On-Site Magazine

Controlled demolition levels remnants of Nanticoke, Ont. coal plant, once the largest in North America

By David Kennedy   


In less than a minute, carefully placed charges safely brought down the nearly 500,000 sq. ft. facility

NANTINCOKE, Ont.—Carefully placed charges exploded throughout the powerhouse facilities at the former Nanticoke Generating Station on the shores of Lake Erie Aug. 22. In less than a minute, the three buildings that covered nearly 500,000 sq. ft. were levelled, spelling the end of what was once the largest coal plant in Canada and North America.

The controlled demolition of the powerhouse follows the toppling of the plant’s twin 198-metre (650-foot) smokestacks last year and brings the remediation of the site one step closer to completion.

The plant was originally built between 1967 and 1978. At peak, it contained eight separate generating units with the combined capacity to produce 4,000 megawatts of power.

The station was closed in 2013 as part of the Ontario-wide phase-out of coal-fired power production, which the province completed the following year.


Ontario Power Generation (OPG) has since installed a 44-megawatt solar facility on the grounds with the help of two First Nation partners. Canadian contractor PCL Construction spearheaded that project, which was completed this March.

With the powerhouse demolished, restoration work on the site is expected to carry on into 2020.


The blast levelled the sprawling facility in less than a minute:

Video courtesy of Aim-Delsan/Concrete Pictures


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