Home / Accueil

Victoria Hydro-Electric Generating Station

Victoria, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1985/06/18

Exterior view of the front of the Victoria Hydro-Electric Generating Station, Victoria, Newfoundland, circa 1930.; Victoria Heritage Tourism Society 2005
Victoria Hydro-Electric Generating Station
Exterior view of the Victoria Hydro-Electric Station showing the water supply at the front, and the penstock at the rear of the building constructed on the hill behind. Photo taken December 2005.; HFNL/ Dale Jarvis 2005.
Victoria Hydro-Electric Generating Station
Interior view of Victoria Hydro-Electric Station showing wheel turbines 1 and 2.  Photo taken December 2005.; HFNL/ Dale Jarvis 2005.
Wheel turbines, Victoria Hydro-Electric Station.

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1902/01/01 to 1904/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/01/19

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Victoria Hydro-Electric Station is a one storey stone building containing three wheel turbines for the generation of electricity. This long building is located near Blue Hill Pond in Victoria and has an iron flume connecting the power station to the intake at the dam. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building and includes the original wheel turbines.

Heritage Value

The Victoria Hydro-Electric Station is an early twentieth century power generating station. This station has been designated a Registered Historic Site because it holds historic and aesthetic values.

The Victoria Hydro-Electric Station is historically valuable because it represents the work of entrepreneurs, engineers, craftsmen and workmen who were pioneers in the production and distribution of hydro-electricity during the turn of the century. By the early 1900s Harbour Grace and Carbonear were among the most heavily populated towns in Newfoundland and were important centers of economic activity. The development of hydro-electricity was a necessary advancement for the area, following closely on the heels of the Petty Harbour Hydro-Electric Station of 1900. The Victoria Hydro-Electric Station was constructed by Nova Scotian electrical contracting firm W. A. Mackay and Co. in 1904 to service the residents of three neighbouring communities; Carbonear, Harbour Grace and Heart’s Content. In 1902 the United Towns Electrical Company was incorporated under a Special Act of the Newfoundland Legislature for the purpose of supplying electricity to the growing towns and on November 7, 1904 electricity was generated for the first time.

The Victoria Hydro-Electric Station is aesthetically valuable because of its form and materials, and because the original power generating machinery remains in the building. This station is a one storey building made of local stone, quarried from an adjacent cliff and cut by local masons. It is approximately 13m long and 8m wide and features long, narrow 16/16 windows along the main façade. The roof and ceilings are of wood frame construction and the floor is concrete. The original equipment, located inside the station, consists of a Pelton wheel turbine which is connected to a 250kVA General Electric generator. In 1907 a second Pelton wheel turbine and a similar generator were installed to meet increased demand of electricity. A further expansion of the generating system was later installed, as was an extension of the building in 1914. The first wheel turbine remained in service until 1952 and the second was in service until 1953. These turbines are the oldest in existence in Newfoundland and among the oldest in Canada, and the 1914 wheel turbine is still in operation today.

Source: Historic Resources Division Annual Report, 1985/86, page 13.

Character-Defining Elements

All those elements that define the 20th century hydro-electric power generating plant, including:
-stone construction using local materials, techniques and labour;
-16/16, long narrow windows;
-one storey construction;
-all original, interior wheel turbines;
-all original, interior features which define the power station and its operations as one of the first hydro-electric power generating plants in Newfoundland.



Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Authority

Province of Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Statute

Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Registered Historic Site

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Technology and Engineering

Function - Category and Type



Power Generation Facility

Architect / Designer

W.A. Mackay and Co.



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, 1 Springdale Street, PO Box 5171, St. John's, NL, A1C 5V5

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




Related Places



Advanced SearchAdvanced Search
Nearby Places