J. Clark Keith Hydro Plant

Located in Brighton Beach, the J. Clark Keith coal powered hydro plant was opened in 1953, and was demolished in 1997.

Below is a rendering that appeared in the Windsor Daily Star, February 19, 1949:

    These first architects’ drawings of the $21,000,000 Windsor steam hydro generating plan which will go into construction in the Brighton Beach area this spring were released today by the Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario. The sketches shown above give two views of the plant as it will appear when constructed. Rough specification are that the building will be 175 by 250 feet and 150 high. When completed the plant will generate 320,000 horsepower. It will be equipped with two huge steam generating units and turbo generators to convert water energy into hydro electric power which will serve the Western Ontario area with 60 cycle power. Construction on the 45-acre site is expected to commence this spring. The upper photo shows a general view of the building from the Sandwich Street side. Preliminary work is already under way at the site.

Winter solstice today. As long as the world doesn’t end today, the days start getting longer again from here on out….

12 Comments on J. Clark Keith Hydro Plant

  1. You will notice the mention to 60 cycle power, at the time Ontario was on 25 cycle, the conversion occurred during a program between 1951 and 1954 where technician’s would have to visit every home and business to convert every single electric motor to 60 cycle.

  2. The company that did this area was called Comstock, they also changed all appliances and light fixture. With 25 cycle you could see the philament in the light bulbs flicker. This also led to be able to buy electrical prodoucts in Detroit.

  3. Thank you for the reminder of the switch to 60 cycle. I was a young child and remember asking what it was all about. To all responsible for this site and to all who read it, MERRY CHRISTMAS and a blessed 2013.

  4. I can’t really see the building because of all the ersatz scratches on the picture. Is the original really that bad?

  5. Interesting that they report it as a Hydro Electric plant. Not so. It burned coal to make steam to make electricity. The foundations are still there next door to the existing natural gas fired station which replaced it in 2004.

  6. My recollections of this building, observed in passing on many rambles down West Sandwich into the hinterlands of Ojibway and beyond, is that of a vaguely sinister industrial monolith, best experienced in the fading light of dusk. Of a piece with the smoke belching furnaces just across the river, although I never witnessed the slightest puff from her stacks.
    She was a clean machine, her carbon emissions invisible but real. I don’t know that her final figure was as elaborate as the drawings, I only saw her from the road, and then my mind was on other things. Don’t remember all those windows. I think the stacks were shorter, or maybe the roof was taller? Anybody got any photographs?

  7. My father worked in the meter and protectiion part of the plant for 20 years (early 50’s to early 70’s). He used to take pride in taking myslef and some of my friends on tours through the plant a few times. It was very interesting to see the inner workings of plant with the biolers, turbines, and generators. I used to spend time on summer afternoons watching freighters unload caol and watched the coal build to an enormous pile by the end of the fall. I have fond memories of his time there. I also have a brocuhre with pictures of it’s construction and artist’s renderings of the plant if anyone is interested.It is black and white.

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