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April 26, 2011
Turning on Toronto at the Archives
An exhibit called "Turning on Toronto: A History of Toronto Hydro" opens at the City of Toronto Archives on April 28.

This new exhibit celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Toronto Hydro-Electric System, which has been providing electricity to the people of Toronto since May 2, 1911 - when Sir Adam Beck switched on the lights with power generated by Niagara Falls.

The exhibit presents a selection of more than 100 photographs from the Archives’ holdings, with an emphasis on images from the 1880s to the 1950s. The images reveal themes such as the struggle between private and public interests to control the development and sale of hydroelectric power, and portray the infrastructure that Toronto Hydro built over the decades to electrify the city. The exhibit also displays a variety of early electrical appliances on loan from the City of Toronto's Culture division, along with documents that provide insight into the ways electricity has changed and enhanced Torontonians' lives.

"Turning on Toronto" will be featured at the Archives until November. Admission is free. The City of Toronto Archives, located at 255 Spadina Rd., is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.

For more information, call 416-397-5000 or visit

The Archives acknowledges and thanks Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited for its generous support throughout the development of this exhibit.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media Contact
Karen Teeple, City Archivist

Michele Dale, Supervisor of Collection Management



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