A century-old tunnel is now open as the newest guest experience at Niagara Parks. The Tunnel at the Niagara Parks Power Station allows guests to explore the historic tunnel deep below the power station, then walk out to never-before-seen views of Niagara Falls.
Visitors to the historic Tailrace Tunnel descend 180 feet below the generator hall in a glass-enclosed elevator observing the many underground floors of the station. Once they arrive in the Wheelpit, guests begin the journey down the 2,200-foot-long tunnel to the exit portal, guided by interpretive media installations.
For more than a century, the power station’s water flowed through this space on its way back to the Niagara River. Now, guests exit onto a brand-new viewing platform, which promises spectacular, panoramic views of Niagara Falls and the lower Niagara Gorge. This area has never before been accessible to visitors.
“With the opening of the Tunnel, the incredible transformation that has taken place over the past two years to restore the power station and transform it into a one-of-a-kind visitor attraction is officially complete. This is truly a landmark achievement and one that has and will continue to draw the interest and adoration of a global audience while preserving this heritage building for future generations of Ontarians,” says April Jeffs, Niagara Parks Chair. “I am so proud of our board and staff team at Niagara Parks for their work on this project and thankful to the Government of Ontario and our Ministry for their constant support and counsel, which made this all possible.”
Background Of The Project
This is Phase II of the Niagara Parks Power Station project. Phase I opened in July 2021, allowing guests to explore interactive and educational exhibits through the largely untouched 600-foot generator floor. Known as the Cathedral of Power, interactive exhibits celebrate the incredible history and heritage of the building, the visionaries behind it, and the workers who kept it running for more than a century.
Phase I also features the one-of-a-kind evening sound and light show, Currents. Created by Thinkwell Studios Montreal, Currents brings the Power Station to life, combining interactive media, mesmerizing lights, and a breathtaking musical score to take guests on an immersive adventure inside the Niagara Parks Power Station.
History Of The Niagara Parks Power Station
The former Canadian Niagara Power Company generating station was the first major power station on the Canadian side of the Niagara River. Built in 1905, it’s the only fully intact, decommissioned hydroelectric power plant of its period left in the world. It harnessed the powerful energy of the Horseshoe Falls and turned it into a great source of electricity for more than 100 years.
Years after its turbines came to a halt, this project allows visitors to experience the wonder of this hydropower pioneer. The Niagara Parks Power Station was honored by the Ontario Heritage Trust with a 2021 Lieutenant Governor’s Heritage Award for Excellence in Conservation.
About Niagara Parks
Established in 1885, Niagara Parks has remained a self-financed agency of the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries. It’s entrusted with preserving and protecting the land surrounding Niagara Falls and the Niagara River. Today there are gardens, a horticulture school, recreation, golf courses, restaurants, heritage and historic sites, gift shops, and the breathtaking Niagara Falls.
Access to the Tunnel is included with all regular admissions to the Niagara Parks Power Station. Adult tickets start at $28. Additional information and tickets are available at niagaraparks.com/power.
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