Ontario's Historical Plaques 


Discover Ontario's history as told through its plaques


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Wasdell Falls Hydro-Electric Development 1914

Wasdell Falls Hydro-Electric Development 1914

Photo by contributor Brian Bockus - Posted May, 2018

Wasdell Falls Hydro-Electric Development 1914

Photo by contributor Wayne Adam - Posted December, 2009

Wasdell Falls Hydro-Electric Development 1914

Source: "Green and Sparkling, The Story of Washago" by Frankie MacArthur (1975).
Thanks to Mark Forsythe for sending me this photo from the book.

Plaque Location

The County of Simcoe
The Township of Ramara
Just off a gravel road, street number 2982
off Wasdell Falls Road
about .5 km north of Coopers Falls Road (Road 52)
3.7 km east of Highway 11


Coordinates: N 44 46.860 W 79 17.610

Map

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Plaque Text

Completed in 1914, after several municipalities on the eastern shore of Lake Simcoe had requested a supply of electric power, this was the first generating station constructed by the Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario. The natural formation of solid granite provided an excellent foundation for the development. The Wasdell plant operated as a separate unit serving the northern portion of Ontario County and the western portion of Victoria until 1924, when it became part of the Georgian Bay System. Displaced by much larger developments, it ceased operation in 1955, but provides visual evidence of the beginnings of one of the world's leading public power systems.

Related Ontario plaque
Toronto Power Generating Station

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Ramara Plaques




Here are the visitors' comments for this page.

> Posted March 3, 2016
My great Uncle Samuel Howard "Joe" Forsythe maintained the site after it went out of service in 1955. He also worked there when the power house was in operation, and lived with my Aunt Dora just a few hundred yards away. When I was a child, Uncle Joe would on occasion let me and my brother stand beneath the dam and then he would open one of the timbers a crack so we could have a refreshing summer shower. He also took us inside the old station where water roared through gates that emptied to the turbines below. The building seemed to shudder and was a pretty exciting place for young boys. In all Uncle Joe worked at the power plant for 33 years.
Mark Forsythe markrennieforsythe@gmail.com

> Posted April 19, 2011
The powerhouse was torn down in the early 70's. A few years later they rebuilt the dam and put in a prototype turbine and tested it for about 15 years. They have determined that there is still a significant amount of power to be generated so they are planning to put in two new turbines. I have several photos of the old powerhouse. I was also inside the house in the mid sixties. They occasionally had an attendant at the site and my dad and I went inside.

> Posted May 31, 2010
When I was a child my parents had a cottage on the island just downstream from the dam. As I recall the dam included a rather large sandy grey building to the right of the falls. The historic plaque was beside the building. I recently visited the site after 40+ years and noticed quite a difference.

> Posted May 21, 2009
Also a great spot to fish!




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