A decommissioned power plant in Niagara Falls is becoming a new public attraction
Many Ontarians may not be aware of the fact that the world's only fully intact, decommissioned hydro plant from the early 1900s is located right here at home, and even better, is set to become a new attraction that residents and tourists alike can enjoy anew.
The landmark Niagara Parks Power Station, which once provided power from the Niagara River to parts of Ontario and New York state, has been preserved and renovated for public use, with visitors able to wander and enjoy special events in the space starting this summer.
During the daytime hours, guests can take guided tours of the sprawling heritage facility, which was constructed back in 1905 and taken out of service in 2006, including the basement tunnels 200 feet below ground level, which give access to a unique "viewing portal" at the base of the Niagara Falls.
There will also be ongoing interactive, informative exhibits about the structure and area's history amid retail and restaurant offerings, as well as a special app that visitors can download to enhance their experience.
Then at night, an immersive multimedia show will take the building — parts of which remain virtually untouched since their historic uses — over with light, sound and 3D mapping.
The opening comes just as the Niagara region, which usually relies on tourism dollars, plans its difficult recovery after the loss of more than 200,000 jobs and $20 million in revenue due to the pandemic.
"The tourism sector has been hit harder than any other sector during COVID-19. It has been asked to sacrifice so much to keep us safe and the impact on individuals, families and operators has been aboslutely devastating," Ontario Premier Doug Ford said during a press conference at Niagara Falls on Monday.
"The sector is down, but it's not out."
Pre-sale tickets for the grand opening of the "cathedral of power" on July 1 will be available starting Thursday.
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