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This material is from an alphabetical company list found in Business and History at Western at the University of Western Ontario.

This essay was written in c 1967.
It was copied from the May 1967  "Centennial Issue"  of Industrial Canada  held in the Western Libraries at the University of  Western Ontario. The original article should be consulted since this copy may contain some errors.  The text and/or  the images are being made available to researchers for scholarly purposes. They should not be used for commercial gain  without the permission of the author or publisher.

Canadian Centennial Companies

The story of Nova Scotia Light and Power Company, Limited starts with the incorporation of tha Halifax Gas, Light and Water Company in 1840. By January of 1843 the company was ready with six miles of gas mains and lights for 281 stores and dwellings, along with 60 street lights. Operations continued with variable success until 1897 when the People's Heat and Light Company, a second gas business formed in 1893, absorbed the first gas company.

Another ancestral company was the Halifax City Railroad Company, horsedrawn, organized in 1863. It began operations on June 11, 1866, and served Halifax, With what eventually became nine miles of track, for ten years. After a lapse of ten years, horses were still in vogue for intercity transport and the Halifax Street Railway Company, Limited and its successor, the Nova Scotia Power Company, Limited, carried on until 1896 when electric trams replaced the horse cars.

The third and most important strand of the company's history is traceable to April, 1881 a year and four months before Thomas Edison opened his New York electric station - when three Haligonians formed the Halifax Electric Light Company, Limited. It never operated. Possibly the technical problems associated with taming this untried and unknown force - electricity - were too awesome at that time for Halifax knowledge and technology.

Three years and seven months later, John Starr and his associates incorporated the Halifax Electric Light Company, (limited). It is the same name except in the way limited is written, with a small "l" and in brackets. The second electric company built a 100 horsepower plant and began operations from Black's Wharf, Water Street, in February, 1885.

The Halifax Electric Light Company, (limited) was taken over by the Halifax Gas Light Company, Limited, which had dropped "Water" and added "Limited" to its name since 1840. This merger was on December 20, 1887. A short life and a rather ignominious ending. However, time was to reverse the verdict of gas over electrical energy in Halifax.

It was left for the Halifax Electric Tramway Company, Limited, formed in 1895, to bring order out of the corporate chaos by buying the Nova Scotia Power Company, the Halifax Street Railway Company, and the Halifax Illuminating and Motor Company. Then, in 1902, it bought the People's Heat and Light Company and from then on gas was under the electric wing until the old gas works was shut down in 1953.

In 1916, when its total capacity was 6,500 KW, the Halifax Electric Tramway Company, Limited bought the Dartmouth Gas, Electric Light, Heating and Power Company.

A new company, the Nova Scotia Tramways and Power Company, Limited, had been formed in 1914. In January, 1917, it bought the properties, rights and privileges of the Halifax Electric Tramway Company, Limited.

In the great Halifax Explosion of December 6, 1917, the company's electric generation station received only superficial damage, but all the rolling stock was hit, some of the trams were demolished, and the property damage in the service area was extensive.

The first hydro power to interconnect with the company's thermal power came from another utility, the Nova Scotia Power Commission, in 1921. In 1928, the company reorganized and changed its name to Nova Scotia Light and Power Company, Limited.

During the 1930's the company was very busy extending its rural transmission lines in spite of the Great Depression. This program was not completed, since it extended throughout eleven counties and World War II interrupted the construction, until about 1950.

During World War II, in addition to doing a great deal of contract work for the federal government at cost, the company established a Marine Department, which, among other jobs, "degaussed" about 1600 ships as they gathered in Halifax to form the Atlantic Convoys.

When the war ended there was a great backlog of work to be done. The tram cars and their rails were replaced by modern electric trolley coaches. At present, the company operates 81 electric coaches and 12 diesels in the city of Halifax. A continual program of building and redeveloping generation, transmission and distribution facilities has been followed. A 100 megawatt thermal station was completed on the Dartmouth side of Halifax Harbour in 1965.

The next construction project is the Lequille River hydro station, which will generate for peak load purposes about 15,000 horsepower. It will be built on the site of Poutrincourt's grist mill, which was set up in the spring of 1607, near Port Royal, Nova Scotia. It was the first water mill on the North American Continent and the Lequille River was the first to be harnessed by the European settlers. The exterior of the modern power station will be a replica of a French mill of the seventeenth century, but the station will house machinery capable of turning out more than 150 times more horsepower.