Niagara Parks Power Station

Empowering History: The Niagara Parks Power Station

Rushing water. Majestic heights. Otherworldly natural features. Witnessing the power of Niagara Falls is an unforgettable experience. So what happens when ambitious engineers and architects attempt to harness that power? The Niagara Parks Power Station is constructed.

That’s what happened on July 27th, 1905, after years of labor by the Canadian Niagara Power Company. It was the most advanced hydroelectric station in the world at the time. Before being decommissioned in 2006, the Power Station utilized eleven generators to electrify homes, businesses, and buildings throughout Canada and the United States.

In 2021, the Niagara Parks Power Station was reinvigorated after years of dormancy. The brand-new attraction includes an array of remarkable experiences for tourists. Interactive tours that unveil surprising historical facts. A massive underground tunnel that leads to the base of Niagara Falls. An immersive, innovative nighttime light show that encourages visitors to step back in time and experience the Power Station during its heyday. Guests from around the world are flocking to the site with rave reviews.

The guest experience at the Niagara Parks Power Station is further elevated by a unique interior design strategy. Upon entering the building, you will discover the seamless integration of century-old architecture and building materials with the modern beauty of high-performance Wilsonart® Engineered Surfaces. The final look is described as a “steampunk feel,” according to Jen Myers, the project’s lead designer from the Toronto-based firm +VG Architects.

“We wanted to use older elements in the space while creating newer elements with Wilsonart surfaces. It’s a very unique building, and unlike any other in Ontario. This was originally a very industrial building, so the challenge was to update the existing look and feel of the building into an interactive space for guests. Even in the washrooms, we tried to preserve the original beauty of the Power Station while maintaining a welcoming guest experience.” — Jen Myers, Designer, +VG Architects


It’s not hard to spot Wilsonart surfaces at the Niagara Power Station. Only a few steps away from the entrance, the main reception desk is built entirely with Wilsonart® Solid Surface. The designs Beige Travertine (9236SS) and Grey Lace (9224SS) fit together in a wavy, puzzle-piece fashion that mimics the dynamic flow of water. The resulting effect is a visual nod to the Niagara River, the reason for the Power Station’s existence. Fabricating this unique wave design was possible because of Solid Surface’s innovative thermoformability.

Wilsonart® Solid Surface was also incorporated into the washroom design. Milk Glass Spectra (9077ST) can be found on countertops and sink areas for a translucent look that provides a soothing cream-white tone with medium particulate features. In washrooms, using Wilsonart® Solid Surface is a smart choice — non-porous, seamless engineering makes the surface easy to clean and maintain.


 Just behind the Solid Surface reception desk is Italian Carrara (TS503) from THINSCAPE® Performance Tops. But this isn’t an ordinary countertop. The design actually serves as a decorative half wall and planter box for an array of live plants, which add a touch of greenery to the largely industrial environment. In addition to being an elegant, marble-inspired design that complements the Solid Surface selections, the performance of THINSCAPE® serves a very specific purpose in accommodating the foliage.

“THINSCAPE is incredibly durable and lightweight, and offers sleek beauty at only ½-inch thick. More importantly, it is also water resistant, making it an ideal choice for accommodating the necessary irrigation system. THINSCAPE was the perfect surface for elevating the horticultural design elements in that area of the space,” says Jen Meyers.

Before you leave the reception area and start exploring, you’ll also find Wilsonart® HPL cabinetry and drawer fronts in Satin Stainless (4830). The cool grey tone of this design offers a discrete look for functional storage. The durability of Wilsonart® HPL also stands up to daily use, allowing the modern cabinets to remain beautiful over the long term.

Meyers says, “I have a great relationship with my Wilsonart representative, so that made the choice for surface materials pretty easy. Many of the designs we selected emulates the look of architectural stone without breaking the bank.”


In 2021, The Niagara Parks Power Station received an Excellence in Conservation award at the Lieutenant Governor’s Heritage Awards. The award signifies that The Power Station is more than a historical building or a unique tourist spot. It is a landmark that celebrates nature’s might. A landmark that celebrates reinvigoration and restoration. A landmark that celebrates a powerful history — and an inspiring future.

Photography Credit: David Lasker Photography

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