of power.”

Interactive exhibits and evening experiences

A man is standing in a tunnel near the niagara falls.

Power generated from the former Canadian Niagara Power Company Generating Station once serviced Fort Erie and Buffalo. Though the plant was decommissioned in 2006, Niagara Parks soon took it over and came up with a plan to turn it into a new tourist attraction.

This summer, the attraction’s offerings will include daytime guided and self-guided tours featuring three interactive exhibits created by Sudbury’s Science North that touch on contributions by Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse.

An immersive sound, light and music experience that uses 3D projection mapping is slated to launch September 3 in the evenings.

Next summer, glass elevators will whisk visitors to underground tours of the tailrace tunnel that once expelled used water back into the river.

Help in Your Hands

If you plan on taking a road trip to Niagara Falls—or anywhere else—download the CAA Mobile App™ before you go. You can request roadside assistance (and track its arrival) should you need it, as well as find offers from CAA partners that help you save money and earn CAA Dollars® along the way.

Image credit: Niagara Parks

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