An aspect of Ontario Hydro’s history (eg. origins, privatization, nuclear or alternative power)
Prior to 1885, the electricity market in Ontario was completely unregulated, in large part because electricity had not yet been invented at the time of Confederation in 1867, thus leaving the question of federal or provincial jurisdiction undetermined.
In 1885, after several disputes, a British decision affirmed the Province’s rights over a majority of the Canadian hydro flow at Niagara Falls. This decision effectively confirmed the Province’s jurisdiction over the entire electricity market.
By 1903, the economic potential of Niagara Falls was well understood. A massive hydroelectric project had been underway on the American side of the Falls since 1895 and created an economic boom in Buffalo and Niagara Falls, NY. Three syndicates had been awarded franchises to generate power for Ontario from the Canadian side of the Falls. At the same time, 16 Ontario municipalities, including Toronto, were meeting to discuss the feasibility of generating power at the Falls and transmitting it to their communities.
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