Beauharnois Generating Station

Come visit Beauharnois generating station, one of the world’s largest hydropower facilities. You’ll love the Art Deco architecture!

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Exceptional since 1932

Come visit Beauharnois Generating Station, one of the world’s largest hydropower facilities, located just 45 minutes from downtown Montréal!

Discover the exceptional design of this facility, whose construction began by pick and shovel more than 80 years ago. You’ll be impressed by the award-winning architecture of this Art Deco structure, which has earned it a place among the country’s national historic sites.

Its 38 generating units, spread out over almost a kilometre, make it Hydro-Québec’s most powerful run-of-river plant.

Don’t miss it!

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Did you know?

Three Olympic pools

Every second, enough water flows through Beauharnois generating station to fill three Olympic-sized pools. Now everything runs like a synschronized swimming event!

Pride of Beauharnois

Like New York City’s Empire State Building, Beauharnois generating station is Art Deco inspired. Popular during the 1920s, this architectural style is known for its elegant aesthetics. Art and science come together, with electrifying results.

Three Eiffel towers

Beauharnois generating station is as long as three Eiffel towers laid end to end. Now that’s long!

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Question from: Émilie, Châteauguay

Answer from: Marie-France, tour guide at Beaharnois generating station

How long did it take to build Beauharnois generating station?
The generating station was built in three phases, not all at once. The first phase was from 1929 to 1932; the second 1948 to 1951, and the last from 1956 to 1961. So it took almost 35 years to complete.

Question from: Claude, La Prairie

Answer from: Marie-Ève, tour guide at Beaharnois generating station

How does Beauharnois rank in relation to Hydro-Québec’s other facilities?
Today, Beauharnois is the fifth most powerful generating station in Québec. But before the Baie-James (James Bay) development was commissioned, it was an outstanding first!

Question from: Peter, Beaconsfield

Answer from: Catherine, tour guide at Beaharnois generating station

What river is Beauharnois generating station on?
Beauharnois is powered by the Fleuve Saint-Laurent (St. Lawrence). However, a 24-km headrace had to be dug to maximize the head (drop). The Beauharnois Canal was excavated between lakes Saint-François and Saint-Louis in the 1930s.

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.

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

Double Hydro combo

For an electrifying day, combine a tour of Beauharnois generating station with a visit to Hydro-Québec’s electricity interpretation centre, the Électrium!

Hydro-archeo combo

The Hydro-archeo combo focuses on our heritage. Combine a tour of Beauharnois Generating Station with a visit to Pointe-du-Buisson/Musée québécois d’archéologie, just a few minutes away, and discover the wealth of history in the region.

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

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

Areas of learning and competencies

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

Topics

  • Hydroelectric power generation
  • Producing electricity through electromagnetic induction
  • Power transmission
  • How a generating unit works
  • Tour of a turbine shaft
  • The major steps in the electrification of Québec
  • History and construction phases of the station
  • The key role of the Beauharnois station in the Hydro-Québec power grid
  • Nearby installations: locks, canals and the St. Lawrence Seaway
  • Water power capacity of the Saint-Laurent
  • Water management
  • Architecture of the generating station (art deco)

Complements the following programs

  • Science
  • Humanities
  • Engineering programs
  • Industrial electronics programs

Topics

  • Hydroelectric power generation
  • Producing electricity through electromagnetic induction
  • Power transmission
  • How a generating unit works
  • Tour of a turbine shaft
  • The major steps in the electrification of Québec
  • History and construction phases of the station
  • The key role of the Beauharnois station in the Hydro-Québec power grid
  • Nearby installations: locks, canals and the St. Lawrence Seaway
  • Water power capacity of the Saint-Laurent
  • Water management
  • Architecture of the generating station (art deco)

We tailor the tour to suit your needs.

Topics

  • Hydroelectric power generation
  • Producing electricity through electromagnetic induction
  • Power transmission
  • How a generating unit works
  • Tour of a turbine shaft
  • The major steps in the electrification of Québec
  • History and construction phases of the station
  • The key role of the Beauharnois station in the Hydro-Québec power grid
  • Nearby installations: locks, canals and the St. Lawrence Seaway
  • Water power capacity of the Saint-Laurent
  • Water management
  • Architecture of the generating station (art deco)
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Super! Everyone should take advantage of it.

Visitors’ comments

Read more comments
Very interesting. I got answers to questions I’d wondered about for ages.
I’ll recommend this tour. Bravo!
It’s very important to know about our resources.
Very pleased with the tour. I’ll tell my family and friends all about it.
Everything was fantastic.
Enthusiastic, pleasant guide. Very knowledgeable about the generating station’s history.

Schedule and practical information

Schedule and practical information

Admission

Free

Summer schedule

From May 19 to August 31, 2014

Daily: 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

90 minutes

School groups

From September to April

9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:15 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.

By appointment only

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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./p>

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
  • Accessible by public transit transit
  • Near a bicycle path
  • Gift shop
  • 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

Beauharnois Generating Station

80, boul. de Melocheville
Beauharnois (QC)
J6N 0M1


  • Itinerary
  • * Highway 30, exit 22. The interpretation centre is on the east side of the generating station. To get there, take Boulevard de l’Énergie (road 236). There is no entrance on Boulevard de Melocheville.
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