Abitibi River Generating Station

in #uloglast year (edited)

The year was 2017 I visited the Abitibi River Generating Station and managed a bit of a tour with Trades Management Supervisor Remus who is a friend of my dads. I got to see a bit of the Inner workings of the plant... It was really cool to see some of the equipment and machinery as well as the vast inside of the generating station, as well as a the dam itself, one of the tallest in Ontario.

The generating station is situated 80km north of Smooth Rock Falls, in Northern Unorganized Cochrane District. The GS was opened in May 1933 after tweny-four months of construction. It really amazes me that a Civil Engineering project like this was completed in the middle of basically nowhere and remains in operation until this very day. A small colony was established to house the workers and their families, which about 130 people lived in 1930. Abitibi River GS is just one of six generating stations on the Abitibi River run by Ontario Power Generation. It consists of five units delivering a total capacity of 349 MWe. When we were there, the plant was running at only about 4% of its total capacity.



This is one of Five GE generators in service at the station. The mass of air used for cooling emanating out from the unit was palpable and could be felt from several meters away
The shaft connecting one of the turbines to one of the generators - don't stick your hand or ponytail in that


Deep within the dam tunnels like this are used for maintenance. And of course invariably, some water seeps through, although it's of little concern.

I ended up going back earlier this year. Both times that I visited, the spillway was a bit underwhelming. But I took a few more photos upon returning...

  • Facing East towards Otter Rapids Road
  • Catwalks
  • Facing West
  • Facing West 2
  • Spillways and structural reinforcement
  • Spillway in Springtime
  • Spillway 2
  • Threads to lower and raise gates
  • The Station
  • Grid Connection
  • Grid Connection 2
  • Tucked away in the Wilderness 1
  • Plaque 1
  • Plaque 2
  • Plaque 3
  • Plaque 4
  • Plaque 5
  • Plaque 6
  • Dam 1
  • Dam detail
  • Profile facing West
  • The road over the dam
  • Tucked away in the Wilderness 2

The scale of the project is hard to describe from the ground, I made a little bit of a video...


The construction of the dam was an interesting feat given the fact it's pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Here's a youtube video detailing a bit of work that went into making the dam as part of a playlist I made on the topic of the Canyon.