Chenaux Generating Station
PLANT GROUP: Ottawa/St. Lawrence Plant Group
DRAINAGE BASIN: Ottawa River
NEAREST POPULATION CENTRE: Renfrew (16 km (10 miles) south)
IN SERVICE DATE:
UNITS 1-2 – 1950
UNITS 3-8 – 1951
BUILT BY: Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario
ASSET TRANSFERRED TO ONTARIO POWER GENERATION: April 1, 1999
NUMBER OF UNITS: 8
Three hundred years ago, intrepid French voyageurs, making their way down the Ottawa River to the flourishing fur markets of Montreal and Quebec, undertook a long portage just above the swift rapids. They gave the rapids the name “Chenaux” plural for “chenal” or “channel.” Fearing the loss of their precious furs in the seething waters, they favoured the safer course offered by the rigorous trail through the wilderness. The arduous portage was called “Portage du Fort” (portage of the strong) from which the adjacent village derives its name. It was at this point that the adventurers shouldered their canoes and began the long trek overland.
The Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario harnessed the Ottawa River to produce more electric power for the homes, farms and industries of Ontario and the Chenaux station was one of the post World War II developments.
Within a short distance of the project, was a well-planned construction camp with accommodation for 1,500 workers. Incorporating the most advanced features of camp design, the well-constructed living quarters, engineering and administrative offices were equipped with modern conveniences.
The bunkhouses were partitioned for greater individual privacy and had hot and cold running water, showers and other facilities. An efficiently operated cafeteria with spacious dining quarters and rapid service distribution provided wholesome, well-balanced meals to hundreds of men engaged on the job.
Other buildings included a camp hospital, a recreation hall and storage quarters.