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Substation No. 4

119, Carling Street, City of London, Ontario, N6A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2003/02/17

Featured is the inscription “P.U.C. SUB-STATION 4”.; Martina Braunstein, 2007.
Detailed View, Substation No.4, 2007
Of note are the two Doric pilasters and architrave framing the façade.; Martina Braunstein, 2007.
Façade, Substation No. 4, 2007
No Image

Other Name(s)

Carling Street Substation
Substation No. 4
Public Utilities Commission Substation No.4
119 Carling Street

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/07/29

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Substation No. 4 is located at 119 Carling Street, on the south side of Carling Street between Talbot and Richmond Streets, in downtown London. The two-storey red brick building was constructed in 1924.

The property was designated, by the City of London, in 2003, for its historical and architectural value, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law L.S.P. – 3348-59).

Heritage Value

Substation No. 4 represents the expansion of hydro-electricity in the City of London. After the introduction of hydro-electricity in London in 1910 it was necessary to install transformers in substations throughout the city. The Carling Street substation, constructed in 1924, was the fourth to be built.

Substation No. 4 was one of the last Hydro buildings constructed during the lifetime of Sir Adam Beck. Beck was the principal founder of Ontario Hydro and is known as the father of hydro in Ontario. He also served Ontario as an MPP and, in London, as the Mayor.

Substation No. 4 is a fine example of the use of Neo-classical features. Characteristic of this style, the building has a box-like appearance that is symmetrical in design. Typical of Neo-classical accents, the façade is framed by Doric pilasters and their architrave frames the doors of the building. The architrave supports a balustrade in relief and two medallions flank the second-storey French doors. The flat roof is accented by two large urns located at the corners.

Substation No. 4 is also an early example of the practice of housing transformers in buildings that blended into the surrounding environment. Substation No. 4 was constructed with a formal façade to match the downtown streetscape. The design of Substation No. 4 inspired the construction of later residential-type substations, which looked like ordinary houses, throughout the City.

Source: City of London By-Law L.S.P. -3348-59.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of Substation No. 4 include its:
- inscription “P.U.C. SUB-STATION 4” on the façade.
- red brick construction of the façade and white brick construction of the elevations
- box-like appearance
- symmetrical façade
- two Doric pilasters
- second-storey French doors
- architrave including the balustrade in relief
- two medallions on the second-storey
- flat roof, including two large urns located at the corners




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

2003/01/01 to 2003/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Technology and Engineering

Function - Category and Type


Power Generation Facility


Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of London Planning and Development 300 Dufferin Avenue London, ON N6A 4L9

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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