Première-Chute Generating Station

Come see this unique generating station and learn how Abitibi-Témiscamingue was supplied with electricity!

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Harnessing waterpower

Tour Première-Chute Generating Station at Notre-Dame-du-Nord and find out how waterpower is harnessed.

You’ll discover a generating station with a unique design, learn the history of Abitibi-Témiscamingue’s electrification and find out how clean, renewable energy is generated.

The tour is also a tribute to Québec’s longest river, the Rivière des Outaouais (Ottawa River).

Well worth a visit!

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Did you know?

24 elephants

Twenty-four African elephants weigh 123 t. That’s the same as each of the four rotors in Première-Chute Generating Station. Impressive, right?

No explosives allowed

Première-Chute Generating Station was built on clay. Explosives were not allowed because of the unstable slopes.

A city’s worth

Première-Chute generates enough power for a city the size of Rouyn–Noranda (42000 people).

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Question from: Nancy, La Sarre

Answer from: Nathalie, tour guide at Première-Chute generating station

Why did lights used to flicker?
Back in the old days, lights used to flicker because the power frequency, or cycles per second, in Abitibi-Témiscamingue was 25 Hz. Now it’s up to the American standard of 60 Hz.

Question from: Laurianne, Malartic

Answer from: Nathalie, tour guide at Première-Chute generating station

What’s the thing that looks like a slide between the power plant and the spillway?
That’s a log chute. From 1968 until 1976, it was used to float logs down to the sawmills.

Question from: Jonathan, Amos

Answer from: Nathalie, tour guide at Première-Chute generating station

Where is the source of the Rivière des Outaouais (Ottawa River)?
The river’s source is lakes Outaouais and Capimitchigama in the Laurentides. The river travels 1,271 km before emptying into the Fleuve Saint-Laurent (St. Lawrence River), of which it is one of the main tributaries.

Follow the guides!

Our guides know what they’re talking about. They’ve been specially trained to make sure you have a rewarding experience that meets your expectations. They’ll be delighted to tailor your tour to match the goal you have in mind and the profile of your group.

Our interactive educational tours are full of facts and most of them are fun for the entire family. Don’t be shy about asking questions: our guides are very knowledgeable. Your curiosity will be satisfied!

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School tours

School tours

Tours of Hydro-Québec generating stations and interpretation centres are an ideal way for your students to gain a very practical understanding of electricity. Our lively guides will soon get everyone interested in the history of Hydro-Québec, the different energy sources, electricity and hydropower generation.

A fun, free, educational field trip!

Schedule and practical information

Maximum number of visitors

60

Supervision

These are the recommended ratios for adults accompanying groups:

  • Ages 9 to 12: 1 adult for every 1 to 10 pupils
  • Ages 13 to 17: 1 adult for every 1 to 20 pupils

For safety’s sake, teachers and accompanying adults must remain with their charges throughout the tour and help the guides.

Tour packages

Ask our guides about the combo packages when booking.

Pre-visit preparation

Hydro-Québec offers quality teaching resources to help you explain various concepts related to electricity, such as sustainability, energy efficiency, the environment and safety.

Age-appropriate tours

Tours of Hydro-Québec facilities are an excellent complement to the Québec Education Program. They reinforce the acquisition and development of several competencies in the areas of math, science and technology, social science and more.

Broad Areas of Learning

  • Personal and career planning
  • Environmental awareness and consumer rights and responsibilities
  • Health and well-being

Areas of learning and competencies

  • Science and Technology: Competency 2 and 3
  • Social Sciences: Competency 1

Essential knowledge related to competencies

  • Material World: Energy, Forces and Motion, Systems and interaction, Appropriate language
  • Earth and Space: Energy, Appropriate language
  • Knowledge related to the organization of a society in its territory: Québec society around 1980
  • Knowledge related to change in a society and its territory: Québec society between 1905 and 1980

Broad Areas of Learning

  • Environmental awareness and consumer rights and responsibilities
  • Personal and career planning
  • Health and well-being

Domaines d'apprentissage et compétences

  • Science and Technology: Competency 2 and 3
  • Social Sciences: Competency 1

Topics

  • Hydroelectric power generation
  • Tour of a turbine shaft
  • Regional geography
  • Rivière des Outaouais (Ottawa River)
  • Log driving
  • Tour of the maintenance shop
  • Turbine wheel from 1954

Complements the following programs

  • Science
  • Humanities
  • Engineering programs
  • Industrial electronics programs

Topics

  • Hydroelectric power generation
  • Tour of a turbine shaft
  • Regional geography
  • Rivière des Outaouais(Ottawa River)
  • Log driving
  • Tour of the maintenance shop
  • Turbine wheel from 1954

We adapt the visit according to your needs.

Topics

  • Hydroelectric power generation
  • Tour of a turbine shaft
  • Regional geography
  • Rivière des Outaouais(Ottawa River)
  • Log driving
  • Tour of the maintenance shop
  • Turbine wheel from 1954
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Visitors’ comments

Read more comments
Every visit to a generating station informs me about the development of our Québec resources. Our guide is lively, knowledgeable and inspired by Hydro-Québec’s mission.
I learned many things. It was very interesting, well-developed explanations. The tour guide has strong interpersonal skills and a passion for what he does.
Very good guide. Comprehensive information.
This is my 6th generating station. Always interesting.
Thank you, very interesting visit.

Schedule and practical information

Schedule and practical information

Admission

Free

Summer schedule

June 24–August 24, 2014

Daily: 10 a.m., 12 noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Reservations required.

Length of tour

90 minutes

School groups

September–June

Groups of 10 or more, by appointment only. As available.

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What you should know

ID card

ID required

Visitors aged 18 years and over must present official photo ID (medicare card, driver’s licence or passport) to tour a facility.

Free guided tours

Tours are led by qualified, dynamic guides.

Time of arrival

Tours start at set times. You should be there 15 minutes in advance.

Age

For safety reasons, tours are not recommended for children younger than two.

Clothing

Flat, closed shoes are recommended.

Accessibility

Tours are on foot and include some stairs.

Notice to pacemaker users

Notice to pacemaker users

The electromagnetic fields in power plants may disrupt pacemaker operation. As a precaution, pacemaker users will not be allowed during the part of the guided tour that takes place in the generating station.

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Services

  • Picnic area
  • Free parking
  • Near a bicycle path
  • Partially accessible to persons with a physical impairment
  • Restrooms

Information and reservations

819 949-4431
1 800 903-9705 , ext. 7200

Groups of 10 or more, Reservations required at all times.

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How to get there

Première-Chute Generating Station

621, Chemin Hydro-Québec
Notre-Dame-du-Nord (Qc)
J0Z 3B0


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Other sights in the area


To find out about other activities or plan your trip to the area, go to QuébecOriginal.com.

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