The following is an excerpt from a publication produced by Ontario Hydro titled, "Ontario Hydro's History and Description of Hydro-Electric
Generating Stations" (Glenys Biggar, editor, Ontario Hydro, 1991)"
Bala No. 1
Situated in the town of Bala on the Muskoka River
was formerly the property of Bala Electric Light and Power Company. The station went into service in 1917. Ontario Hydro purchased
the plant in 1929.
There were two 160 hp William Hamilton Francis type horizontal shaft turbines with a total capacity of 320 hp. There were also two generators: one - 125kVA, 140rpm. one - 150 kVA, 500 rpm: Canadian General Electric. 8-phase, 60 Hz, 2800 V which were directly connected to the turbine.
The Department of Public Works owned and operated the two dams in the the town of Bala. These dams controlled the outflow from Lake Muskoka and established a head of 5.8m(19 ft) between the water surface elevations of the lake and the Muskoka River downstream. The site included a small head pond canal which connected the plant to Lake Muskoka. There was also a small dam at the generating station.
The plant was removed from service in April 1957 because of its high operating costs and repair needs. Neither plant rehabilitation nor head redevelopment was economical, particularly at the existing high interest rates. It was, therefore proposed to retire the plant permanently from service. Agreement was obtained from Ontario Hydro and the buildings and dams were transferred to the town of Bala in 1962.
Bala No. 2
Bala No. 2 situated in the town of Bala on the Muskoka River a short distance from Bala No. 1 was remotely controlled from that point. It was formerly the property of the Bala Electric Light and Power Company. The station went into service in 1924 and was purchased by the Ontario Hydro in 1929. The station was supplied by an intake flume connected to the south pier of the dam which was owned by the Department of Public Works(Ontario). the operating head was about 6 m(19 ft).
There was one 400 hp, William Hamilton, propeller type vertical shaft, 277 rpm. Also, one 312.5 kVA Canadian General Electric, 3 phase, 60 Hz, 2800 V generator, directly connected to the turbine.
The station was removed from service in 1957 because of the high cost of production and the need for repairs. Studies in 1960 showed that it was not economical to rehabilitate the plant or to redevelop the site. It was proposed in 1972 to carry out the work required to make the structure permanently safe for the public and to leave the site in a neat and tidy condition. The work involved the sealing and filling of the intake channel, demolition of the powerhouse superstructure and leveling and dressing the site. Ownership of the site was reverted to the Crown.
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