In 1895, the Deschênes Rapids industrial site was radically transformed. The site’s hydraulic powers were harnessed to produce electricity. The main shareholders of the Hull Electric Railway Company, William Conroy of Aylmer and Mr. Seybold of Ottawa, decided to have a dam and hydro-electric power station built (plan) to supply electricity to the Town of Aylmer and to power the electric tramway network that was being planned to connect Aylmer, Hull and Ottawa. In 1899, the Canadian Pacific Railway bought out the Hull Electric Railway Company and ran it until 1926, when it was sold out to Canadian International Paper (CIP). In 1946, when the Hull Electric Company closed down, the Gatineau Power Company, a subsidiary of the CIP, was in charge of the site’s management.
The ruins of the stone walls that still just out of the foaming rapids of the Ottawa River remind us of Deschênes’ early industrial history.