“The real interest of Niagara for me was not the waterfall, but the human accumulations about it. The dynamos and the turbines of the Niagara Falls Power Company impressed me far more than the Cave of the Winds.” – H.G. Wells
All three of the power stations on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls (Ontario) are buildings of significant heritage which were being ‘re-mediated’ for reuse in 2006. Toronto Power Company (TPC) is now gutted, however Rankine, or Canada Niagara as it is better known is intact but no longer generating and is slowly deteriorating by the ravages of the horseshoe falls. Rankine and TPC were independent (private) power stations at the turn of the century. Both were built in a regal manner so that they would not intrude upon the landscaped parks the area is known for. This is in stark contrast to how power stations are built today with obtrusive designs lacking character with no attention paid to the surrounding community and basic design principles. Significant effort was taken to ‘hide’ the industrial nature of these buildings so that they ‘fit’ in with the landscape, which ironically is as manicured as any golf course. Documenting these two power stations in particular led me to other power stations elsewhere which in turn lead me out to corridors to look for related infrastructure.
Toronto Power Generating Station || Beaux-Arts style || Architect E.J. Lennox || Opened in 1906, decommissioned since 1974.
William Birch Rankine (Canadian Niagara Power Company) || Architect Algernon S. Bell || Opened in 1905, decommissioned since 2006.