We had just visited the Lost Villages Museum in Ault Park (near Long Sault) so we had the perspective of folks who were relocated during the construction of the St Lawrence Seaway. We were expecting the visitor center to be a total public relations blurb by Ontario Hydro on how beneficial the new lock system and hydro dams were. Instead we were impressed by the overall experience.
The visitor center is on the far western edge of town. We were greeted by friendly Ontario Hyrdo employee who gave us a general overview of the facility. It is a self directed tour that begins with the importance of the waterway to the Mohawk tribes and the early settlers.
The development of the commerce along the St Lawrence River was also interesting before the seaway. But the actual construction project to complete the project was most impressive. They do talk about the Lost Villages in a fair and balanced way. (We would recommend seeing the other side of the story if you have an extra couple of hours to spend in the area).
Along the tour there are several interactive exhibits like operating a hydropower plant or herding eels for the eel ladder. They have a high power binocular set so you can appreciate the power of the river flowing downstream of the dam and lookout across the river.
In the main conference room the is a stunning mural depicting the construction of the seaway in a modernistic manner.
All in all it was nice way to spend a few hours and learn something about one of the engineering marvels of the period (1958).
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