Skip to main content

For our high-voltage summer style shoot, the Globe went on location to The Niagara Parks Power Station

It was built at the turn of the century when inventors such as Nikola Tesla, George Westinghouse and Thomas Edison were locked in a fierce battle – dubbed the War of the Currents – to see who could bring electricity to the masses first.

The year was 1901 and an American lawyer named William Birch Rankine had raised the $5.2-million needed to construct the first hydroelectric generating plant on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, where Tesla and Westinghouse’s alternating current technology was to be used (besting Edison, a proponent of direct current) to transmit electricity to western New York and Southern Ontario. It was a monumental undertaking. The technology was new, the financial stakes were high and the dangers were all too real for the hundreds of workers who used rudimentary steam-powered machinery and literal horsepower to blast rock, dig tunnels and haul stone to construct the Canadian Niagara Power Company.


When it was finished in 1905, the 60,000-square-foot facility was considered an architectural, design and engineering marvel. The team who has spent the past two years painstakingly restoring it to its former glory believe it still is one today. “Back then, people built with exceptional materials,” says Marcelo Gruosso, senior director of engineering in charge of the $25-million refurbishment of what is now called the Niagara Parks Power Station. “The entire structure is limestone, granite, slate, stainless steel, copper, marble, nickel and brass. It was built to last – and to make a very good first impression.” The latter was important, Gruosso says, because in the early 1900s, hydroelectric power plants were a radical new concept. “Rankine built, in effect, a monument to electricity because he wanted to instill confidence in investors and the public that this technology was not only legitimate, but going to be around for a very long time.”

Last summer, phase one of the revamp opened and guests had their first glimpse of Generator Hall with its 11 massive generators (painted “Ford Blue”), graceful arched windows, interactive exhibits and retail space. This July, visitors will be able to explore the subterranean levels for the first time. “Guests will take two glass elevators down 180-feet into the vast underground portions of the power station where they will arrive at the 2,000-foot-long Tailrace Tunnel,” says Kim Viney, senior director of business development for Niagara Parks. “Guests can walk through the massive tunnel before arriving at a new viewing platform that looks out onto the lower Niagara River, right at the base of Horseshoe Falls.”

Eventually, Gruosso and his team also hope to restore the upper levels, which include the control room (“It looks like something right out of Star Trek,” he says) and the administration offices, where plans include two more viewing decks that will overlook the falls. “Architecturally, I admire the beauty of this place but I’m equally in awe of the ingenuity and sheer grit that went into its construction,” Gruosso says. “It’s incredible to me how these inventors were able to bring all these abstract concepts to life and pull it all together.”

Viney agrees, adding that it is believed to be the last power station of this vintage that’s fully intact. “We call it the Cathedral of Power,” she says. “Which we think is a perfect name for a facility that was so far ahead of its time.”

Lawrence Cortez/The Globe and Mail

Erdem Moralioglu’s first foray into men’s wear is a romantic mix of vibrant knits and work slacks.

Erdem cardigan, $925, shirt, $770, trousers, $820, hat, $410, cummerbund, price on request through Camper boots, $250 at Gravity Pope (

Lawrence Cortez/The Globe and Mail

Tailored staples relax when cut from Issey Miyake’s layers of lightweight textiles.

Homme Plissé Issey Miyake coat, $1,587, jacket, $720, trousers, $530 through Sneakers, $1,530 at Louis Vuitton (

Lawrence Cortez/The Globe and Mail

A jumpsuit worn tied at the waist adds functional flair.

Overcoat shirt, $490 through Engineered Garments jumpsuit, $660 at Ssense ( Sorel sneakers, $140 through

Lawrence Cortez/The Globe and Mail

The double lapel of a McQueen jacket creates a silhouette that’s extra sharp.

Blazer, $3,950, trousers, $1,070 at Alexander McQueen (

Lawrence Cortez/The Globe and Mail

Play around with how you tuck and cinch a suit to create a softer shape.

Ermenegildo Zegna jacket, $1,100, trousers, $1,645 through Overcoat shirt, $425 through

Lawrence Cortez/The Globe and Mail

Combining shades of khaki and tan is a novel approach to wearing neutrals.

Wooyoungmi jacket, $1,290 at Ssense ( Jil Sander shirt, $1,320, Loewe trousers, $1,150 at Holt Renfrew ( Camper boots, $250 at Gravity Pope (

ELECTRIC HUE Amp things up with agenerous dose of acid green.Bottega Veneta jacket, $2,900, trousers, $1,970, boots, $830 through Craig Green vest, $700 at Ssense ( Cortez/The Globe and Mail

Amp things up with a generous dose of acid green.

Bottega Veneta jacket, $2,900, trousers, $1,970, boots, $830 through Craig Green vest, $700 at Ssense (

Lawrence Cortez/The Globe and Mail

Shift proportions by pairing elongated shorts with boots or wearing a vest over a coat.

AMI vest, $2,165, jacket, $1,920, shirt, $410, shorts, $900 through Bag, $1,690 at MCM ( Boots, $380 at Coach (

Lawrence Cortez/The Globe and Mail

Sacai’s dynamic pink takes a suit in a bold direction.

Sacai jacket, $1,515, top, $280, trousers, $905 through Boots, $380 at Coach (

Styling by Nadia Pizzimenti for Grooming by Jodi Urichuk for Kérastase/L’Oréal/Plutino Group. Model: Finn Creeggan at Niwa Models. Styling assistant: Alex Petropoulakis. Photo assistants: Brandon McEachern, Andrew Moreno. Photographed at the Niagara Parks Power Station in Niagara Falls, Ont. For more information, visit

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

Check Following for new articles