Montréal, May 31, 2024

Press Release

Facility tours starting up again soon!

From Montréal to the Côte-Nord by way of Eeyou Istchee Baie-James, Outaouais, Mauricie and Montérégie, Hydro-Québec is opening its doors to the public. Since the 1930s, we’ve been welcoming visitors to 16 of our generating facilities and interpretation centers. Between 80,000 and 85,000 visitors explore the amazing world of hydroelectricity each year on our interactive tours, led by seasoned guides. These tours  are an unforgettable experience—and completely free of charge! Our facilities are located in breathtaking settings and their fascinating architecture reflects the periods during which they were designed. For instance, our Beauharnois power plant, built at the same time as New York’s Empire State Building, bears the hallmarks of Art Deco, a movement in the decorative arts and architecture that flourished in the 1920s and 30s.

Come as a family, as a couple or with friends to find out more about electricity generation, engineering ingenuity and the scientific principles underpinning it all. You’ll also be able to see a generating unit in action and admire our mind-boggling megastructures, a source of great pride.

Did you know? Expo 67 brought Hydro-Québec’s facility tours to the world

Hydro-Québec’s facility tours really began to get noticed during construction of the Manic-Outardes complex. Indeed, at Expo 67, a giant screen on the exhibition grounds projected live footage of Manic-5 as it was being built. A reception area was also set up at Hydro-Québec’s head office on René-Lévesque Boulevard West (Dorchester Boulevard at the time) in Montréal.

New at the Lac-Mégantic microgrid

Following the July 2013 rail disaster, the city of Lac-Mégantic, looking to the future, took the bold step of choosing to be an energy transition leader as it set about rebuilding its downtown core.

Today, you can visit Québec’s first islandable microgrid: an integrated system consisting of 2,200 solar panels, energy storage units, smart home devices and centralized controls. Hydro-Québec uses this human-scale living lab to test out technologies that will change the way energy is produced and consumed in the near future.

This year will see a new exhibition open at the city’s heritage railway station. Entitled Le réseau de l’avenir (The Grid of the Future), it showcases the technological innovations developed to drive the energy transition across Québec. A rich testament to mobilization and community spirit, as well as to the important contribution of the various initiatives designed to enhance community quality of life.

Plan your visit

  • All facility tours are free, but reservations are required. Space is limited, so we recommend calling at least 24 hours in advance.
  • Depending on the facility, tours can last from 1.5 to 4 hours.
  • Tours are available from mid-June to the end of August.
  • Some facilities also give you the option of being part of a virtual rally during your visit. Before you go, download the Tour Rallies mobile app, available on Apple and Google.

Facilities by region

Côte-Nord: Manic-5 generating station, Daniel-Johnson dam, Romaine-1 and Jean-Lesage (Manic-2) generating stations

Did you know? There are 2.2 million cubic meters of concrete in Daniel-Johnson dam—enough to build a sidewalk all the way from the North Pole to the South Pole!

Reservations, site accessibility, contact information and driving directions:
Daniel-Johnson and Manic-5

Montérégie: Beauharnois generating station, Électrium electricity interpretation center

Did you know? The Beauharnois facility is one of the world’s largest hydropower generating stations and the fifth-largest in Québec.

Reservations, site accessibility and contact information:

Eeyou Istchee Baie-James: Robert-Bourassa (formerly La Grande-2) and La Grande-1 generating stations

Did you know? The La Grande complex generates half of the electricity used in Québec!

Reservations, site accessibility and contact information:
La Grande-1

Montréal: Jean-Lesage building, Hydro-Québec’s headquarters, and Center for Sustainable Development

Did you know? Lumière et mouvement dans la couleur, the mural adoring the walls of our head office lobby, was created by Jean-Paul Mousseau, the youngest signatory of the famous Refus global manifesto, .

Reservations, site accessibility and contact information:
Head office
Center for Sustainable Development

Laurentides: Carillon generating station

Did you know? If Carillon is the seventeenth and last facility to generate electricity on the Rivière des Outaouais (Ottawa River), it’s nonetheless the most powerful of all, able to supply 150,000 homes with electricity!

Reservations, site accessibility and contact information

Abitibi-Témiscamingue: Première-Chute generating station

Did you know? The spillway has clamshell gates that open and close like eyelids! Their main advantage is that they look nicer than knife gate valves.

Reservations, site accessibility and contact information

Laval: Rivière-des-Prairies generating station

Did you know? Initially painted dark green, beige and black, the facility’s interior got a makeover when it opened to the public in 1977. To brighten it up, Hydro?Québec decided to add color. The current decor was inspired by modernism and the De Stijl movement, which embraced a return to primary colors.

Reservations, site accessibility and contact information

Îles-de-la-Madeleine: thermal generating station

Did you know? When we think of Hydro?Québec, we tend to think “hydropower.” But the government corporation also operates other types of generating stations to supply isolated communities. This is the case in Îles-de-la-Madeleine, which relies on fuel oil to meet its energy needs.

Reservations, site accessibility and contact information

Outaouais: Rapides-Farmer generating station

Did you know? This facility doesn’t have a spillway. Instead, it has a weir measuring 442 m that, just like a bathtub overflow, releases excess water once it reaches a certain level.

Reservations, site accessibility and contact information

Mauricie: Cité de l’énergie and Shawinigan-2 generating station

Did you know? The name “Shawinigan” is of Indigenous origin. For the Atikamekw Nation, the Saint?Maurice was a vital transport route, used for canoe travel for hundreds of years. In Atikamekw, shawinigan means “portage on the crest.”

Reservations, site accessibility and contact information

Estrie: Lac-Mégantic microgrid

Did you know? Hydro?Québec’s subsidiary EVLO equipped the microgrid with giant energy storage units that, together, can store 600 kWh—the equivalent of nine 2022 Chevrolet Bolt batteries.

Reservations, site accessibility and contact information


Gabrielle Leblanc
Media relations
438 823-6685

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