Sunday, July 8, 2018

Waterfalls And Hydro Works

Hydro Ottawa opened up its building at the Chaudiere Falls site for visitors as part of Doors Open. Tours were offered, with twenty people at a time taken through the main building, which can be seen below in the first shot. That meant a line up, but if you wanted to just see the falls themselves, you could walk on through. The tour included the chance to go down that ramp and get close to some of the infrastructure- on a visit a few days later I noted that the ramp was gated off. Regardless, the property is now open for the season to visitors to come up and see the waterfalls.

For a century, this area was largely sealed off to the public, used for industry. Some of the buildings are slowly being taken down, while the area close to the falls have been turned into observation platforms for the falls. Last autumn, the event Miwate was held here, a sound and light show on the waterfalls in the evenings. Now this area will stay open well into the fall, until the cold of winter starts making the platform area treacherous to walk on.

Here we have a view looking downstream from the platform, towards the Chaudiere Bridge. The Ottawa River tumbles through this area, and the main channel serves as a boundary line between provinces.

This bit of equipment was out on display.

And I liked the look of this doorway. I don't know if this building will be here in the long term- its neighbour looks to be in the process of being dismantled.

Here we have views of the falls themselves, tumbling out from the hydro dam behind it. It is a cascade that takes its name from early French explorers- Chaudiere means boiling or kettle or cauldron. Chairs have been set up on the rocks overlooking the falls, and I can tell you from a subsequent visit that sitting in one of those chairs, listening to the roar of the water... can be soothing enough to make you sleepy. Have a look at this video from a return trip I made a few days later. The gulls get a closer view of the water, and can be seen on the rocks.


  1. Interesting post. That bright equipment looks like a sculpture.

  2. I would like to sit on one of those chairs to watch and listen to the roar of the water.

  3. ...harnessing the power of nature has generated electric power for years, neat to see.

  4. Great post, William, interesting and impressive with beautiful photo work.
    The roaring sound of the water makes sleepy indeed ... ;-)

  5. Love the sound of the water but wouldn’t want to live near that area.

  6. I would enjoy just sitting in those chairs.

  7. Hello, I would like to sit there and listen to the roar of the water. Great photos. Happy Sunday, enjoy your day!

  8. I like going through various infrastructure sites . We use electricity every day but don't have much of an idea about it's origin and production.

  9. @Linda: it's quite a piece of gear.

    @Nancy: they are comfortable.

    @Tom: true!

    @Jan: indeed.

    @Marie: it is a work in progress.

    @Janey: I certainly did.

    @Eileen: thank you!

    @Francisco: thanks!

    @Red: that's true.

  10. Wonderful series of photos of waterfalls infrastructure ~ love the falls!

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  11. An interesting place to visit. Nice series William.

  12. I bet that was an interesting tour.

  13. That water looks so powerful!

  14. The flow of the water must sound incredible. Nice series, William.

  15. @Carol: it is quite a waterfall.

    @Marleen: thanks!

    @Sharon: I should have gone on it.

    @RedPat: I imagine it was more so in Champlain's time.

    @Bill: it is quite something to see in person.

  16. Great it's been opened to see!

  17. I enjoyed this post William, thank you. Water has such power and I find it mesmerizing to see it at these places.

  18. What an incomparable setting! How nice that you can explore it further now. Thanks for taking us along.

  19. the equipment look like a spider? neat! ( :

  20. Interesting, William. Water fascinates me but I really don't quite understand all the mechanics!

  21. An interesting spot William. It was super to see your video, it looks like the river I'd quite full and closing fast!

  22. The power of water is amazing.

  23. I think it would be nice to sit a while on those chairs!

    All the best Jan

  24. @Cloudia: I have to come out here around sunset.

    @Denise: you're welcome.

    @Kay: it's a pleasure to show.

    @Marianne: very much so.

    @Beth: I think so.

    @Jeanie: there must be a lot of it that's hidden away. A structural engineer would look at this location with a completely different perspective.

    @Grace: I can just imagine it with all the gates of the dam open.

    @Klara: that it is.

    @Jan: it was for me.