Learn History of Electricity

It would be nearly impossible to imagine a world without electricity. It is always there, literally at the flick of a switch.

Let There Be Light

It has been called the great enabler of modern society. From the first arc lamp, switched on outside the Davis hotel in Winnipeg in 1873, to the new Tesla Model 3, which broke records for single week sales, electricity has been powering our lives for well over a century.

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1821

Michael Faraday first generates electricity.

First Canadian telegram sent between Toronto and Hamilton.

1846
1873

First arc lamp switched on in front of the Davis Hotel in Winnipeg.

Hydroelectric power becomes the first form of commercial electricity in Canada.

1881
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1883

Canada’s Parliament Building becomes one of the first government buildings in the world to be furnished with incandescent lighting.

Hamilton becomes Canada’s first city with an incandescent streetlight system.

1883
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1891

The Canadian Electrical Association is formed.

First electric car in Canada. They will be around until 1930.

1893
1902

The Shawinigan Electric Company built the largest generators and longest transmission lines in the world.

Canada’s first movie theater opens in Montreal.

1906
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1909

First international transmission line opens between Canada and the United States

The Steel Company of Canada opened the world’s first all-electric steel mill, revolutionizing industry.

1912
1913

Canada installed its first electric reversing mine hoist, replacing manpower.

Canada launches the world’s first electrically welded ship.

1918
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1919

First radio station in the world broadcasts mostly recorded music over CFCF from Montreal.

Ontario Hydro becomes the largest utility in the world with the completion of the first hydro plant at Niagara Falls.

1921
1924

World’s first newspaper photo is transmitted by radio and printed in the Daily Mail using a Canadian an invention

Yukon and NWT open the first successful communications link to the south, by radio. Attempted telegraph links repeatedly failed due to terrain and weather.

1926
1929

First diesel electric locomotive in North America completes maiden trip from Montreal to Toronto.

The trans-Canada phone system is inaugurated, connecting the country

1932
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1936

World’s first television broadcast, Picture Page on the BBC, is shown.

Dr. John Hopps completes work on world’s first pacemaker in Ontario.

1951
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1954

The first practical solar panel is invented.

Canada’s prototype nuclear generating station begins operation.

1962
1964

Canada becomes third country on earth to launch a satellite.

Sasktel completes world’s longest fibre optics system.

1984
1989

Opening of the Toronto Sky Dome and the world’s first fully retractable roof.

The first commercial wind farm in Canada is completed in Alberta.

1993
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2013

80% of Canadian electricity is produced GHG free.

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2016

The Canadian Electricity Association celebrates 125 years.

Nova Scotia Tidal Power Corporation in the Bay of Fundy is North America’s first tidal generating station

2016