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Twentieth Annual Repor 

Commissioners for the 
>ueen Victoria Niagara Fails i^ark 




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, 



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 

4M»00 5000 

JMNU8RY /906. 

M«»COW»T C0>.t.">"'rj|O I 

Jflt1£5 W/L50N, 


Twentieth Annual Report 

of die 

Commissioners for the 
Queen Vidoria Niagara Falls Park 



Prinlcd and Published by L. K. CAMERON, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty 



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. 




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. 



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 : 

American Side. 

Chicago Drainage Canal 32 feet 

Niagara Falls Power Company 136 " 

Niagara Falls Hydraulic and Manufacturing Company 210 " 

Canadicun Side. 

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. : 


American Side. 


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 Side. 

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- 


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. 

Date of 

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- 

Date of 

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 
nil purposes. 


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 
entirely destroyed. 

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 
irreparable spoliation. 

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 


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 


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 
and Buffalo. 

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- 
ant undertaking. 

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 


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. 


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. 


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 


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. 

Submerged Dam. 

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 


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. 

Outlying Parks. 

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- 
intendent's report. 

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 


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. 

General Maintenance.. 

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. 

Financial Statement. 

Receipts, 1905. 

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 

176,099 30 

Overdraft at Imperial Bank, December 30th, 1905 26,734 21 

1102,833 51 

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. 

Expenditures, 1905. 
Paid overdraft Imperial Bank, January 1st, 1905 122,460 50 


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 

128,552 04 

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 

126,544 69 

" Interest on bonds, including bank charges 25,276 28 

1102,833 51 


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. 

2 N.F.P. 


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- 



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- 


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 
coal dust. 

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 


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 


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 
power house. 

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 


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 


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. 

Outlying Parks. 

At Queenston Heights Park all the grounds were maintained in good 
order throughout the year. A very noticeable increase of visitors to this 


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 
great lakes. 

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 


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, 

James Wilson, 



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- 
field, resigned. 



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. 


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 


. . : ^ . ^ ^ .^ 

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 


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- 
lows : 

(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 



No. 6 

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. 

sq. liiiles.* 


Average run off 
feet per sec. 

Lake Superior 









Lake Michigan 

Lake Huron 


Lake Erie. 


Lake Ontario 


*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- 


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 


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 
time being. 

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 


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,