On July 28th, Sandie Bellows, Niagara Parks Commission Board Chair and the Honourable Lisa MacLeod, Ontario Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, celebrated the opening of Niagara’s newest landmark attraction, the Niagara Parks Power Station, in an official ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Beginning on Friday, July 30, the massive copper doors of the historic former hydroelectric power plant will open for guests to explore the breathtaking interior of this once dormant marvel of engineering and architecture. Through repurposed artifacts, interactive exhibits and interpretive installations, guests will learn first-hand how this hydropower pioneer harnessed the power of Niagara Falls to generate electricity.
Built in 1905, as the “Canadian Niagara Power generating station”, the facility is the only fully intact decommissioned hydroelectric plant of its period left in the world. The preservation of this spectacular one-of-a-kind historical landmark was the first consideration in all decisions related to the adaptive reuse construction, which has encompassed over 75 unique projects awarded to nearly 50 companies, employing well over 400 people.
A foundational piece of Niagara Parks’ 10-year Strategic Plan and supported by the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries, the project was made possible through an investment of $25 million provided by the Ontario Government. In addition to offering an exciting new guest experience and revenue source for Niagara Parks, the Niagara Parks Power Station will introduce a new economic driver to the region and is expected to be a catalyst for the recovery of tourism in Niagara and across the province.
“The Niagara Parks Power Station is a rare, one-of-a-kind tourism experience – a time capsule of Canadian ingenuity,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “This will not only aid in the economic and social recovery of Ontario but will bring jobs and visitors back to Niagara Falls. I encourage all Ontarians to visit the Niagara Region and witness one of the many reasons Ontario offers the world in one province.”
“I am so proud to officially open the Niagara Parks Power Station and welcome guests to Niagara’s new “Must See” attraction! This project has been a tremendous collaboration from the start. The support we have received from Premier Doug Ford and our Minister Lisa MacLeod has been outstanding. The opportunity to work with Science North and Destination Ontario, as well as all of the contractors involved, and the full support of tourism stakeholders here in Niagara, have contributed to a truly one-of-a kind attraction. The Niagara Parks Power Station will be a new demand generator for this destination and the province of Ontario and will help kickstart the tourism industry’s recovery,” said Niagara Parks Commission Board Chair Sandie Bellows.
The Niagara Parks Power Station will open to the public with daytime guided and self-guided tours daily from July 30 through to August 15. The station will then be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for the remainder of August. In September, Niagara Parks will launch a brand-new immersive sight and sound night show created by renowned design and production firm, Thinkwell, “Currents: Niagara’s Power Transformed.” As of September 3, the Niagara Parks Power Station will operate daily from that date forward.
Phase two of the attraction will provide guests access to the incredible underground infrastructure of the Niagara Parks Power Station, with a glass elevator taking visitors down 180 feet below the generator floor to explore the 2,000-foot tailrace tunnel that empties at the base of the Falls. Phase two is expected to open in the summer of 2022.
For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit niagaraparks.com/power.