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Niagara Parks Power Station

Discover fascinating stories hidden within the historic Niagara Parks Power Station, the newest landmark attraction in Niagara Falls, from the tallest turbine to the smallest detail.

Take a glass-enclosed elevator down the tunnel and prepare for a breathtaking panoramic view of the falls from the viewing platform at the Niagara River’s edge.

This all-new attraction reveals a never-before-seen underground world and more fascinating details about Niagara’s incredible power story. 

With immersive exhibits, restored artifacts, and interactive storytelling, discover the first primary power plant on the Canadian side of the Niagara River. 

The once-dormant power station comes to life at night in a breathtaking, interactive experience you will never forget.

For 100 years, the “Canadian Niagara Power Company generating station” harnessed the Horseshoe Falls’ powerful energy and converted it into a valuable source of electricity. 

Years after its turbines were decommissioned, the engineering marvel of this 115-year-old engineering marvel is being brought back to life in an entertaining and educational experience. 

It highlights the remarkable history and unique architectural features of this 115-year-old engineering marvel.

This not-to-be-missed experience allows you to be a part of a thrilling revival while also learning about the incredible history and heritage of this celebrated building.

Purchase the Niagara Falls tickets and explore the history of the visionaries who created it and the workers who kept it running.

The Tunnel

The Tunnel
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Explore a new underground adventure! Discover how this incredible 2,200-foot-long tunnel was excavated using only lanterns, primitive dynamite, pickaxes, and shovels.

Learn how it discharged the spent waters of the power station into the Niagara River at the base of the falls.

With the all-new tunnel experience, discover a new underground experience 180 feet beneath the Niagara Parks Power Station halls. 

Then, proceed to a new observation deck along the river’s edge.

View the hidden decks of the power station as you descend into the tunnel in a glass-paneled elevator. 

Then, peruse fascinating exhibits to learn how it was miraculously excavated in 1901. 

Currents

Currents
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Niagara’s Power Transformed explores the transformation of water into electricity. 

In the heart of the power station, this immersive, family-friendly experience features incredible 3D projection, interactive moments of wonder, and a breathtaking musical score.

Follow the journey of one tiny water droplet from the Horseshoe Falls through the turbines of the first primary power plant on the Canadian side of the Niagara River to experience the transformation from water to electricity. 

Feel the same electricity that this incredible feat of engineering has been producing for over a century. 
Enjoy an electric night as you become a part of a larger-than-life reawakening.

You can also experience the ultimate thrill of nature’s power with Journey Behind the Falls tickets – plunge into the heart of Niagara and witness the mesmerizing spectacle from a different vantage point!

Niagara Parks Power Station history

In the 1800s, Niagara Falls was regarded as the pinnacle of North America’s new promise and limitless resources. 

Paintings of the site’s furious churn thrilled viewers worldwide before photography and pilgrimage to the then-remote location. 

Straddling the border between New York State and Ontario between Buffalo and Toronto was considered a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

By the end of the century, Canada and the United States were eager to tap the fall’s hydroelectric potential.

The William Birch Rankine Power Station was Canada’s first central river-based power station. 

Built in 1905 with horse-and-carriage labor, it produced electricity and shaped Canada’s success for a century before decommissioning.

After more than 15 years of slumber, this remarkably intact citadel of antique industrial prowess—a rusting relic of Steampunk-style machinery and new cobwebs—reawakened in July 2021, this time as a museum. 

Take a look at the time capsule that is waiting for you. Several similar facilities have harnessed the Niagara River over time. 

However, the former Rankine Generating Station, now known as the Niagara Parks Power Station, is unique because it is easily accessible.

The Schoellkopf power station, located below the New York portion of the falls, was destroyed by erosion in 1956. 

Only ruins remain (for more information, see our feature “Doing Niagara Falls If You’re Stuck on the American Side”). 

The Niagara Power Vista, another tourist attraction, is 7 miles downstream.

However, the Niagara Parks Power Station is right next to the waterfalls’ hungry maw.

The station is described as “the only fully intact, decommissioned hydroelectric power plant of its era in the world” by Niagara Parks. 

This government oversight group has managed the Canadian side since 1895. 

However, that rare distinction obscures how beautifully new the facility is.

There’s no denying the space’s industrial grandeur. 

The main generator floor was mainly left as it was when the last mechanics finished their work. 

Even the old clock dominating the hall’s far end has remained.

At total capacity, 11 generators would capture the potential energy of river water as it dropped 180 feet into 2,000-foot-long tunnels below the Horseshoe Falls.

By night, the power station puts on a digital projection mapping show because illuminating the water’s natural majesty in lurid colors is a tradition.

It began when humans discovered how to create voltage out of water.

Visit Niagara Falls at night as the power station puts on a digital projection mapping show because illuminating the water’s natural majesty in lurid colors is a tradition.

Tips to remember

Tips to remember
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You’re about to embark on an incredible journey deep underground through a 115-year-old tunnel. Here are some pointers to help you get ready for the experience

  1. The glass-walled elevator transports you deep underground, 2,200 feet through the tunnel. 

    The path is level and smooth but wears comfortable shoes. If you need to stop and rest, then look for benches.
  1. You’re 180 feet below ground. Regardless of the weather on the surface, it can get cold down there! 

    Consider dressing appropriately and bringing a light jacket. Expect to get wet once you reach the observation deck at the river’s edge. 

    Recyclable rain ponchos are available on request. 

FAQs

Why was Niagara Park’s power station closed?

The station produced 25 Hz power and would have needed to be retrofitted to the 60 Hz standard used in North America.

Is the Niagara power plant still operating?

It is now a museum known as the Niagara Parks Power Station. 

The Ontario Power Company, which began operations in 1905, was purchased by the Ontario Hydro Power Commission in 1917 and decommissioned in 1999.

How long is the Niagara Parks power station?

It is a 2,200-foot tunnel that runs through the power station’s depths and is 180 feet underground.

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