Rivière-des-Prairies generating station

Discover a colorful heritage generating station right in the Montréal area!

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An urban power plant

Built between 1928 and 1930, Rivière-des-Prairies Generating Station stands proudly between the Montréal and Laval river banks.

Learn how it was built and how the Montréal region was electrified in the 1930s. Touch the runner of a decommissioned turbine, go down into a turbine pit and up onto the spillway. You’re sure to be impressed by the water’s raw power.

And it’s the most colorful generating station in Québec!

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Did you know?

22 elephants

Imagine it: Just one of the plant’s generating units weighs 110 t, as much as 22 elephants. Numbers worth trumpeting!

$14 million

That’s how much Rivière-des-Prairies Generating Station cost to build—back in 1930. Today, building one like this would cost several hundred million dollars.

Protecting fish

To protect the American shad during spawning periods, a sound barrier was installed at the entrance of the generating station to encourage the fish to swim through the spillway rather than the turbine intake.

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Question from: Anthony, St-Eustache

Answer from: Louis-Philippe, tour guide at Rivière-des-Prairies generating station

How many spillway gates are there?
The spillway has 13 gates, each weighing 120 tonnes!

Question from: Suzanne, Terrebonne

Answer from: Simon, tour guide at Rivière-des-Prairies generating station

What kinds of fish live in the Rivière des Prairies?
There are several species of fish around the generating station, including shad, sturgeon and walleye. In summer, you can even see people fishing from the specially built catwalk alongside the interpretation centre.

Question from: Michel J., Laval

Answer from: Louis-Philippe, tour guide at Rivière-des-Prairies generating station

In what year did the generating station start operating?
Rivière-des-Prairies generating station was commissioned in 1929, right at the time of the stock market crash.

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 people, including students and escorts. We form a second group when there are more than 30 people.

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

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

  • Environmental awareness and consumer rights and responsibilities

Areas of learning and competencies

  • Science and Technology: Competency 1, 2 and 3

Essential knowledge related to competencies

  • Material World: Energy, Forces and Motion, Systems and interaction, Appropriate language
  • Earth and Space: Matter, Energy, Appropriate language

Broad Areas of Learning

  • Personal and career planning
  • Environmental awareness and consumer rights and responsibilities

Areas of learning and competencies

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

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

  • Personal and career planning
  • Environmental awareness and consumer rights and responsibilities

Areas of learning and competencies

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

Topics

  • The major steps in the electrification of Québec
  • History and construction phases of the station
  • Hydroelectric power generation
  • Producing electricity through electromagnetic induction
  • How a generating unit works
  • Tour of a turbine shaft
  • Fish ladder
  • Role and importance of a spillway

Complements the following programs

  • Science
  • Humanities
  • Engineering programs
  • Industrial electronics programs

Topics

  • The major steps in the electrification of Québec
  • History and construction phases of the station
  • Hydroelectric power generation
  • Producing electricity through electromagnetic induction
  • How a generating unit works
  • Tour of a turbine shaft
  • Fish ladder
  • Role and importance of a spillway

We tailor the tour to suit your needs.

Topics

  • The major steps in the electrification of Québec
  • History and construction phases of the station
  • Hydroelectric power generation
  • Producing electricity through electromagnetic induction
  • How a generating unit works
  • Tour of a turbine shaft
  • Fish ladder
  • Role and importance of a spillway
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Thanks for offering these tours.

Visitors’ comments

Read more comments
Thank you, Simon, for a great guided tour.
Lots of interaction, very rewarding.
Really well done! The guide gave us a great tour of the generating station.

Schedule and practical information

Schedule and practical information

Admission

Free

Schedule

Open from May 19 to August 31, 2014

From May 19 to June 20, 2014

Monday to Friday:
9:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.

From June 25 to August 31, 2014

Wednesday to Sunday:
9:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 2:45 p.m

Reservations required at all times for groups of 10 or more.

Length of tour

Approximately 90 minutes.

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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

  • Free parking
  • Accessible by public transit transit
  • Partially accessible to persons with a physical impairment
  • Restrooms

Information and reservations

1 800 365-5229

E-mail

Reservations required at all times for groups of 10 or more.

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How to get there

Rivière-des-Prairies Generating Station

3400 Du Barrage
Laval, Québec
H7E 5A2


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