In the early 20th Toronto was plagued with unclean drinking water— at one point the infant mortality rate was 14%!
The R.C. Water Treatment Plant opened in 1941 and modernized Toronto’s water supply. Today Toronto is known for having excellent, award winning tap water.
The water treatment plant is also known for its elegant architecture. Its nickname is the Palace of Purification.
Despite its age, the plant is still functional— providing about 30% of Toronto’s water supply.
Water is chlorinated in the plant and pumped to reservoirs throughout the city.
Water comes from 2 pipes that go over 2 kilometres into Lake Ontario.
The plant grounds are open to the public and are a lovely spot for a walk.
Yikes— watch out for poison ivy!
The R.C. Water Treatment Plant is named for Roland Caldwell Harris— the civil servant who spearheaded the project.
Harris once said in a speech, “a drain well dug is as glorious as an opera” and this beautiful, functional building is a great example of that attitude.
If you decide to visit, be ready to climb up and down a few sets of stairs.
The plant is directly accessible by TTC…
…or if you are driving, there is street parking.
In your inbox once a month: