Thunder Bay District, Ontario
Latlng: (49.152500, -88.345555)
|Creation Date||Jan 01 2006|
|Location||Thunder Bay District, Ontario|
The town of Port Arthur (now called Thunder Bay) received their electricity from the Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario under an agreement with the Kaministiquia Power Company beginning in 1909. The agreement allowed for electricity up to 10,000 hp. Electrical output beyond that would require further development. The continuing growth of pulp and paper mills in the area as well as grain elevators saw an increase in demand for hydro. As a result the towns of Fort William and Port Arthur both passed a by-law that would allow an agreement with the HEP Commission to deliver electricity to their towns. The by-laws were passed unanimously in both towns in May and October of 1917 respectively. The Commission began constructing a large-scale plant on the Nipigon River at Cameron's Falls. The first generator known as Unit 2 went online December 20, 1920 with the second generator being completed in March of the following year. The Commission had initially looked at Silver Falls as a potential site for expanding their operations but due to the extreme demand caused by the mills, the Cameron Falls was a better location. After construction of the first two generators, the Hydro-Electric Power Commission stopped construction in order to focus their efforts on housing for their employees and families. The town site had “modern” luxuries as plumbing and hydro. This small settlement of workers and their families came to be known as “The Hydro Colony”. The town population soon swelled to almost 600 by the year 1930. Bunkhouses were built for the single men who were employed in the expansion projects that saw the additional generators built. Once housing was in place, construction resumed on the remaining four generators. In 1956 the seventh and final generator was brought online. To allow for supplies to be delivered to the site, the Canadian National Railway (CNR) constructed a two-mile spur line to the site at mileage 66.4 (Dorion Sub). A second spur would later be built which lead into the site of Alexander Falls. A small gas car capable of carrying six persons shuttled employees and freight between the two sites. By now the townsite has grown to include a store, school, town hall and hospital. The town even had their own shortwave radio to reach Toronto, Long Lac and other areas. Road access to the site consisted of a grueling road until 1929 when a highway was constructed. With the advent of technology, the hydro dams became automated and controlled from Thunder Bay. The population sank to approximately 40 residents by the 1960’s. The cost of keeping the town led to a financial study in 1970. The study suggested that the town residents be relocated to the Town of Nipigon (22 km away). Employees purchased their homes, which were moved to lots in Nipigon between 1972 and 1973. Any remaining structures were sold off or destroyed. By 1973 the town was abandoned. Cameron Falls is located approximately 20 km north of Nipigon along highway 585. Not much remains but you can still make out the once curved roads that made up the town site.
Latlng: (49.152500, -88.345555)