Niagara Falls Tailrace

I’ve always had a bit of interest with urban spelunking, and when I was younger used to do a bit myself. Of course, I wasn’t aware of the term then. My friends and I would just go places we weren’t supposed to, whether it was construction sites, old sewer systems (or new ones almost complete in fresh subdivisions), abandoned hotels etc. One of the more disturbing discoveries we made was that within 3 manhole covers of every storm drain entrance, one could find an antechamber littered with old beer bottles, an absolutely foul looking mattress, and worst of all, opened condom wrappers.

Certainly not the Love Shack the B-52s had in mind I’m sure.

What brings me to this post though is the following…

Imagine a tunnel more than ten storeys underground, a hundred years old, bricklined, wet, and completely inaccessible save by descending through a narrow slit in its ceiling thirty feet above the floor, and then returning up the same rope you came down.

Now imagine that this tunnel flows into Niagara Falls, emerging behind the pummeling curtain of water that nearly everyone in North America journeys to see at some point in their lives.

This tunnel exists…

It’s the old Niagara Tailrace built by the Toronto Power Company about 100 years ago, and Michael Cook of (along with others) went into it. There’s some spectacular photos, that seem more at home on a big budget sciene fiction film set than in a power plant. There’s also more details about the project, and links to historical photos, at the Sleepy City site.

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