Visit the Carillon hydropower generating station!

Laurentides, QC

Reservations and practical information

Aerial view of Carillon generating station and spillway on the Rivière Outaouais (Ottawa River)

A picturesque outing on the Québec‑Ontario border

You may think I'm pretentious, but I’ll say it anyway—I’m a landmark! I’m the first hydropower generating station in the province to have been built under the supervision of French‑Canadian engineers. You could even say that I marked a turning point in the history of electricity in Québec.

Located in the Laurentides region, I’m a beautiful run‑of‑river generating station, near Long‑Sault, site of the historic battle between Iroquois and New France settlers. I’m on the Rivière des Outaouais (Ottawa River), which forms a natural border between Québec and Ontario.

But that’s all I’ll say for now. If you come see me, my guides will reveal all (almost!) of my secrets. Here’s a tip: After your tour, be sure to hop over to see the Canal‑de‑Carillon National Historic Site. It’s right next door! You can observe the boats using the locks and have a picnic nearby.

Feast your eyes!

Have a look at these pictures to get a sneak peek of your guided tour.

Did you know?

Aerial view of Carillon generating station and the Rivière des Outaouais (Ottawa River).

Right on the border

Did you know that I’m in Québec, but my spillway is in Ontario? It’s true! The river serves as the border between the two provinces.

A team of engineers in a meeting in Carillon.

A symbolic project

I was built and managed by French‑speaking engineers, a first for that era. My construction site provided an opportunity for many French‑Canadian students and employees to acquire solid experience. They met this major challenge brilliantly. The proof is that I was commissioned on schedule in 1964.

Aerial view of the generating station, the spillway and the Rivière des Outaouais (Ottawa River).

In 17th place, but the most powerful

I’m the 17th and last generating station on the river to generate electricity. The fact remains that I’m the most powerful of all: I can supply 150,000 homes with electricity!

A group visiting a turbine shaft at the generating station.

Adaptable turbines

The river has a mean flow rate of 2,000 cubic metres per second and can reach up to 8,000 cubic metres per second during the spring freshet! No matter—My Kaplan turbines can adjust the angle of their vanes to the quantity of water.

Some images are from the Hydro‑Québec Archives.

My history

My construction marks a turning point in the history of Hydro‑Québec and, in a way, in the rise of Québec consulting engineering. In the wake of the Quiet Revolution, when a current of francization quickly spread to Hydro‑Québec and all its construction sites, I was the first hydropower generating station whose construction was entrusted to French‑speaking engineers.

1939‑1945: World War II

1944: First phase of electricity nationalization in Québec

1959: Construction begins

The hydraulic potential of the sector had been exploited since the beginning of the 20th century. In 1943, Québec and Ontario agreed to share hydraulic power from the Rivière des Outaouais, the border between the two provinces. As part of this agreement, Québec obtained the high‑potential Carillon rapids. Construction began in 1959.

July 1960: The first concrete was poured at Carillon generating station.

Source: Hydro‑Québec Archives

1960: Beginning of the Quiet Revolution in Québec

1960: Carillon Canal is transformed

The Carillon Canal was built between 1829 and 1833, then enlarged between 1873 and 1882 to accommodate merchant ships. Between 1960 and 1963, it was again transformed to build me, the generating station. The canal now only serves for recreation and is part of the Carillon Canal Historic Site.

August 1960: Contruction of first two pillars.

Source: Hydro‑Québec Archives

1963: Second phase of electricity nationalization in Québec

1964: Construction ends

At the peak of the work, up to 3,000 people were working to build me. I was thus built and commissioned quickly to meet the ever‑increasing demand for electricity, as well as the increased consumption in the Montréal area during peak periods. Built at the same time as Hydro‑Québec’s head office, my architecture is modern and inspired by the International Style and even has a curtain wall, which is a non‑load‑bearing wall made of prefabricated aluminum or glass components.

June 1961: People working in the section of the water intake.

Source: Hydro‑Québec Archives

2013: My 50th anniversary

Time to party! Here I am in my fifties. I’m still the most powerful generating station on the Rivière des Outaouais.

View of Carillon canal and, in the distance, the lock and the generating station.

2021: I get a facelift

As I had been feeling the weight of my years, major refurbishment work has been under way since 2021 to rejuvenate or replace many of my component parts, including six generating units, my roof and some of my electrical equipment. Work is slated to be completed in 2027.

Inside the generator hall at Carillon generating station.

It’s well worth the trip!

Don’t take our word for it: this is what the people who visited the generating station with our guides had to say.

Visitors admire the river from the roof of the generating station.

Thank you for offering these tours. They teach a lot about how a hydropower generating station works. Captivating!

Marie‑Noëlle is a fantastic guide. She makes good use of the materials when she explains things. Congratulations!

The generating station is worth the visit. Everyone should tell other people to come, too.

Young woman ready for the tour!

Reservations and practical information

Visitors aged 18 and over must present official photo ID.

(Accepted ID: health insurance card, driver’s license or passport)

At a glance

Free admission

Reservations are required at all times and must be made at least 24 hours in advance.

Length of tour

About 90 minutes

Tours start at set times. We recommend that you arrive 15 minutes in advance.

Tour schedule

From mid‑June to the end of August

Wednesday to Sunday

Tours start at

9:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.

School tours

Looking for original tours featuring science, history and technical know-how? Hydro-Québec’s got just the ticket!
Check it out!

Contact information

Carillon Generating Station
240, rue du Barrage
Saint‑André‑d’Argenteuil (Québec) J0V 1X0

Tel.: 1 800  365-5229Tel.: 1 800  365-5229 (between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.)
Get in touch by email.

How to get there

Know before you go
(yes, really, it’s important!)


The tour of the generating station is on foot and includes some stairs. It is partially accessible to people with reduced mobility.

Minimum age

The tour is suitable for adults and school‑age children but is not recommended for children under the age of two, for safety reasons.

Pacemakers and other medical implants

Electric and/or magnetic fields may disrupt operation of pacemakers, implantable automatic defibrillators and processors in cochlear implants. As a precaution, visitors with these types of medical implants may not participate in the part of the tour that takes place inside the generating station.

Those with a neurostimulator must temporarily stop the device before entering the generating station. If they are unable to stop the device, they are advised not to enter.

For regular tours, there is no risk of interference for insulin pumps.

What to wear

Visitors must wear flat, closed‑toe shoes and the safety gear provided (hard hat, safety glasses and headphones) inside the generating station.

Part of the tour takes place outdoors, so dress accordingly!


  • Picnic tables

  • Free parking

  • Proximity to a bike path

  • Restrooms


The starting point for the tour is the parking lot of the locks where the visitor welcome trailer is located. How to get there:

  • Take Route 344 heading west, towards Saint‑André‑d’Argenteuil and Carillon.
  • Follow the Hydro‑Québec sign indicating where to turn left on Rue du Barrage.
  • Follow the signs for guided tours.
  • Park along the locks.

For additional information

Book your tour!

Free admission

Reservations are required at all times and must be made at least 24 hours in advance.

Reserve, to visit the Carillon generating station

For any other information, call us at 1 800 365‑52291 800 365‑5229.
Get in touch by email.

Ce lien mène à l'extérieur du site d'Hydro-Québec. Ce lien mène à l'extérieur du site d'Hydro-Québec.