Twentieth Annual Repor
Commissioners for the
>ueen Victoria Niagara Fails i^ark
PRINTED BY ORDER OF
,.,. .^„,r. ASSEMBLY OF ONTARIO
1 UKUiN 1 O :
rC. CAMERON, Printer to the King** Most ExcoIIctI Majesty
20th February, 1906
The Hon. W. J. Hanna, K.C., M.P.P.
Provincial Secretary Province of Ontario,
Parliament Buildings, Toronto.
StR,- 1 have the honor to transmit herewith, for presentation to the
Legislature of Ontario, the Twentieth Annual Report of the Commissioners
for the Queen Victoria Niagara Falls Park, (being for the year ended 31st
December, 1905) together wtth the appendices thereunto attached.
I have the honor to be.
Your obedient servant,
JOHN W. LANGMUIR,
Queen Victoria Niagara Falls Park
Map Showing Location of Power Works
AT Niagara Falls.
To ftccoMPMNY TwBNT/erH ftNNUftL Report OF ConnissiorteKs^.
P R 0\/ f N C E OF O NTR R I O
M«»COW»T C0>.t.">"'rj|O I
Twentieth Annual Report
Commissioners for the
Queen Vidoria Niagara Falls Park
PRINTED BY ORDER OF
THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF ONTARIO
Prinlcd and Published by L. K. CAMERON, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty
COMMISSIONERS OF THE
QUEEN VICTORIA NIAGARA FALLS PARK.
J. W. Langmuir, Chairman.
George H. Wilkes.
Robert J affray.
P. W. Ellis.
L. Clarke Raymond.
Superintendent: James Wilson.
Chief Gardener : Roderic Cameron.
Twentieth Annual Report of the Commissioners for
the Queen Victoria Niagara Falls Park.
To the Honourable W. Mortimer Clark, K.C,
Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of Ontario :
May it Please Your Honour:
The Commissioners for the Queen Victoria Niagara Falls Park betr to
submit their twentieth annual report (being for the year 1905), together with
the usual statement of receipts and expenditures, the report of the superin-
tendent on the works of improvement and maintenance which have been
carried on m the various portions of the park system during the vear, and
also m connection with the works for the development of electrickl power.
Ihere is also appended the text of memoranda and official documents to
wiiich reference is made m the report.
Since tie last annual report several changes have taken place in the'
personnel of the Board. Commissioners James Bampfield, of Niagara Falls,
and A W. Campbell, of Toronto, resigned, after a service on the Commis-
sion oi over eight years and six years respectively. The vacancies thus
caused ^re filed m June last by the appointment by Order in Council of
Mr. P. W. Ellis, of Toronto, and Colonel L. Clark Raymond, of Welland
iietore entering upon a general review of the various matters which
have engaged their attention during the year, the Commissioners desire to
make reference to certain adverse criticisms which have appeared in news-
papers and magazines both in Canada and the United States respecting the
utilization of the waters of the Niagara River at the Falls for commercial
Without doubt much of the wide spread interest taken in the matter
was created by the strenuous efforts made at the last Session of the Le^is- .
lature for the State of New York by a corporation known as the Niagara,
l^ockport and Ontario Power Company, to procure the passage of legislation
conferring on that company the right to take from the Niagara River a
sufficient quantity of water to generate four hundred thousand electrical
horse power. It was estimated by the State officials that such a grant would
involve the continuous withdrawal of over thirty-six thousand cubic feet
of water per second, a quantity equal to about one-sixth of the total volume
of outflow from Lake Erie at mean water level. The New York State Legis-
lature actually passed the Bill, but it was vetoed bv the Lieutenant-Gover-
nor, and thus failed to become law.
^v 3?! magnitude of the proposition, and the strong efforts put forth in
tHe Mate Legislature, both for and against the measure, had the effect of ^
creating a wide spread public sentiment against such enormous withdrawals
of Niagara water for power purposes. This sentiment was greatlv strength-
ened by the appearance of certain magazine articles calling upon" the public
to petition the government against such grants, and suggesting at the same
time that international action be taken to prevent the exploitation of such
schemes m the future.
THE REPORT OF THE No. 6
One of the results of this public agitation has been a disposition on the
part of some to adversely criticise the policy of the Commissioners of the
Queen Victoria Niagara Falls Park in recommending the Government to
>grant corporate franchises for the development of power on the Canadian
side of the river, more particularly as the works were to be located within
the grounds set apart for a public park. The Commissioners, therefore,
desire to clearly state all the facts and circumstances which led them to make
the recommendations in question.
It will not be disputed that the great works of the Creator were prim-
arily and chiefly intended for the service of man, and that each succeeding
generation witnesses some new achievement in the scientific adaptation of
nature's forces, which is everywhere eagerly seized upon and utilized for
the convenience, comfort and advancement of the race. It was only to be
expected, therefore, that the gigantic forces of nature which have for count-
less ages been engaged in cutting the channel of the Niagara River through
the limestone formation from Queenston Heights to the present location
of the great cataract, and the lavish display of power there witnessed should
have been made the subject of scientific investigation with a view to its
adaptation for some economical use.
It is, however, only within the last twenty years that the marvelous
developments which have been made in the science of creating and trans-
.mitting electricity have opened up a practical method for the economical
adaptation of the Titanic forces at work at Niagara Falls for the advance-
ment of industrial operations by the supply of electrical power on the large
scale demanded by the newly discovered electrolitic processes of metallurgy,
and for its transmission to all points within a radius of hundreds of miles
of the cataract. These scientific discoveries were promptly availed of by
capitalists, and hydro-electric works upon a large scale were undertaken on
the American side of the river in 1889, when several charters were granted
for the use of Niagara River water for this purpose.
The Park Commissioners on the Canadian side to whom had been en-
trusted the administration of the water power within the park conceived
it to be their duty in the public interest, and apart altogether from questions
of revenue, to secure similar advantages for the advancement of Canadian
industries, and to that end recommended the Government of Ontario to grant
franchises, by which, under certain restrictions, the waters of the Niagara
River might be taken on the Canadian side for the generation of electricity
for general commercial purposes. These recommendations were all con-
curred in by the Government, and given effect to by the Provincial Le^s-
lature from time to time.
The sources of the Niagara River, reaching out as they do into no less
than seven States of the Union, in addition to the Province of Ontario, and
as the Niagara River forms the boundary line between the Province of
Ontario and the State of New York, it will generallv be admitted that any
questions relating to the extensive use of its waters should come within the
scope of international jurisdiction: and, as the relative drainage area in each
country into the great lakes and through the Niagara River is approxi-
mately the same, the withdrawals of water on each side of the line should
in theory be approximately equal. When, however, physical conditions and
local features are taken into account we find that throughout the entire
course of the upper river the deep channel is on the Canadian side; and from
the very commencement of the rapids above the Falls, the whole trend of the
water in the main channel is towards the Canadian shore, resulting in the
flow over the Canadian Falls being equal to about ninety per cent, of the
entire waters of the river.
1905 QUEEN VICTORIA NIAGARA FALLS PARK.
The average outflow from Lake Erie through the Niagara River has
been determined by United States engineers to be 222,400 cubic feet per
second, which under the difference in elevation found between the summit
of the upper rapi48 and the base of the Falls (about 210 feet) will produce
a theoretical energy equivalent to about 5,300,000 horse power. In prac-
tice, however, it is necessary to make substantial reductions from the theor-
etical power of a water fall owing to the impossibility of utilizing the full
head of water, and also because of the energy lost in hydraulic and electric
machinery. It is, therefore, only under most favorable circumstances that
even two-thirds of the nominal power may be obtained for power purposes.
The water supply to the Erie Canal on the American side, and to the
Welland Canal on the Canadian side was not included in the measurement
of volume of flow made by the United States engineers referred to, but the
quantities taken are about equal in each case.
In deciding what would be an equitable International distribution of
the water flowing over Niagara Falls, it should be kept in mind that the
works which have been constructed at Chicago for the drainage of the sewers
of that city into the Mississippi Eiver, and the creation of a hydro-electric
plant in connection therewith, involving the withdrawal from the lake sys-
tem of 60,000 cubic feet per minute, or 10,000 cubic feet per second, prac-
tically lessens the flow over the falls to that extent.
In estimating the cubic feet of water per second required to operate to
their full capacity the various power companies now exercising their fran-
chises on both sides of the river, regard must be had to the actual heads that
each company works under. A comparative statement of this is shown in the
following summary, viz :
Chicago Drainage Canal 32 feet
Niagara Falls Power Company 136 "
Niagara Falls Hydraulic and Manufacturing Company 210 "
Canadian Niagara Power Company* 136 feet
Electrical Development Company 136 "
Ontario Power Company 1^0 "
It will thus be seen that the Niagara Falls Hydraulic Power and Manu-
facturing Company, which takes its supply from an open canal carried from
the river above the rapids through the City of Niagara Falls to the edge of
the cliff, and discharges its spent water into the gorge immediately below,
is the only one at Niagara Falls which uses anything like the full available
head. The Ontario Power Company comes next, operating under about
86 per cent, of the total head; the works of the remaining three companies,
one on the American side and two in the Queen Victoria Park, use only about
two-thirds of the full head, requiring, therefore, a much greater quantity
of water to produce an equivalent amount of electric power. Under the«e
varying conditions the companies now exercising their franchises will pro-
bably require for the ultimate operation of their works the followin<^ quan-
tities of water, viz. :
THE REPORT OF THE No. 6
Electrical water required
Horse Power. Cu. ft. per sec.
Chicage Drainage Canal 27,000 10,000
Niagara Falls Power Company ; 200,000 17,200
Niagara Falls Hydraulic and Manufacturing Co. 100,000 , 5,600
Canadian Niagara Power Company 100,000 8,600
Electrical Development Company 125,000 10,750
Ontario Power Company 180,000 11,700
These figures show that when these various power works are in full
operation, the water required on the American side will amount to 32,800
cubic feet and on the Canadian side of the river 31,050, making a total of
63,850 cubic feet of water per second that may be withdrawn from the Niag-
ara River for electrical power purposes, in addition to the water required
for the general manufacturing purposes now carried on in connection with
the Niagara Falls Hydraulic and Manufacturing Company's canal.
The Chicago Drainage Canal is now taking about 5,000 cubic feet of
water per second ; the two power companies on the American side at Niagara
Falls about 9,000, and on the Canadian side about 3,000, or a present aggre-
gate withdrawal equal to about one-fourth of the total ultimate require-
ments of the works under construction. It will thus be seen that the volume
of water now flowing over the crest of the two falls has already been reduced
from 222,400 to about 205,000 cubic feet per second, or about seven per cent,
less than the mean or average flow extending over a long term of years.
This small reduction has, of course, had no appreciable effect upon the falls.
When, however, the full compliment of water is taken by each of the com-
panies referred to, the flow over the falls will then be only about 77 per
cent, of the present volume. In other words, the total amount of water
required for the full operation of the hydro-electric works already completed
or in process of construction will necessitate the withdrawal of 23 per cent,
of the present flow over the Canadian and the American Falls.
As the quantity of water required for the operation of these works will
vary from time to time, according to the amount of electricity which the
several companies may be enabled to market it will in all probability be
many years before the total quantity of water thus indicated will be required,
and in any case the withdrawals up to the maximum requirements will be
very gradually made.
Just what the ultimate effect the abstraction from the river above the
falls of such a large percentage of its water will have upon the appearance
of the two falls is, of course, a matter affording room for a wide divergence
of opinion. The volume of flow will, of course, be greatly reduced, but on
the other hand the width of the Horse Shoe Falls at the crest line has been
considerably narrowed in on the Canadian side, and the force of the current
will be diminished. On the whole the Commissioners are of the opinion
that the resultant effect will not seriously detract from the scenic beauty of
the twin cataract to any great degree.
It must, however, be pointed out that the franchises now in operation
are not the only companies that have been granted statutorv authority to
take water from the Niagara River, or from its source of supply, for the pur-
1905 QUEEN VICTORIA NIAGARA FALLS PARK.
poses of developing power. In addition to the several companies already
referred to, whose works of development are in a more or less advanced
state, there are no fewer than six charters on the American, and four on
the Canadian side of the boundary, in respect of which work has not yet
been commenced. It is important, therefore, that all rights granted for
prospective operation, and which, if not forfeited or annulled, may be pro-
ceeded with at any time, should be kept in view. The following memor-
andum has, therefore, been prepared giving in condensed form the charters
granted on each side of the river as far as the Commissioners have been
able to ascertain, viz. :
On the American Side.
author- Cubic feet
Name. ization. per second.
-^ 1. The Niagara Falls Hydraulic Power and Manu-
facturing Company 1879 Not defined.*
2. Lockport Water Supply Company 1886 Unlimited.
-* 3. Lewiston Water Supply Company 1888 Unlimited.
JP" 4. Niagara Falls Power Company 1889 Approx. 17,200.
-•- 5. Buffalo and Niagara Power and Drainage Co... 1889 Unlimited.
> 6. Chicago Sanitary District 1889 10,000.
■^ 7. Niagara County Irrigation and Water Supply
Company 1891 Unlimited.
^ 8. Niagara Power and Development Company.... 1894 Unlimited.
^ 9. Niagara, Lockport and Ontario Power Company 1894 Unlimited.
In addition to these franchises, the International Paper Company at
Niagara Falls and the Niagara Falls Water Works ComT>any each use con-
siderable quantities of water.
On the Canadian Side.
Under agreement with the Queen Victoria Niagara Falls Park Com-
author- Cubic feet
Name. ization. per second.
1. Canadian Niagara Power Company 1892 Approx. 8,600.
2. The Ontario Power Company 1900 Approx. 11,700.
3. Electrical Development Company 1903 Approx. 10,750.
The Ontario Power Company has a franchise for taking water from the
Welland River, in addition to its Niagara River rights.
Chartered* hy the Dominion of Canada.
4. The Niagara-Welland Power Company 1894 Unlimited.
5. The Jordan Light, Heat and Power Co 1895 Unlimited.
6. Erie Ontario Power Company 1903 Unlimited.
In addition the Cataract Power Company at DeCews Falls obtains a
comparatively small supply from the water of the Welland Canal and the
*This Company claims the right to take from S,000 to 10,000 cubic ft. per second for
THE REPORT OF THE No. 6
Niagara Falls Park and River Branch of the International Rilway Com-
pany the water necessary to operate its road.
Prom this summary it will be seen that of the ten non-developing com-
panies that have been granted authority to use Niagara water on both sides
of the river, none are in any way limited in respect to the quantity which
may be taken for development purposes. Should all of these companies
exercise the privileges conferred, and should their undertakings be carried
out upon anything like the scale adopted by the companies whose works are
now in course of construction, there can be no question but that the Falls
of Niagara as a scenic spectacle would be most seriously impaired, if not
It is obvious, therefore, that the public agitation for restriction in the
further abstraction of Niagara River water is well founded, and that it is
absolutely essential for the preservation of Niagara Falls that the Govern-
ments territorially interested should cause a full investigation to be made
without further delay, in order that the great cataracts may be saved from
It may be here pointed out in respect to the three companies operating
on the Canadian side, that all the water withdrawn from the river will be
returned to it immediately below the Horse Shoe Falls, and that the two
companies operating on the American side will deliver their waste water a
very short distance below the American Falls, so that the volume of water
in the lower river and rapids will not in the slightest deerree be diminished
by the operations of these companies.
The Commissioners have frequentlv drawn attention in their reports,
to the possibility of economically developing large blocks of power from
the lower rapids by taking advantage of the fall in the river both above
and below the whirlpool. vShould it be decided by the Governments inter-
ested to place restrictions on the further use of the water above the falls,
doubtless the attention of capitalists will be drawn to the great possibilities
for power development here presented. This second use of the water for
commercial purposes could be accomplished without in any way injuriously
affecting the grand scenic features of the lower river.
Having shown the volume and capacity of the flow of water in the
Niagara River, and the relative extent to which the granting of charters
for power production has been carried on in the United States and Canada,
the Commissioners now desire to give the reasons which influenced them
in recommending the granting of franchises for the development of electric
power in the Queen Victoria Niagara Falls Park.
As Canada possessed at least an equal right with the United States in
the use of Niagara waters, and as a strong public sentiment demanded that
the Province of Ontario should equally share in the great advantages that
will result from the electrical development of part of the enormous hydraulic
power of the Falls, the Commissioners, in the performance of the duties cast
upon them, gave very careful consideration to an application which was
made in 1889 for water privileges within the Park.
At that date, no less than five charters had been granted by the New
York State Legislature for the use of Niagara water for power purposes on
the American side, two of which, namely, the Niagara Falls Hydraulic
Power and Manufacturing Company, and the Niatrara Falls Power Com-
pany, were actively engaged in the construction of their works. The Com-
missioners, therefore, decided that in order to protect Canadian interests
it was necessary that franchises for the development of power should be
granted on the Canadian side, but that these privileges should not be granted
without a fair compensation by way of yearly rental being made. As the
1905 QUEEN VICTORIA NIAGARA FALLS PARK.
physical conditions in the Park were found to be particularly favorable for
the carrying out of such works, an interim agreement was entered into with
eminent English capitalists, by which, in consideration of a large forfeit-
able deposit, time was granted to organize a company for the carrying out
of the work. Owing, however, to a long continued depression in the money
market, the promoters were obliged to abandon the project.
Application was then made for the privilege by American capitalists
engaged in developing electrical power on the American side, conditioned,
however, that they should have the exclusive right to operate within the
Park. After prolonged negotiations and endeavors to free the application
from exclusive rights, having failed, an agreement was entered into in 1892
with the Canadian Niagara Power Company, under which it was granted
exclusive authority to develop the water power of the Falls in the Park for
the generation of electric or pneumatic power. This agreement was approved
by the Government, and afterwards confirmed by the Legislature of Ontario
by special Act, 55 Vict., Chap. 8.
In making this agreement, the Commissioners required that a substan-
tial money payment should be made by way of annual rental for the privi-
leges granted, and also stipulated that one-half of all the power generated
should be available for Canadian consumers at rates not to exceed those
charged upon the American side for similar quantities of electric power.
After several years' delay, chiefly owing to the inability of the company
to secure the large capital necessary for the carrying out of the undertaking,
the risrhts which had been granted were on the recommendation of the Com-
missioners annulled bv the Legislature, and the payments of rental which
had been made were forfeited. A second agreement was, however, entered
into with the same companv in 1899, granting restricted powers, an amended
scale of rentals, and abolishing entirely the exclusive rights before enjoyed.
In the meantime additional water power charters had been granted by the
State of New York and also by the Government of Canada, differing, how-
ever, from the charters negotiated by the Park Commissioners, inasmuch as
not in a single instance were anv restrictions made in respect to the quantity
of water which might be taken or in obtaining payment for the valuable
privileges conceded, except in the case of the Cataract Power Company, which
takes its supply from the Wolland Canal.
During the period that the Canadian Niagara Power Company had
exclusive privileges for generating power in the Park, the Ontario Power
Companv, which had received a charter from the Dominion of Canada for
the same purpose, made an application to the Commissioners to be allowed
to proceed with their works, which application could not be granted on
account of the exclusive privileges given to the Canadian Niagara Power
Company. As soon, however, as these exclusive rights were annulled, the
aDplication was renewed, and in the year 1900 an agreement was arrived at.
This agreement did not contemplate the taking of water within the Park
.limits, but from the Welland River, which flows into the Niagara about a
mile up stream from the southerly boundary of the Park. The franchise
granted contained similar provisions and restrictions as to works, rentals
and the reservation of power for Canadian consumers as were made in resDect
to the Canadian Niagara Power Companv. Owincr to phvsical difiiculties
encountered in usingr water brought from the Welland Eiver. the Ontario
Power Company made a further application for the right to take water
from the Niagara River, which, after due consideration, was granted; and
an agreement entered into in 1902, under the terms of which the company,
in consideration of an increased pavment, was authorised to tap the Nia^'.-^ra
River at the Dufferin Islands, and by means of underground constructions
10 THE REPORT OF THE No. 6
develop electricity in a power house situated in the Gorge immediately
below the Falls.
The Canadian Niagara and the Ontario Power Companies prosecuted
their respective undertakings with great energy, and each of them have
now ready for commercial use about thirty thousand horse power of electric
energy, only a small proportion of which, hoewever, has as yet found a mar-
ket in Canada.
It may here be noted that of the companies operating on the American
side, the Niagara Falls Hydraulic Power and Manufacturing Company has
at present an output capacity of 34,000 horse power, all of which is marketed
in Niagara Falls, N.Y. ; and the Niagara Falls Power Company, which has
machinery installed for 100,000 electrical horse power, of which quantity
45,000 is now furnished to industries at Niagara Falls, N.Y., and 30,000
electrical horse power is transmitted to consumers in Tonawanda, Lockport
Up to the time of granting the second franchise to the Ontario Power
Company, in 1902, public sentiment in Canada appeared to be entirely in
favor of the course pursued by the Commissioners respecting the develop-
ment of power on the Canadian side of the river. A short time after this,
however, application was made on behalf of a very strong combination of
Canadian capitalists for a third site in the Park for the development of
electricity upon a large scale, and the plea was advanced that as the com-
panies then holding franchises within the Park limits were almost wholly
controlled by foreign capital, it would be most unjust to refuse Canadians
an opportunity of demonstrating their ability to execute such important
works upon equal terms with the American companies.
This application met with considerable opposition on the part -of rival
interests and portions of the press, chiefly upon the American side, severely
criticising the principle of granting charters which would be exercised in
a public park. Before the Commissioners took the application into considera-
tion, the chairman prepared a memorandum setting forth all the conditions,
hydraulic, scenic. International and economic which were in any degree
affected by the proposal, and submitted the same for the consideration of
the Government, with a request that all questions of policy and expediency
should be determined by the Government, and recommending that in respect
to the hydraulic features of the case independent expert engineering opinion
should be obtained. .
After the hearing given bj the Government to all parties interested,
and an examination made of the reports made by the expert engineers en-
■gaged tto investigate the hydraulic questions involved, the Government
decided that the application should be granted, and accordingly an agree-
ment was entered into in January, 1903, for the carrying out of this import-
Having thus given a brief outline of the circumstances and conditions
which led the Commissioners to recommend that franchises should be given
io the Canadian Niagara Power Company, the Ontario Power Company and
the Electrical Development Company of Ontario for utilizing the waters
of the Niagara River within the Park, and only in respect of which are the
Commissioners in any way responsible, reference may now be made to the
financial considerations, and which by some are considered only of second-
ary importance, which were made an indispensable condition to the granting
of every franchise.
In their previous reports the Commissioners have stated that when the
Government of Ontario decided to create a Park system at Niagara Falls,
it was upon the distinct understanding that the undertaking should be made
1905 QUEEN VICTORIA NIAGARA FALLS PARK. 11
self-sustaining, and that it should not become a permanent financial burden (/
upon the Province. The necessity therefore was laid upon the Commission-'^
ers to devise measures whereby tJie large sums annually required to police,
maintain and improve the property, and in addition to obtain the means
of paying the interest on the debentures issued for the acquirement of the
territory included in the Park domain, should be provided.
As the means first adopted for this purpose proved entirely insufficient,
the Commissioners were in a measure, apart from the duties laid upon them
to keep pace with the industrial development on the American side of the
river, obliged to take advantage of the opportunity afforded by the granting
of water power privileges to add to their income, with the result that in
every instance in which rights have been granted it has been made a sine-
qtLa-non that equitable compensation should be made therefor. Of all the
franchises which have been hitherto granted on either side of the river, only
from those negotiated and chosen by the Commissioners has a yearly rental
been exacted, the amount received from such franchises up to the present
time amounts to over |400,000.
Had it not been for these substantial receipts, the Commissioners would
long ere this have been obliged to call upon the Provincial exchequer for
large annual grants in order that the extensive territory now included in
the Park system might be maintained and developed.
It is frequently charged that the Commissioners by authorizing the ^.
various works and constructions required for power development to be
located within the Park, they have thereby violated the trust imposed" on i_ ^
them by permitting more or less desecration of the aesthetic surroundings ^ ^ .^
of the Great Cataract, which it was their special province to preserve. This " '
phase of the subject has been dealt with in previous reports, but as mis-
apprehension still exists, the Commissioners, in defence of their action,
must again point out that nearly all the works which will permanently
appear upon the surface within the present Park limits are distinctly out-
side the territory which was originally intended to be appropriated for Park
purposes. Fortunately, however, the territory in question was extended
80 as to take in all the frontage along the river above the Falls as far as the
head of the upper rapids. Had this not been done, the whole of this area
would undoubtedly have been turned into a manufacturing district, with all
kinds of erections over which no control could be exercised by the Board. As
it is, no buildings or constructions can be put up until the plans have been
submitted' to and have received the approval of the Commissioners. The
several companies to whom franchises have been granted have invariably
met the views of the Commissioners in respect to the character of the works
appearing on the surface of the Park in a most liberal manner, and in con-
sequence, the works and buildings already constructed are of a high type of
architectural beauty, having all been specially designed by skilled artists
with reference to their location in a public park. The design for the power
house of the Electrical Development Company and the finish to be given
the Spillway building (the only two structures not yet completed) have each
received the most careful attention, and the Commissioners feel assured that
when all these works and structures are fully completed and the surface sur-
roundings are finished and planted in the manner designed, that they will
be entirely acquitted of the charge of violating the trust imposed in con-
nection with the Canadian environment of Niagara Falls. On the contrary,
the Commissioners fully believe that when these great electrical works —
the greatest of the kind in the world — are in full operation, they will qrreatly
add to the attractiveness of Queen Victoria Niagara Falls Park.
12 THE REPORT OF THE No. S
In concluding their references to the present and prospective relations
oi the power development works to the future of Niagara Falls, and having
regard more especially to the serious impairment, if not the practical des-
truction of the beauty and scenic effects of the Cataract through further
diversion of the river waters, the Commissioners desire to offer the follow-
'ng suggestions: —
(1) That the whole subject, involving the further diversion of water
fiom Niagara River for power development in excess of the charters now
being exercised be referred to an International Commission, appointed by
the Governments directly interested, territorially or otherwise, in order that
an agreement may be arrived at between such Governments as to further
withdrawals of water on both sides of the river.
(2) That a careful enquiry be made by the Governments indicated re-
specting the charters already granted, but in regard to which no works what-
ever have been commenced, with a view to the cancellation of the same.
The Commisioners now desire to refer to the general works which have
cccup^'ed their attention during the past season, and a brief reference may
first be made to the progress of the three power companies whose works have
80 frequently been referred to.
Canadian Niagara Power Company.
" In their last Annual Report the Commissioners referred to the comple-
tion by the Canadian Niagara Power Company of the first instalment of
power required under the terms of their agreements, and to the inaugural
ceremonies held on the 2nd January, 1905, when in the presence of the Com-
missioners and of the chief officials of the Company two of the ten thousand
horse power generators were tested and found to be ready for service. Since
that time a third generator of equal capacity has been completed, and work
upon two others is now in an advanced state.
It has been a matter of regret to the Commissioners that owing chiefly
to delays in the construction of transmission lines, the company have so far
been unable to market to any large extent the product of the first two gen-
erators. Electricity is, however, now being furnished by this company for
the lighting of the City of Niagara Falls and for local industries, but as the
total amount of power required for these purposes is alleged to be within
the quantity which the company is entitled to use under the provisions of
its agreement in respect to the fixed rental, no payments have yet been
made on account of such excess over the ten thousand horse power authorized.
The completion of the forebay and intake works of this company enabled
the lands reclaimed from the river in front and north of the power house as
far as the railway and city intake to be levelled off and surfaced with good
soil, when planted this area will become a very attractive addition to the
The Commissioners greatly regret the removal bj- death of Mr. "\V. B.
Rankine, the First Vice-President and General Manager of this Company,
who has from the beginning been actively interested in the various projects
connected with power development for commercial purposes at Niagara
Falls. The Commissioners desire to place on record their appreciation of
the marked ability and unfailing courtesy which characterized Mr. Rankine
in all his dealings with the Board, extending over a period of more than
thirteen years, and their extreme regret that he should have been taken
awav at the moment when the fruition of his labors was in sight.
1906 QUEEN VICTORIA NIAGARA FALLS PARK. 13
Ontario Power Company.
The Ontario Power Company have displayed great eneigy in the pro-
secution of their works throughout the year. By mid-summer all the vast
works from the intake at Dufferin Islands to the power house below the
Falls were sufficiently advanced to permit of the water being turned in and
the machinery and appliances tested, and on the 1st day of July last the
first generator of ten thousand horse power capacity was placed in com-
mission, and the current sent over the company's temporary transmission
Since that date the handsome buildings for the gate and screen houses
at the south end of the Park, the first section of the power house in the
Gorge, including machinery for the generation and control of 30,000 electri-
cal horse power, have all been completed, and the large area of Park sur-
face which had been torn up by the Company's works has been restored and
surfaced with good soil.
The only unfinished work of this Company in the Park is the overflow
and regulation chamber at the northern terminus of the pipe line, near the
Park pavilion. Owing to the location of these works at the narrowest part
of the Park, and the necessity for a considerable elevation above the Park
surface in order to ensure a perfect regulation of the flow of water in the
main pipe, the plans for the structure and its immediate surroundings at this
crucial point have occupied the attention of the Board and the Company
at many protracted meetings during the year. As a result of this prolon"-ed
consideration, however, the Company have at length submitted olans. which
in the opinion of the Board will not only meet with the approval of the pub-
lic, but will afford increased facilities for^ viewing the Falls to the .orreatest
advantage from new and artistically constructed view points, at an elevation
which will command excellent prospects not only of the Falls but also of the
upper and lower river.
When approval was given to the plans of this Company's power house,
situate in the Gorge of the river below the Falls, permission was granted
for the construction of an electric elevator, by means of which access could
be had to the floor of the power house from the street level; as the plans
provided for an open steel tower, it was feared that any construction at this
point, no matter how artistically designed, would prove objectionable, and
might seriously interfere with the view of the Horse Shoe Fall from various
points in the Park. The Commissioners, therefore, entered into negotia-
tions with the Company for a change in plan which would do awav with the
exposed structure, and by means of a tunnel carried into the cliff and a
shaft ascending at a point in rear of the railway tracks, afford a means of
access to the transformer house on the elevation overlooking the Park. This
arrangement was finally made, and the work is now in progress, and when
completed the elevator, which was long used for taking visitors behind the
"Sheet of Water," will be removed.
Electrical Development Company.
Excellent progress has been made during this year by this Company in
the construction of its works. The river structures have been practically
completed, and the foundations of the power house carried up to floor level.
The wheel-pit and all underground work is about ready for the hjdraulic
machinery, which is now being delivered.
A large section of the heavy steel framework of the power hou?e has
been erected, and the stone-work, which is to form the outer casing of the
U THE REPORT OF THE No. ft
building, has nearly all been cut and stored on the ground ready for build-
ing operations in the spring.
A large section of the cofferdam, by means of which the river bed was
unwatered so that the construction of the water walls and other works might
be proceeded with, has been taken away, and the river bed outside the over-
flow wall is now restored to its former condition.
The agreement entered into with the Company for the utilization of
the surplus water found in its forebay, and to which reference was made in
last year's report, failed to receive the ratification of the Legislature, and,
therefore, did not become operative.
The International Railw^ay Company.
A controversy has arisen with the International Railway; Company, as
successors to the Niagara Falls Park and River Railway Company, in refer-
ence to the interpretation of a clause in the Act under which the Railway
Company claims very extensive powers in respect to the generation of elec-
tricity in their power house in the Park. The subject is referred to at some
length in a memorandum appended to this report, but may be briefly sum-
marized as follows :
In the original agreement made in 1891, the Company were authorized
to take water from the river for the purpose of operating and lighting the
railway, and the Ontario Legislature of 1892 incorporated the railway , under
the name of the Niagara Falls Park and River Railway Company, and con-
firmed the agreement entered into with the Commissioners. In 1900 the
Buffalo Railway Company, incorporated by the Government of Canada,
acquired the franchise and property of the Niagara Falls Park and River
Railway Company, and a confirming Act was passed by the Legislature in
1901 (1 Edward VII., Chap. 86), but in this confirming Act the clause
limiting the electric power which the Company might generate was changed
to read, "the purposes of any Railway Company which purchases the fran-
chise of the Company."
In 1902, both the Parliament of Canada and the Legislature of Ontario,^
granted authority to substitute the title International Railway Conipanyy.
for the Buffalo Railway Company, but in all these various Acts the juris-
diction and control of the Park Commissioners were specifically reserved.
The company made application in October, 1903, to the Commissioners
for approval of plans, showing a system of conduits for carrying electric
wires, extending from the Company's Power House, through the Park to the
(Jpper Steel Arch Bridge, the object being to carry electric power, generated
in the railway Power House, across to the United States to operate the exten-
sive railway system of the company in that country, and claiming authority
'under the legislation of 1901 for so doing.
The Commissioners could not see their way clear to accede to the
demands of the company, and as the claim of the company opened up
important questions of law and policy, in respect of which legal counsel
disagreed, the Commissioners referred the whole question to the Govern-
ment for a decision.
The City of Niagara Falls under an agreement with the Commissioners
obtains its water supply from the Niagara River a short distance south of
the brink of the Falls. Owing in a large measure to the recession of the
Falls, and possibly in some degree to the temporary coffer dams placed in
1905 QUEEN VICTORIA NIAGARA FALLS PARK. 15
the river to facilitate the construction of the power works, the level of the
water at the joint intake of the city and the railway company was not high
enough to secure a full supply of water for driving the hydraulic pumps at
seasons of the j^ear when ice is running in the river. In consequence of this
it is claimed by the Corporation of Niagara Falls, the water works system
has for several years been obliged to shut down in severe winter weather,
leaving the city without sufficient water for household purposes, and without
fire protection. The city authorities, therefore, applied to the Commission-
ers to obtain some measure of relief, particularly as they claimed that the
low level was caused by the construction works referred to. The Commis-
sioners while not agreeing with the contention of the city authorities, but
having regard to the seriousness of the situation and after consultation with
Mr. Isham Randolph, the eminent Engineer of Chicago, decided to build
a submerged dam opposite the north end of the intake, and thus raise the
level of the water a foot or so for the benefit of the city.
As the point in question is only a very short distance from the brink of
the Falls, and the current is very swift, it was considered inadvisable to
adopt any of the usual methods of constructing a dam. Mr. Randolph,
however, designed a concrete column, fifty feet high, divided into sections,
and connected together by a chain passing through the centre. This column
was built on a high trestle, and when completed was tipped bodily into the
river, the trestle floating away and leaving a clear space next the shore for
passing ice, the concrete column forming a solid barrier to the passage of
the water. Unfortunately in falling, the column rested upon a series of
large boulders, which prevented it accomplishing its full purpose, although
the water was permanently raised about ten and a half inches.
The outlying park territory at Fort Erie, Xiagara Glen, and Queens-
ton Heights, was duly cared for, and sundry improvements carried on dur-
ing the year, full particulars in respect to which will be found in the Super-
At Fort Erie, the Monument which, through the generosity of the Do-
minion Government, the Commissioners were enabled to erect in honor of
the gallant heroes who fell in the many engagements which took place in
the War of 1812-14, for the possession of this fortress, has been completed;
but as the breaking up of the Military Camp at Xiagara took place before
completion, it was found impossible to arrange for suitable unveiling cere-
monies. The shaft is of Canadian Granite, with bronze inscription tablets,
and is a valuable addition to the southern terminus of the park system.
Fairly good progress was made during the season in protecting the
shore line of the upper river from further erosion by the use of stone riprap
Several additional strips of property were acquired for the purpose of wid-
ening the roadway, which runs along the margin of the river. The Com-
missioners are very anxious to prosecute this work with vigor, but have
hitherto been unable to do so owing to the want of sufficient funds.
A broad boulevard along this connecting link, between the Park at
Xiacrara Falls and Fort Erie is most desirable, as it would form a magnifi-
cient annroach to the Falls from Buffalo and the south.
Reference was made in the last annual report to the main north entrance
to the park, in front of the Clifton House; as this road was exceedingly
narrow, and dangerous to traffic, the Commissioners have been endeavoring
for ypars to secure a strin from the adjoining proprietors, in order to make
a wide and well finished approach to the Park from the City of Xiagara
Iti THE REPORT OF THE No. 6
Falls, and also from the Steel Arch Bridge, by which the heavy volume of
American and foreign travel has access to the park. Taking advantage of
the reconstruction of the Clifton House, the Commissioners have acquired
by purchase, a sufficient width to afford a suitable approach, and as soon as
the new Clifton House building is completed, the road will be graded, and
the entrance to the Park completed.
All the ordinary works required for the maintenance of the extensive
park property have been carried on throughout the season, a full reference
to which will be found in the report of the Superintendent of the park,
which is appended hereto. The statement of receipts and expenditures for
the year will be found attached, also the report of the Superintendent upon
the proposal to construct a dam at the foot of Lake Erie.
All which is respectfully submitted.
Sgd. J. W. Langmuir,
Sgd. George H. Wilkes,
Sgd. Robert Jaffray,
Sgd. L. Clarke Raymond,
Sgd. P. W. Ellis.
QUEEN VICTORIA NIAGARA FALLS PARK.
Ontario Power Company, rental |30,000 00
Canadian Niagara Power Company, rental- 15,000 00
International Railway Company, rental 10,000 00
Electrical Development Company, rental 7,500 00
Zybach & Company, rental 9,000 00
Refund from Dominion Government (on account
of Fort Erie monument) 3,000 00
Tolls and sundries 1,188 30
Wharf privileges 411 00
Overdraft at Imperial Bank, December 30th, 1905 26,734 21
Note. — The special deposit of |25,000 made in 1903, for the mainten-
ance of water levels at the intake of Canadian Niagara Power Company,
and at joint intake of International Railway Company, and city water
supply, now ammounts to |25,099.09; interest credited, amounting to
12,288.41, and |2,189.32 having been paid out on account of overflow dam
constructed at city and railway intake.
Paid overdraft Imperial Bank, January 1st, 1905 122,460 50
1905 QUEEN VICTORIA NIAGARA FALLS PARK. 17
Capital Account :
Paid wages, permanent works $5,287 io
" materials 4,031 62
" completing refectory building 1,567 48
" protecting shore and grading, etc.. Upper
Niagara River v • 7,325 38
" acquiring lands to widen Upper Niagara
Kiver Koad 1^036 o4
" acquiring frontage at Clifton House 5,001 59
" legal expenses 836 60
"^ expert engineering opinion, advice re-water
powers •• 3,465 08
Maintenance Account :
Paid salaries, office and official staff |3,590 00 ^
" *' constables and gardener 6,263 00
" wages, laborers and teams 10,012 73
" for materials 4,730 25
" office expenses , — 246 23
Commissioners' expenses 729 39
" miscellaneous 973 09
" Interest on bonds, including bank charges 25,276 28
REPOET OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE PARK.
To the Commissioners of the Queen Victoria Niagara Falls Park :
Gentlemen, — The winter of 1904-5 like its predecessor was exception-
ally severe and protracted, the cold weather extending well into the spring
months and causing great quantities of ice to form in the vicinity of the
Falls, thus delaying the commencement of the usual cleaning up works in
the park. Notwithstanding the very low temperature, recorded time and
again during the winter, the shrubbery and plant life in the Park came
through without injury, thus proving the exceptionally favourable condi-
tions here found for the growth of plants of tender habit.
Like the two previous years, last year was a very active one in the
park, owing to the great number of men employed in carrying on the works
for the development of the water power. Notwithstanding the severity of
the winter months, all these operations have been persistently pressed for-
ward throughout the season, and very great progress has been made in each
As these works are all of very great importance and interest, not only
in respect to their character as the most extensive and advanced mechanical
power, producing plants of the present day, but also in relation to their
location in the Niagara Falls Park, and the consequent effect, the works
will have upon the scenic surroundings of the great cataract, they will
be referred to at some length.
18 THE REPORT OF THE No. 6
Canadian Niagara Power Company.
As was noted in last years report, all the hydraulic and electric works
required for the installation of the first two generator units, each of 10,000
electric horse power output, were completed on 1st January, 1905, ready
for the formal opening of the works of the company within the time limit
fixed by the agreements made by the Commissioners; a vast amount of
work, however, remained to be done in order that the three additional elec-
trical generators needed to complete the first one-half of the total installa-
tion of electric power contemplated by this company, could be made ready,
a great amount or work was also required in connection with the interior
embellishment of the power house. Much of this work has been brought to
a successful completion during the past season, and the company have now
three of their large generators fully equipped, with all the hydraulic and
electrical appliances required for the efficient control of no less than 30,000
electrical horse power; while the hydraulic apparatus for the two additional
units has been installed and all the multitudinous works required to equip,
regulate and control the balance of the electrical machinery is far advanced
towards completion, although the generators have not yet been set up in
The extension of the wheelpit to the full length designed for the ulti-
mate capacity of the works, which was in progress at last report, was carried
down to its proper depth and the several side chambers required for oil, and
Water pumping machinery, etc., were all excavated early in the season, the
interior lining of the wheelpit with brickwork set in cement, has been
brought up to the full height and the numerous castings required to be set
in these walls for the support of the mechanism have all been put in place.
It is not the intention of company to extend the power house over this east-
erly one-half of the wheelpit at present. A temporary floor will, however,
be put over the whole of the area, pending such time as the market for elec-
tricity will warrant the installation of additional machinery and the exten-
sion of the building being undertaken. In the meantime a temporary tim-
ber wall has been put in the portion of the power house at present com-
Owing to the exceptionally severe weather and the very small quantity
of water used by the company in the early part of the winter, ice formed
very solidly in the Forebay with the result that several of the ice rack piers
were damaged, these were repaired during the season and all the intake and
Forebay works of the company are now in good working order.
So far the output of power by the company has been comparatively
small owing in a great measure to the difficulties which have arisen in com-
nection with the building of transmission lines by means of which a con-
siderable part of the electric power generated at Niagara Falls will be car-
ried from the power house in the Park, for use at points more or less remote
from the Falls. As the difficulties in question relate to the carrying of
high voltage copper or aluminum transmission cables have been referred
of railway which must be crossed, the matters at issue have been referred
to the Board of Railway Commissioners for settlement and as all the com-
panies developing power at Niagara Falls are equally interested in secur-
ing a prompt and reasonable determination of this question, it is important
that an early decision be made, otherwise the companies will be handicapped
in the sale of their power.
South of the railway intake, the rock filling by which the company
reclaimed a portion of the river bed has been properly faced with massive
stone riprap, and the surface of the made ground has been levelled and gov-
1905 QUEEN VICTORIA NIAGARA FALLS PARK. 19
ered over with soil, according to agreement. This work was sufficiently
advanced by mid-summer to permit of the area being sown with coarse
grasses, and late in the fall, quite a number of maples and elms were planted
out. This whole space will be finished off with clumps of shrubbery and
turf as soon as the spring opens, and the main park driveway which will be
located on this reclaimed territory east of the electric railway tracks will
be graded and macadamized ready for the midsummer traffic.
A heavy stone revetment wall has been constructed by the company
along the edge of the cliff from the view point which for many years formed
the terminus of the front walk at Table Eock, to the present edge of the
Falls ; the face of this wall was built a few feet back from the edge of the
cliff in order to conceal the masonry behind a facing of soil, in which vines
and shrubs may be planted so as to give a natural appearance to the bank at
this point; the space behind the wall was filled in and brought to a proper
level ready for covering over with surface soil.
It is proposed in 1906 to continue the present ornamental stone and iron
panelled parapet wall, which now ends near the old elevator formerly used
by visitors viewing the Falls from below, all the way to the edge of the
cataract, a distance of nearly eight hundred feet, so as to afford a suitable
finish to this the most important part of the park front, and at the same
time provide a perfectly safe protection to the promenade which will be con-
structed along the whole extent of and immediately behind the parapet.
Owing to the machinery and material required for the completion of
the tunnel operations of the Electrical Development Co., occupying all the
space north of the Electric Railway intake, the construction of the new
driveway along the river bank, south of Table Rock, which has been pro-
vided for in the new layout of the park could not be begun, it is hoped,
however, to have this improvement made early in the ensuing season.
As all the heavy material required for the installation of the hydraulic
works in connection with the third, fourth and fifth electrical units of this
company has until recently occupied the ground west of the power house, and
the contractors' plant and material have fullj' taken up the space to the
east and south, it has not been practicable to level off or surface with soil
this part of the companies' work.
The Ontario Power Company.
The Ontario Power Company, whose works required a much greater
tearing up of the park surface than the combined works of the other two
companies, has made splendid progress during the year with all the
various and extended operations required in its undertaking, and so success-
fully was this done that by the end of October, the company had brought to
completion nearly all its surface works in connection with its first installa-
tion of 60,000 horse power. At the extreme south end of the Park, the very
extensive Forebay constructed in the bed of the river, including the intake
gates and curtain walls by which the entrance of water into the Forebay is
regulated the extensive screens, inner Forebay, foundations of gate house
and all the various works required for the admission, regulation and con-
trol of the water for the entire requirements of the company's plant were
completed in the early part of the season and the Coffer Dam was removed
and the water admitted to all the upper works of the company in June
The eighteen feet diameter pipe line, which carries the water beneath
the park surface from the inner Forebay to north of Table Rock House, was
finished last year, but the immense amount of material which has been exca-
20 THE REPORT OF THE No. 6
vated in order to permit of the construction of this work had not been
replaced. Before this was done the exterior of the pipe was encased in con-
crete, the excavated material was replaced and the surface of the Park
brought to the required level, the whole of the disturbed area, together with
the extensive additions which had been made to the Dufferin Islands, was
then levelled off and covered with good surface soil as required by the Com-
The construction of the Screen House Building was carried on through-
out the year and is now practically completed. It is a well designed build-
ing of Roman Stone, with wide stair-ways leading up at either end to the
broad roof which has been adapted for a promenade; this promenade, which
is protected on either side by handsome railings of stone and open metal
work panels, will without doubt form one of the most attractive features of
the Park, as it affords a broad outlook over the whole width of the river
from the broad sweep of the flowing water of the upper river, through the
turbulent rapids to the ever ascending column of spray which marks the
position of the Horse Shoe Falls. In the immediate foreground a very fine
view is afforded of the outer and inner Forebays of the Ontario Power Com-
pany, further down stream, the Forebay of the Electrical Development
Company and the intake of the Canadian Niagara Power Company are well
seen. On the landward side, the course of the several narrow streams which
flow about the Dufferin Islands and the foliage of the banks and Islands all
combine to afford a most delightful and interesting panorama.
The gate house, which is completed, is a Roman Stone structure of
massive but pleasing architecture; the building contains the machinery and
appliances used in raising and lowering the heavy stoney gates which con-
trol the admission of water to the pipe lines. An underground extension of
the gate house at the river end, contains a battery of boilers for warming
the interior of the Screen and Gate houses to prevent frazil forming on the
iron work of the screens or gates. The boilers are heated by natural gas
and consequently are entirely free from the annoyances, caused by smoke or
At the northern end of the pipe line very extensive works were required
for the subdivision and control of the large volume of water delivered by the
eighteen-feet diameter main under a velocity of over fifteen feet per second.
Separate down pipes or penstocks are used to conduct the water from this main
to operate each of the electrical machines in the power house, and every pen-
stock required a valve by which the supply could be regulated or cut off as
might be desired. The penstocks are nine feet in diameter, and as the head
and velocity of water are considerable, the valves were of necessity of very
massive construction. A large space was therefore necessary for their instal-
lation and operation. This was accomplished by providing a long brick-lined
valve chamber in the rock beneath the eghteen-feet supply main, and con-
structing from the surface of the Park to this chamber concrete shafts between
each pair of valves in order to facilitate the renewing or repairing of the
mechanism from time to time. All this extensive and costly construction has
been finished, the large pipes encased in concrete, the filling and surfacing
completed, and nothing remains on the surface of the Park to indicate the
important works which have been constructed beneath.
In order to guard against the nopsibility of a sudden stoppage of the flow
of water through the main pipe by liqrhtning or otherwise, and the very serious
consenuences which might result therefrom, it was absolutely necessary to
provide in connection with the supply pipe an automatic device which would
afford prompt and efficient relief. A s all the works are upon a very crreat
scale the means ordinarily used for this purpose could not be adopted. After a
1906 QUEEN VICTORIA NIAGARA FALLS PARK. 21
great deal of study a spillway construction was designed as a terminal for the
pipe, in the form of an adjustable weir, with a spiral outflow for the waste
water terminating at the front of the power house in the lower river. The
principal part of this very important and extensive work has been completed,
and only the exterior finish of the structure and the restoration of the grounds
around the same requires attention.
In connection with the development of the plans for the restoration of
the Park adjacent to the spillway, advantage has been taken of a readjustment
of the plans for securing access from the Park surfce down to the power house
in the lower river and also up to the transformer house and general ofiices of
the company located on the high ground overlooking the Park, whereby the
elevator portal and the spillway which are in close proximity are treated as
component parts of one structure, with excellent architectural effect.
As these structures are located at the narrowest and possibly the most
interesting part of the Park, their completion will remove the last evidence
of the very great disturbance of the Park surface necessitated by the opera-
tions of this company.
Below the Cliff, the vast amount of work required to provide the founda-
tions for and install the hydraulic and electric machinery for the operation
and control of three complete units and the concrete foundations for three
additional machines has all been done. Much of the hydraulic and electric
machinerj- required for the fourth unit has also been delivered.
Upon the completion of the first two electrical generators with all thet
connecting works for the supply and regulation of the water required in their
operation, very careful tests were made of the flow in the hydraulic pipes and
the efficiency of the water wheels and machinery. These tests indicated that
the designs secured a greater delivery of water under a less friction loss than
had been assumed, and also that the efficiency of the water wheels was in
excess of the requirements. It was therefore decided to increase the size of
all additional generators to 12,000 instead of 10,000 electrical horsepower.
This enlargement of the mechanical units will of course result in fewer
machines being required, and thus reduce the ultimate length required for the
power house. The interior of the concrete wall of the power house has all
been lined with cream-colored tiles with ornamental relief.
Electrical Development Company. ^
All the works of this company both above and below the surface of the
Park, have been pushed forward with great energy during the year.
The wheelpit, the excavation of which was completed by the first of the
year, has been lined throughout with massive brickwork laid in cement, and
two tiers of heavily armored concrete arch beams have been thrown across
at various elevations to support the vertical shafting which will connect the
water wheels in the bottom of the pit with the generators on the floor of the
power house. These arched beams are also designed to resist the tendency of
the walls of such large excavations to creep inward at certain seasons of the
At the top of the pit a continuous concrete arch of great strength has
been built on which is carried the concrete foundations for the electric gener-
ators, each of 12,500 electric horse power capacity, the largest generators so
far designed for commercial purposes. The foundations for the power house,
which are of heavy concrete construction and rest upon bed rock, have all
been carried up to the floor level and made ready for the superstructure. The
two outer rows of arches which are to form the defences of the power station
22 THE REPORT OF THE No. 6
from floating or field ice have been completed. These are constructed of sub-
stantial concrete piers and arches up to a few feet below water level, and sur-
mounted with continuous curtain walls of very heavy masonry up to finished
floor level where a broad coping of dressed limestone provides a convenient
footway from which sheet ice, if formed in the forebays, may be dislodged
and passed on to the river through the sluiceways in the overfall dam.
The outer wall will also be provided with substantial iron railings, and
may ultimately be used as a promenade from which visitors can view the
beautiful prospect of the forebay and rapids without interruption of any kind.
The deepening of the forebay has been carried on continuously; the
greater part of the rock removed is being crushed for use in concrete, the bal-
ance being used for filling up to finished grade the lands reclaimed from the
river and in readjusting the finished surface of the Park in the vicinity of the
As early in the season as the works permitted, a beginning was made in
removing the coffer-dam, constructed in the river bed to unwater the forebay
and site of power station, and by the end of the year all that portion which
was below the cascades had been taken away. The removal of this great
coffer dam is necessarily a very slow work, as all the stone filling of the outer
and inner cribs and the clay puddle between has to be recovered by dredging,
and the timbers taken apart and removed from the water. The stone is of
course very useful for crushing into concrete or for filling purposes, while the
clay answers well for topping off the stone used in the fills. It will not be
practicable to remove the coffer dam above the end of the overfall dam until
the excavation of the forebay has been entirely completed and the tracks
The main discharge tunnel has been completed with the exception of the
concrete rings which form the lining at the portal under the Falls. This
tunnel, said to be the largest in cross-section which has heretofore been con-
structed, is a very fine example of high-class engineering and mechanical
work, and excites the admiration of visitors. The two branch tunnels, one on
either side of the wheelpit, which are to receive the spent water discharged
through the draft tubes after operating the water wheels, and deliver it to
the main tunnel a short distance from the lower end of he wheelpit, are also
practically complete and most of the corkscrew draft tubes have been put in
place. All this work will be ready for the installation of the hydraulic
machinery early in the spring.
Late in the autumn the heavy steel skeleton framework for the power
house was begun, and already nearly two-thirds of this work has been rivet-
ted up in place, and the track laid for the electric traveller by which the
machinery required in the work will all be. handled. This traveller is on the
ground ready to be put together.
The Indiana limestone, of which the walls of the power house will be
constructed, is all on the ground for the first section of the building — about
two-thirds of the ultimate length — and most of it has been cut and made
ready to be built into the work when spring opens. The stone is of very fine
quality, and well adapted for high class work, the carving on the capitals of
the colonnade and of the entablature of the main portico, has all been done
and the stones marked and piled ready for building operations.
Owing to the continued necessity for handling materials for the tunnel
through the shaft near electric railway intake, the removal of the many
buildings erected by the contractors near that point, and the tidying up of
the grounds has of course been delayed, and it will probably be well on in
the summer before the various construction works in connection with the power
1905 QUEEN VICTORIA NIAGARA FALLS PARK. 23
house will be far enough advanced to permit of the levelling and surfacing of
the Park in that vicinity being undertaken.
Restoration of Park Surface.
Heference has already been made to the levelling and surfacing of the
very extensive territory in the Park which had been disturbed by the con-
struction operations of the Ontario Power Company extending from the new
Refectory building to the southern extremity of the grounds above Dufferin
Islands, and to the changes consequent upon the works of the Canadian
Niagara Power Company. As soon as these works were sufficiently advanced
to permit of planting operations being undertaken the whole Park force was
employed in preparing the newly-made ground and in collecting and setting
out a great variety of deciduous trees and shrubs, evergreens and vines, so
as to cover as much of the territory as possible before winter set in. When
the works for the development of power were commenced, a large collection
of suitable stock for this purpose was selected at Font Hill nurseries and set
aside for future requii'ements, and arrangements made whereby the nursery-
men should give the best of attention to the care of this stock pending the
completion of the works and the restoration of the grounds. Owing to this
foresight over two thousand well grown, well rooted and in every way superior
trees and shrubs and vines were thus obtained and set out at various places
in the Park, chiefly on the newly made additions to the Dufferin Islands, and
about a thousand hardy natives were collected from the woods near at hand
and at Queenston Heights, and intermixed with the stock obtained from the
As the character of the new-made ground, particularly the extensions to
the Dufferin Islands, is simply a rock-dumped fill, full of interstices and
incapable of holding water, the earth surfacing used was in all cases clay,
upon which was spread a good coating of top-soil or sods. Notwithstanding
all precautions, however, it will be a difficult matter for a year or two to secure
sufficient shade to prevent the ground drying out in hot weather, the planting
has therefore been made much thicker than usual, with the expectation of
thinning out later on when the soil has silted down into the crevices of the
stones and afforded better nourishment for the roots of the plants, A collec-
tion of very sturdy elms and maples was also obtained from nearby woods and
planted at points where a strong growth was early desired, while many
deciduous trees of from twenty to thirty feet in height which were found
growing along the bank in rear of the Park and could be spared from their
natural location were transplanted with a ball of native soil for immediate
landscape effects in the vicinity of buildings and at points where screens of
foliage are absolutely required.
Fortunately, the latter part of the season was very mild, which permitted
of work in the open being carried on to a much later date than usual. This
work of planting should be carried on throughout the coming year with vigor
if the upper portion of the Park is to be brought to a finished condition with-
out undue delay.
General Park Works.
In last year's report the necessity for a new and enlarged shelter pavilion
in the picnic grounds was referred to. This work was undertaken early in
the season and completed in time for the opening of the excursion travel in
June. The new structure is of the same general design as the former one, but
twice as long and of heavier and more permanent construction. The floor is
24 THE REPORT OF THE No. 6
of concrete, and provision for the h.ot and cold water is made in a basement,
easy of access from the grounds and equipped with natural gas heaters, thus
doing away with the necessity of having a fireman constantly in attendance.
The number and size of the excursions visiting the Park in 1905 were, how-
ever, more than sufficient to tax the greatly increased accommodation thus
afforded, and it will be necessary to erect another building of the same gen-
eral character in the spring in order to provide for the comfort and conveni-
ence of visitors.
The perennial border which extends along the foot of the hill from the
picnic grounds to the jolly cut entrance to the Park, has been a source of
unending delight to visitors, the constant succession of bloom, the rarity of
many of the plants and the great diversity of the species calling forth much
praise from all who are in any way interested in flowering plants, and reflect-
ing very great credit on the Chief Gardener, Mr. R. Cameron. Now that the
upper portion of the Park has been restored a very favorable opportunity is
afforded for extending this work, as the combination of leaf mold soil and
spring water there presented will permit of equally favorable results being
attained in a much wider botanical field.
The northern portion of the Park was maintained in good condition
throughout the season, and notwithstanding a greatly increased volume of
both tourist and excursion travel, but little difficulty was experienced in
maintaining order at all times. A great many Niagara Palls citizens from
both sides of the river take advantage of the Park on moonlight nights to
enjoy the wierdly beautiful scenery presented by the Falls, the rapids and the
gorge under a subdued light, or to witness the delicate beauty of the lunar
bow outlined on the clouds of ascending spray. Many others desire to enjoy
the refreshing coolness of the evening atmosphere in the Park, particularly
during the hot season, but are prevented from doing so owing to the dark-
ness. It seems to me to be most desirable, therefore, that at least a portion of
the Park should be furnished with electric light, say for the present that part
which extends from the front entrance opposite the Clifton House southwards
as far as the edge of the Falls.
If this were done doubtless very many who are closely engaged all day
and have no leisure for recreation during business hours would take advan-
tage of the opportunity for an evening stroll in the Park, and the end for
which the Park was created would be fulfilled to a much higher degree.
The Mowat Gate, which is the principal entrance to the Park, was built
in 1887, and is constructed entirely of rustic cedar. It is now out of repair
and greatly in need of renewal. As the Victoria parkway in front of the new
Clifton House has been widened considerably, it would be desirable to make
a new carriage entrance nearer to the front of the Park and in a more direct
line with the approach from the end of the upper steel arch bridge. By so
doing a small piece of new road would be required to connect with the present
driveway near the Superintendent's office, and a new gateway substituted for
the Mowat Gate. This new entrance need not include a gate house, but pre-
ferably should be substantial and ornamental stone posts, two to delimit the
roadway and one on either side of these for pedestrian entrances. Should this
work be undertaken a new stone and metal panel fence, extending along the
whole northern limit of the property on Ferry street, would be a very great
improvement over the present wire fence and add greatly to the dignity and
character of the Park.
At Queenston Heights Park all the grounds were maintained in good
order throughout the year. A very noticeable increase of visitors to this
1905 QUEEN VICTORIA NIAGARA FALLS PARK. 25
famous historic ground taxed the facilities provided for their accommodation
to the utmost and necessitated additional work in attending to their require-
ments. Extra seats and tables were provided, new paths have been constructed
and a greater area of the grounds about the earthworks behind the Monument
was cleared up and made accessible.
A new path was made leading down the heights from the electric rail-
way crossing to the site of the half-moon battery made famous in the battle
of October 13th, 1812, as the point from which Major-General Brock first
observed the enemy to be in possession of the Heights, and a rustic viewpoint
has been constructed near by. The path was continued from the battery to
the steps overlooking Front street in the village of Queenston, and a connec-
tion path opened up from the same point along the roadbed o^ the old horse
tramway which, prior to 1857, connected Queenston with Chippawa and
formed the chief means of carriage for all goods passing up or down the
The small parcel of ground about the Monument set by His Majesty the
King on the occasion of his visit to Canada in 1860, to mark the spot where
General Brock fell, has also been maintained in good order and condition.
At Niagara Glen some additional paths have been made, opening up new
features of this very wild and interesting portion of the Park. The number
of visitors to the Glen has greatly increased in recent years, and were it not
for the fatigue involved in climbing up and down the cliff the numbers would
be many times greater. If it were possible to provide an incline railway at
.this point many who are now debarred might enjoy the unique display of
nature's handiwork, both geological and botanical, here displayed and the
objections now made by all visitors in warm weather would be removed.
At Fort Erie, the granite shaft erected by the Dominion Government at
the solicitation of the Commissioners was completed by the placing of the
bronze tablets commemorating the regiments taking part in the siege and
the officers whp fell in action at this point in the war of 1812-14.
An imposing flagstaff was also erected. It is wholly constructed of gal-
vanized steel, and is 100 feet in height. The ground in rear of the ruins of
the Fort were ploughed up in order to remove the unevenness and will be
levelled off and sown in good grass in the spring. A beginning was made in
providing plantations to relieve the bareness of the grounds and some very
fine maples and elms were planted.
Niagara River Boulevard.
The work of protecting the shore of the upper river from the erosive
action of the water has been carried on during 1905 and over two miles in the
aggregate of the worst spots have now been protected by heavy stone riprap
placed along the water line. The high water caused by storms on Lake Erie
which have been of requent occurrence the past few months has demonstrated
the necessity of urgently prosecuting this work as long reaches of the shore
which are not subject to wear at ordinary high water have given away under
the abnormal conditions which have recently prevailed and in some places
the waves have even surmounted the protection works but without causing
much damage. Although this work is costly, owing to the difficulty of obtain-
ing stone in the locality, yet there appears to be no other way of stopping ero-
sion, when once it has begun, which would be as economical and as easily
adapted to the requirements.
Several pieces of land have also been acquired during the year to widen
out the highway along the edge of the river bank. Altogether additional
26 THE REPORT OF THE No. 6
width has been secured for about one-fourth of the total distance between
Chippawa and Bridgeburg. As practically the whole of the frontage will
require to be widened in order to provide a suitable width for the proposed
boulevard, it is desirable that this work also should be prosecuted energetic-
ally, as without doubt the value of all lands within a reasonable distance of
Niagara Falls will be increased by reason of the development of the water
power for electrical purposes.
All which is respectfully submitted,
Copy of an Order-in-Council approved by His Honour the Lieutenant-
Governor the 14th day of June, A.D. 1905.
The Committee of Council advise that L. Clarke Raymond, of the Town
of Welland, Esquire, Barrister-at-Law, and Philip William Ellis, of the City
of Toronto, Esquire, be appointed Commissioners for the Queen Victoria Nia-
gara Falls Park in the room and stead of A. W. Campbell and James Bamp-
(Sgd.) J. LONSDALE CAPREOL,
Clerk, Executive Council.
Queen Victoria Niagara Falls Park.
Memorandum respecting the application of the International Railway Com-
pany to increase the output of electric energy at its power house in the
Park, and to lay conduits from the power station to the upper steel arch
bridge to carry the electricity without the Park.
In 1891 an agreement was entered into with a syndicate of Canadian
-capitalists for the construction of a line of electric railway through the Park
and extending northerly to connect with Lake Ontario navigation at the
Village of Queenston, and southerly to the terminus of Lake Erie navigation
at Chippawa, in order to provide easy and convenient access to the Park from
the larger centres of population within reach of Niagara Falls. By the
terms of this agreement authority was granted to procure from the waters
above the Falls the power required to operate and light the railway.
In 1892 an Act of the Legislature (55 Victoria, chapter 96) was passed
incorporating the company contemplated by the agreement under the title of
"The Niagara Falls Park and River Railway Company," under the provision
of which Act, in addition to the right to construct an electric railway between
the points named authority was granted the company to acquire stock in, or
run its cars over, any street car line which might connect with the railway,
and to convey the electricity required for working or lighting the railway
along the public highways and across any of the waters of the Province, but
the electricity so conveyed was not to be used for any other purpose than to
work and light the railway.
1905 QUEEN VICTORIA NIAGARA FALLS PARK. 27
The Act further provided that the rights granted the company should
not be exercised within the limits of the Park without the consent of the Com-
missioners or the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council. The
railway was constructed without delay, and was opened for traffic in the sum-
mer of 1892.
In 1900 the Buffalo Railway Company, incorporated under the laws of
the State of New York, was granted authority by the Parliament of Canada
(63-64 Victoria, chapter 54) to acquire certain railway and bridge company
franchises in Canada, including all the property and rights of the Niagara
Falls Park and River Railway Company's railway, but the Act specifically
preserved to the Commissioners all the jurisdiction and control in respect of
the Park and River Railway Company, which was secured to them under the
agreement of 4th December, 1891.
This Dominion Act was followed by an Act of the Provincial Legisla-
ture in 1901 (1 Edward VII., chapter 86) confirming the Dominion legisla-
tion and authorizing the Niagara Falls Park and River Railway Company to
sell its franchise and property to the Buffalo Railway Company, but reserving
in all respects the control and jurisdiction of the Legislature of Ontario, and
of the Commissioners, over the railway, as provided by the Act of Incorpora-
tion (55 Victoria, chapter 96).
In this confirming Act, however, the original Act was amended by strik-
ing out the words "to work and light the said railway" in subsection 9 of
section 4, and substituting therefor the words "the purposes of any railway
company which purchases the franchise of the company."
In 1902 authority was obtained from the Parliament of Canada (2 Ed-
ward VII., chapter 43) and from the Legislature of Ontario (2 Edward VII.,
chapter 12* par. 30) to substitute the name International Railway Company
for the Buffalo Railway Company, in each instance the powers and rights of
the Legislature, and the jurisdiction and control of the Park Comihissioners,
were again specifically reserved.
In October, 1903, the International Railway Company applied to the
Commissioners for approval of certain plans showing a line of conduits be-
neath the surface of the Park in which to carry electric cables from the rail-
way power house to the upper steel arch bridge. Upon enquiry it was
ascertained that the conduits were wanted for a two-fold purpose, namely:
to protect the wires, carrying electricity for operating the railway, from ice
and spray in the vicinity of the Falls ; and, secondly, to carry electric power
to the American side of the Niagara River to operate in whole or in part the
extensive electric railway system of the company in the State of New York.
As the demand of the company to use power generated in its power house
in the Park for operating railways outside of Ontario was an entirely new
feature of the case to the Commissioners, and as it opened up important ques-
tions of policy- which would sooner or later require the attention of the Gov-
ernment, the Commissioners obtained opinion of counsel as to the rights
possessed by the company under its Act of Incorporation and the amending
Acts subsequently passed by the Parliaments of Canada and of Ontario,
which differed entirely from the views of the railway company.
A long controversy followed, in which eminent counsel took diverse
views of the question at issue, which was further complicated and delayed by
the difficulty experienced in securing the consent of the several power com-
panies developing the water power of the Falls for commercial purposes.
After a protracted discussion of the question, in which it was apparent
that the conflicting opinions of counsel could not be reconciled, the Govern-
ment requested the Commissioners to prepare a recommendation which would
embody the views of the Board as to a just and reasonable compromise of the
28 THE REPORT OF THE No. 6
. . : ^ . ^ ^ .^
matters in question ; after due consideration and consultation with tlie Pre-
mier, the Commissioners, in May, 1904, submitted their recommendation
which was in the following terms :
(a) That the company shall pay to the Commissioners annually |2,000
in addition to the |10,000 now paid as rental, which payment of |2,000 will
allow the company to generate within its power house in the Park for the
purpose of supplying any quantity of electric power up to 2,000 h.p., and for
every horse power over and above 2,000 horse power the company shall pay
to the Commissioners the additional sum of one dollar per electrical horse
power per annum.
(6) That the power so supplied shall be used exclusively for the purposes
of operating and lighting the railway, and for no other purpose whatever.
(c) That the company shall be restricted in the generation of power to
the present capacity of their forebay, wheelpit and tunnel in the Park, and
not in any case to exceed 10,000 electrical horse power.
(d) Such grant and concession to the International Railway Company
not to be operative unless the consent of the three power companies now
located at Niagara Falls, Ontario, be duly obtained.
(e) The Commissioners may agree that, at the next Session of the Legis-
lature, or as soon as practicable, they will join the International Railway
Company in an application to the said Legislature for any Act to ratify and
confirm an agreement to be made pursuant to preceding stipulations, and
with proper stipulations to carry out the same."
In making these recommendations the Commissioners assumed that 2,000
electrical horse power would be sufficient for the actual requirements of the
railway operated by the company under its agreement with the Commission-
ers, and that the company should pay a reasonable rental for all excess power
substantially on the principle adopted in the several agreements entered into
with the companies developing the water power of the Falls for commercial
purposes. And as the company claimed they required the power for rail-
way purposes only, it was deemed but just to the commercial power corpora-
tions that in any agreement entered into with the railway company the use
of the power generated by it should be restricted to the use of the railway.
It was also considered advisable in order to avoid possible disagreement
with the power companies that their consent should be obtained to any agree-
ment which might be entered into with the railway company.
As the terms and conditions set forth in this recommendation of the Com-
missioners were not acceptable to the railway company, objection being made
chiefly in respect to clause (c) limiting the total output of power to 10,000
elpfirical horse power, which the Commissioners were advised was the maxi-
mum amount of power whi-^h could be devcdoped by the company through its
present intake, forebay and tunnel, the question remained in abeyance until
recently -vhen the comp-my renewed its demand for permission to construct
the conduct through the Park ic gon(rute additional power for operating its
railway in New York Stat**.
Some changes having in the meantime taken place in the personnel of
the Commission, all the questions at issue were again examined by the Board,
and all the correspondence, reports and papers in connection with the case
were submitted to the Attorey-General, who, after due consideration directed
the Commissioners to formally notify the company that the application could
not be acceded to, which notification was duly served upon the company
through its solicitor on 7th October last.
The company have, however, urged a reconsideration of their applica-
tion before the Government, and, therefore, the Commissioners have been
1905 QUEEN VICTORIA NIAGARA FALLS PARK. 29
invited to review all the circumstances of the case and to report fully there-
upon for the information of His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.
After a most careful consideration of every phase of the question, and
having regard to the great desirability of coming to an equitable compromise
without recourse to litigation, the Commissioners recommend (subject to the
settlement of any constitutional questions which may arise) that the terms
and conditions submitted by them in May, 1904, be amended to read as fol-
(a) The company shall pay to the Commissioners annually, in addition
to the sum of |10,000 now paid under their agreement, the sum of $2,000
for which increased payment the company may generate in its power house in
the park electric power up to but not exceeding 4,000 horse power.
(b) For a further payment of fl.OO per horse power per annum the com-
pany may generate and use any quantity of electric power over 4,000 horse
power up to but not exceeding ten thousand horse power.
(c) Should the railway company, with the approval of the Commission-
ers, deepen their wheelpit and construct a tunnel at a lower level so as to
generate a greater quantity of electric power than 10,000 horse power with
the present capacity of their intake by using the water at a greater head, the
company shall pay to the Commissioners the sum of seventy-five cents for
every horse power so generated and used for railway purposes in excess of
10,000 electric horse power, but under no circumstances shall the railway com-
pany be permitted to generate or use more than 20,000 electrical horse power.
(d) The company shall obtain the consent under seal of the three power
companies now located in the Park, and, as the International Railway Com-
pany applied for and obtained permission to have a joint intake with the
City of Niagara Falls for its water supply, the consent of the city authorities
of Niagara Falls shall also be obtained under seal.
(e) That the power so generated shall be used exclusively for the purposes
of operating and lighting railways, and for no other purpose whatever.
(Sgd.) J. W. Langmuir,
ToRoxTO, January 4th, 1906.
Eefort of the Park Superintendent in the Proposal to Construct a
Dam at the Outlet of Lake Erie.
To the Commissioners of the Queen Victoria Niagara Falls Park.
Niagara Falls, 24th August, 1905.
Gentlemen, — The International Waterways Commission, which has been
appointed by the Governments of Canada and the United States to examine
into and report upon all questions arising out of the joint waterways along
the boundary line separating the two countries, has appointed the ISth and
14th of September next for the consideration of the proposal made some
years ago to erect a dam across the outlet of Lake Erie between Buffalo and
Fort Erie for the purpose of raising the surface of the lake to a fixed stage
THE REPORT OF THE
cf water level, and of constructing regulating sluices in the dam to permit
of maintaining this proposed fixed stage at all times during the season of
As this proposed work^ if carried out, would in my judgment have a
very important bearing upon the supply of water to the Niagara River, be-
low the dam, and would in all probability materially affect not only the
liparian rights of the Commissioners along the bank of the river but also
the supply of water to the hydro-electric industries licensed by the Com-
missioners to use the waters of the river at Niagara Falls for power purposes,
I have prepared the following report upon the subject for the consideration
of the Board.
Lake Erie is the fourth in the chain of five great inland waters through
which the drainage of a large portion of the continent is passed on to the
sea, and whose broad surfaces temper the heat of summer and the cold of
winter and furnish the moisture required to irrigate a large district of
country, the size, drainage, area and run off of these several lakes being
approximately as follows :
Area of water
surface sq. miles.
Average run off
feet per sec.
*According to the 1904 report of the Chief of Engineers, U. S. Army, the drainage area of
the lake region above Niagara River is 254,708 square miles.
As is shown by the above table, the outflow or runoff from Lake Erie
as determined by taking a mean or average for a period of many years is
220,000 cubic feet per second, or 82,500,000 gallons per minute. Owing,
however, to several causes this outflow is by no means uniform, the volume
varying from hour to hour with the constantly changing elevation of the
surface of the lake at the outlet. The causes of this variation are :
1. The precipitation and evaporation over the lake area which uniformly
gives high water in mid-summer and low water in mid-winter.
2. A periodic variation which may be traced to a cycle of wet and dry
seasons, extending over a period of years, this variation is in harmony with
and emphasises the general annual movement.
3. Wind storms upon the lake; while the effect is of short duration the ]
surface of the water may be raised or lowered in a very short time to the
extent of several feet, a southwest wind driving the water down the lake
and piling it up at the outlet, and a northeast wind forcing the water up
the lake and thus lowering the level at the outlet.
So great have been the effects of the wind at times that the surface
elevation at Buffalo has been raised as much as 8 feet above the normal,
while on other occasions, the level has been lowered from 5 to 5^ feet below
mean water level.
Under these circumstances it would appear that if the outflow could
be made more uniform it would be highly beneficial to all interests con-
1905 QUEEN VICTORIA NIAGARA FALLS PARK. 31
cerned. The problem, however, is one of great magnitude, and requires
very careful consideration in order that all the phases of the question may-
be taken into account. Fortunately, this subject was under consideration
in 1900 and a very exhaustive and carefully prepared reporc was made by
a Commission of Engineers for the United States Government upon the sub-
ject, in connection with other proposed works for the improvement of the
navigation of the upper lakes, and although the present International Water-
uays Commission arfe not in any way committed to the plan then devised
and which was fully considered and illustrated in the report referred to,
yet it furnishes an excellent example of the method and scope which the
best engineering opinion of the day would be likely to suggest for a work
designed to accomplish the desired end, and therefore will be here referred
to in order to ascertain the effect which such a system of regulation would
have upon the waters of the river below the site of the works, and conse-
quently upon the levels and supply which would be available for the navi-
gation of the river between the lake and Chippawa as well as for the import-
ant industries which have been established at Niagara Falls on both sides
of the river for the development of electricity for commercial purposes.
In so far as regulating and maintaining the levels of Lake Erie is
concerned, there can be little question respecting the beneficial results which
would follow from the construction of the projected works and were this the
only question involved the proposal would meet with very general approval.
As, however, the project has a wider influence, it will be better to briefly
describe the works designed for this point.
The regulating works proposed by the U. S. Deep Waterways Commis-
sion in 1900 provided for the construction of a concrete masonry overfall
dam running out at right angles to the Canadian shore of the river from a
point a little over a mile up stream from the ferry landing in the village
of Fort Erie, This dam to extend out into the river for a distance of 1,600
feet from which point a system of masonry piers and moveable steel gates
extended a further distance of 1,210 feet, consisting of thirteen openings
of 80 feet clear span, separated by piers twelve feet in thickness with grooves
for the heavy moveable stoney gates. Steel towers were designed to be
erected over each pier to carry the lattice overhead work and machinery
for the raising and lowering of the gates. Beyond this regulation system of
works, it was proposed to utilize an existing reef of rock of the same eleva-
tion as the overflow dam to carry the work to Black Rock harbor, the latter
part being at an angle of 35 degrees with the main portion of the work, and
1,200 feet in length.
Under this schenie the free navigation of the river would cease and all
vessels would require to use the upper reach of the Erie Canal in order to
pass the proposed works, no lock having been provided for the Canadian
The top or crest of the overfall dam on the Canadian side and the sur-
face of the reef on the Buffalo side of the regulating gates was fixed at an
elevation of 4.5 feet below the present mean water level of the lake. The
construction of the works were designed to raise and maintain the mean
level of the lake 2.1 feet higher than at present.
At the established normal stage of the lake, or within the range of
monthly mean stages, or at any higher water level, the regulation could be
made effective and that without changing the flow of the river to any material
extent, but as has already been pointed out there are seasons when storms
raise or lower the water surface abnormally, and it is at periods when low
water prevails that the volume of water passing the works would be reduced
tt small dimensions, or, possibly if the low water period occurred during the
32 THE REPORT OF THE No. 6
Feason of navigation the supply might be cut down to such an extent as to
make all use of the river impossible for navigation or in fact for any pur-
pose to compel the closing down of all the works for the generation of elec-
tricity, which are located along the course of the Niagara River, until the
storm abated and normal conditions were restored.
Trom an examination of the fluctuations of the lake for a period of years,
it appears that the average monthly minimum level of the surface is over
two feet below the established mean, while on many occasions the water sur-
face falls much below this, in several instances to five feet and on one occas-
ion to 5.6 feet below the normal.
Doubtless the force of the wind would be felt to quite the same extent
upon the regulated level, which would be two feet higher than at present,
and a study of the resulting effect upon the outflow after the completion of
the proposed works leads to the following general conclusions :
At the mean monthly minimum stage referred to, with all the gates
open, the outflow would be about eight-tenths of the established mean flow,
and, with the gates all closed, only about four-tenths of the normal flow.
While at times of extreme low water caused by northeast winds, such
as occurred in February, 1894 (when the lake at Buffalo fell 5.6 feet below
mean level), there would be only one foot of head upon the overfall dam
and the length of crest would also be reduced.
Under such conditions, with all the gates open, there would be only
about one-third of the normal flow from lake to river pass the works, instead
of fully one-half the normal as would be the case under similar conditions
of exceptional low water with a free and unobstructed river. Should the
gates be all closed, the flow would be restricted to only about one-twentieth
of its mean volume. If this minimum elevation should happen at any time
during the season of navigation, the shipping interests would of course use
every effort to have the gates kept closed in order to secure the restoration
of the levels of Buffalo harbor as quickly as possible after the storm abated,
and as the shipping interests form a very powerful combination, and are
likely to increase in importance, it is altogether likely that the gates would
be kept closed, and the Niagara River allowed to run practically dry for the
It is needless to point out that such an interference with the natural
condition of affairs should not be permitted under any circumstances, par-
ticularly when the whole object of the scheme appears to be to save dredg-
ing the harbors on Lake Erie and to facilitate the making of a 21 foot channel
from the United States side of the Niagara River to Lake Huron, the cost
of which, according to Deep Waterways Commission report before referred
to, wou'ld be, if the water was raised in Lake Erie, to the extent proposed,
about $1,375,000 less than would be required should the conditions be allowed
to remain as they now are.
I might be permitted to point out that already, owing to the construc-
tion of the Chicago Drainage Canal, the water surface of Lake Erie has been
permanently lowered according to the report of the Chief of Engineers,
U. S. Army, by about 4| inches and the volume of the Niagara River has
been permanently reduced to the extent of four and a half per cent, of its
average yearly flow, and all the waters from Lake Huron via the St. Law-
rence to the sea have been likewise despoiled to this extent for the benefit of
the City of Chicago alone.
It is now proposed to further sacrifice the waters of the Niagara River
and Ealls by making them subordinate to the navigation interests on the
upper lakes, to cut off the free use of the Niagara River by Canadian ship-
ping, and compel it to pass by way of the Erie Canal, which is State owned
1905 QUEEN VICTORIA NIAGARA FALLS PARK. 33
and not under the control of the Central Government, and to further jeo-
pardise the flow down the St. Lawrence at seasons when inland and ocean
navigation is in the greatest need of all the water which can possibly be had.
For all these reasons I am of the opinion that every effort should be put
forth to oppose the erection of any such works at the outlet of Lake Erie as
the dam and gates proposed by the U. S. Deep Waterways Commission.
Yours very truly,
(Sgd.) James Wilson,
BROCK UNIVERSITY LIBRARY