Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited (Toronto Hydro), celebrated the start of construction on its new downtown transformer station on May 22, 2013. Located near the historic John Street Roundhouse north of Lakeshore Boulevard, it was officially named Clare R. Copeland Transformer Station and is the first station built in the downtown core by Toronto Hydro since 1955. When in service, it will provide electricity to buildings and neighborhoods in the central-southwest region of Toronto. The majority of the station will be built underground and will preserve the historical railroad building called the Machine Shop.

Clare R. Copeland served Toronto Hydro as the Chairman of the Board of Directors from 1999 to 2013. The new transformer station pays tribute to his dedication and guidance to Toronto Hydro during his 14 years of service.

According to the recently released Economic Dashboard Report [www.toronto.ca/progress/economic_dashboard.htm], Toronto is now the fourth largest metropolitan area, by population, in North America. Between 2006 and 2011, the population in the City’s downtown increased by over 50 per cent. Clare R. Copeland Transformer Station will provide much needed additional capacity to serve current and future load requirements in this high-density, high-growth area of Toronto. In addition, the new station will ‘back up’ the existing Windsor Transformer Station, located on Front Street, in order to enable staged replacements of its end-of-life equipment.

Most of the station will be built under the existing Machine Shop located at Roundhouse Park, which will be re-assembled after construction of the station is complete. The Machine Shop will house the protection, control and station service equipment, while the major equipment (transformers, switchgear, cabling, etc.) will be housed below.

Electrical supply for the station will be taken from existing 115-kV electrical circuits from Hydro One’s Front Street tunnel from Hydro One’s Esplanade Station. From the tunnel, cables will be routed via a new underground cable tunnel to the New Toronto Hydro Transformer Station, where the 115 kV will be stepped down, through transformers, for distribution to customers. The new station is expected to be complete by the end of 2014.

Here’s why Toronto Hydro is investing approximately $195 million in Clare R. Copeland Transformer Station:

  • Once in service, the new transformer station will add a total of 144 MVA of capacity, which is the equivalent to approximately 70 condo buildings. According to the City of Toronto, there are 189 high rise buildings approved for construction in Toronto.
  • Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, the station will power major Toronto institutions including the CBC, Rogers Centre and the new Ripley’s Aquarium. It will also connect to new infrastructure along Queens Quay, which is being revitalized as part of Waterfront Toronto’s vision.
  • Investing in infrastructure is good for the economy. Every $1 invested in infrastructure creates as much as $1.11 in economic growth and reduces business costs by an average of 11 cents.