Plans have been revealed to transform Niagara Falls’ long-abandoned Toronto Power Generating Station into a boutique five-star hotel.
The Beaux Arts style power station was designed by ‘free-wheeling’ architect E.J. Lennox and completed in 1906 on the banks of the upper Niagara River, overlooking the iconic Canadian Horseshoe Falls. At the time, it was unusual for the architectural style to be applied to industrial buildings, making the power station an ambitious outlier.
The Toronto Power Generating Station supplied power to Toronto until February 1974, and it has been largely abandoned for the last 50 years. Despite this, it was designated a National Historic Site in 1983 due to its technological and historical significance as the first Canadian-owned hydroelectric facility at Niagara Falls, ensuring its survival – and now its revival.
The Niagara Parks Commission took ownership of the structure in 2007 and has completed a two-year-long, three-stage public procurement process to mastermind the building’s adaptive reuse. This week, the commission announced Pearle Hospitality will redevelop the site, restoring Lennox’s landmark and adding a sympathetic addition by +VG Architects that will work with the original fibre of the site.
Pearle Hospitality’s existing portfolio includes The Elora Mill Hotel and Spa, The Cambridge Mill, The Ancaster Mill and Whistle Bear Golf Course, though this will be the ‘jewel in its crown’, with work slated to begin on site in 2024.
Per Niagara Parks’ project criteria, Pearle Hospitality will pay rent while covering all restoration and redevelopment costs on the ambitious project. The development must also offer ‘a new guest experience that does not exist in Niagara nor Ontario today.’
Approximately 12 million people visit Niagara Falls yearly, but this will be its ‘first and only five-star boutique accommodation’.
Redevelopment will cost a minimum of $200m and will be funded entirely by private-sector investment. As well as hotel rooms, the complex will host restaurants, a craft brewery, wellness facility and spa, a theatre and an event space. A museum dedicated to its eccentric architect is also in the works, plus an art gallery and a publicly accessible viewing deck.
The Power Station Hotel is tentatively slated to open in summer 2027.