Thursday, September 10, 2009

Niagara Falls, Then and Now: Lady by the Falls (PART 14)

below: 1904 - looking north at the forebay of the Canadian Niagara Power (Rankine) generating station under construction. Note the horse teams at work. below: same view, as the Canadian Niagara Powerhouse takes shape, note water now in forebay.
above: same view, 2009, at the now-closed generating station. Note the infamous Wall of Hotels, the Wall at the Falls, on the distant ridge.
below: the Electrical Development Co. powerhouse under construction, also known as the Toronto Power generating station.

above: same view, 2009. This station has been closed for years.
below: looking at the north-side of the Dufferin Islands water-intake gatehouse, which was (and still is) located above the Horseshoe Falls, along River Rd.; the water pipeline seen being installed ran in a northerly direction, down to the Ontario Power Co. generating station's surge tank, which was located on River Rd. slightly downstream from the Falls, as seen further below.

above: same view, Sept.10, 2009, the water conduit is below the grass. An access hatch is in the lawn. The building is now used for Parks dept. storage. A healthy elm tree grows at the right.
below: a view of the construction, looking north along River Rd., as the pipelines join the surge tanks.

above: 2009 - the pipelines were buried and landscaped, as can be seen at the left. Note the small white access building (seen above in the centre bottom) is also in the previous photo. The surge tanks fed the power station, which was located below them, at the bottom of the gorge, just above the Lower Niagara River, just past the Horseshoe Falls.
below: Looking south along River Rd., date of photo not known. NFLA notes this is Thomas Barnett's Niagara Falls Museum, built 1859, opened in 1860, and demolished in 1903 to make way for the Ontario Power Generating station surge tank (seen above, from the south); and for the Refectory restaurant, which opened in 1904, just north of the tank. Mr. Barnett owned the museum until 1877, at which time he sold it to his competitor, Saul Davis.
History book Niagara Falls Canada notes that "a distillery near the site of the present Refectory was in existence in 1818 and the old stone building was bought by Col. Thomas Barnett in 1830 for his Natural History Museum." After Queen Victoria Park was opened to the public (on Victoria Day - naturally! - May 24, 1888) a part of the old Barnett's building was leased out by the Parks Commission to house the Dufferin Restaurant.

above: same view - the Ontario Power Company surge tanks (now inoperative) are in the left distance; Barnett's museum once stood about where the former Refectory restaurant still stands now, at the near right.
below: ca.1910 - closer view of the surge tank and observation tower accessed through the round top stone entrance at the side.

above: 2009, same view - the top is now closed to the public, and houses the lighting equipment for illuminating the Falls at night.
below: ca.1829-30, a drawing by James Pattison Cockburn of the Pavilion Hotel, on Portage Rd. at (today's) Fallsview Blvd. This was the first hotel in Stamford Township, built in 1822 by William Forsyth. Its balconies had the best Falls view of the day.
This drawing would have been still before the days of the railroad, which later would be built just east (to the right) of the front of the hotel.
below: The Oakes hotel tower under construction, Jan.2, 1980. This prime site (at the north east corner of Portage Rd. and Fallsview Ave.) was where the above Pavilion Hotel once stood, at the top of the moraine overlooking the Falls:

above: same view, Aug.11, 2009; the hotel facade has been renovated since the time of the last photo. Note the parking area in the foreground; it was built overtop of the former Erie and Ontario / Michigan Central / New York Central railroad line, when it was still running trains through the Niagara Falls city core. The track was closed in 2001. Below view is of underneath the parking deck:
above: Aug. 2009, a view (looking south) of the tunnel where the tracks once ran; above is the Oakes hotel parking area; farther at the end of the tunnel is the actual Portage Rd. overpass. Just south of this tunnel is where Inspiration Point, the Michigan Central Railroad's famous Falls View train lookout used to be, just slightly below and to the north of the (now-closed) Loretto Academy. Yes, I remember when the trains ran through here regularly.
below: former Fralick's Tavern on the north side of Lundy's Lane, halfway between Main St. and Drummond Ave., as seen, noted by the NFLA, in Oct. 1946.
below: in 1850, Adam Fralick built a tall wooden lookout tower beside his tavern for tourists, which overlooked the Lundy's Lane battlefield. (the date of this photo is noted by NFLA as also being Oct, 1946, although the leaves are still on trees, unlike previous photo)

above: Sept.10, 2009 - Fralick's is now called Battlefield Hotel Museum.
below: a postcard view of the Niagara Glen Inn, once a stop on the Great Gorge streetcar route, as seen by the tracks at the bottom.

above: same view, Sept. 2009.
below: Lady by the Falls, May 1976.

above: Lady by the Falls, Sept.1, 2009.
Older photos in this study are from the NFLA - Niagara Falls (Ontario) library archives; the recent photos are by R. Bobak.
To see the next post in this series, go to PART 15
or, start at the beginning of my Niagara Falls Then and Now series at Part ONE.

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