I have seen my share of Toronto buildings over the years, so this time, I wanted to focus on selected locations of interest rather than visiting as many places as I could in one day.
I missed out on this power plant tour last year due to crowds, so I made sure to visit first thing in the morning. Everyone received a hard hat, safety glasses, safety vest, and earplugs, then entered the facility with a guide. My group was led through the boilers, coolers, cold blasters, and turbines quickly, as there were other groups following us. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear a lot of the explanation due to noise from the plant starting up for the day.
The PEC is a new natural gas power plant, operated by a 50/50 joint venture between Ontario Power Generation and TransCanada. It was built on the former coal pits of the Richard L. Hearn Generating Station next door, which currently sits abandoned awaiting its fate. PEC is able to use the grid originally built for Hearn, and can produce enough energy for half a million Toronto homes.
The TTC let the public see its Roncesvalles streetcar facility for the first time, and I was one of the first the get in.
I boarded one of the streetcars circling the facility, while it went through the car wash.
After a brief visit to the office, I boarded another streetcar, went through the car wash again, and was dropped off on the opposite side where I was greeted with Peter Witt car #2766 and President’s Conference Committee car #4500.
Finally, I toured the maintenance and repair facility itself. Volunteers from Halton County Radial Railway Museum were trying to get overhead power wires working for the model streetcars.