Old Building: Early Hydro

There is this old building at the corner of Adelaide St W. and Tecumseth St that is very mysterious. It has no sign but we gathered that it was special in some way because a few years ago someone paid to have the entire outside cleaned and the mortar all repaired. Most of the time it looks completely empty, though the building is still in use because we occasionally see the doors are open behind the gate and we can catch a glimpse of what appears to be a large warehouse.

It turns out that this is a sub-station of the Toronto Electric Light Company, and was built in 1908. It’s interesting to see a building still being used for what it was originally built for 103 years ago, and makes me realize that electricity is one thing that hasn’t changed much.

Back when this structure was built, people were charged for electricity usage via a hefty cost for the light bulbs they had no choice but to buy from the electric company. Back then electricity was only used to light rooms; electric stoves were not yet invented. And since it was only used for lighting, power was completely shut off by the electric company during the day to conserve it. Imagine that!