In 1906, the Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario, was formed to supply municipal utilities with electricity generated by private companies. Sir Adam Beck (a London, Ontario manufacturer, Mayor and Conservative member of the provincial legislature) was a champion of municipal and provincial power ownership. Beck become the “Power Minister” and chairman of the Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario which was the world’s first publicly owned utility. In 1925 the first unit of the Hydro Electric Power Commission’s Queenston Chippawa hydro-electric development on the Niagara River went into service.

The station was renamed in 1950 as “Sir Adam Beck #1”. This marked the 25th anniversary of Beck’s death. This is one of 2 generating stations in Niagara Falls. There is also Adam Beck Plant #2. The Niagara generating stations supply one quarter of all power used in New York State and Ontario. Ontario Hydro has two water tunnels which traverse the entire City of Niagara Falls from the Village of Chippawa in the South to the Sir Adam Beck Hydro Electric Generating Stations in the North. Also they are in the process of building the third tunnel. In addition, Ontario Hydro has a 13.6 km open canal which traverses the entire City of Niagara Falls.

Click here to view the Hydro Electric Commission of Ontario Scrapbook finding aid:

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