Stave Falls Visitor Centre

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Visitor information

Located within the picturesque Fraser Valley, the Stave Falls Powerhouse offers a very exciting experience for all visitors, regardless of age. Walk back in time with interactive games and historic displays telling the story of how power has helped build British Columbia.

Don't miss the impressive turbines and generators, which give a unique perspective on how electricity is made. Guided and self-guided tours available.

Access and directions

The Power House at Stave Falls Visitor Centre is located at 31338 Dewdney Trunk Road, Mission, B.C.

Need directions? View a map of BC Hydro recreation areas and get directions to the Power House at Stave Falls Visitor Centre, the Stave Lake boat launch, the Stave Lake Reservoir Lodge and Campsite, the Hayward Lake reservoir recreation area and the Ruskin Dam recreation area, all of which are about 60 kilometres east of Vancouver.

Find out about recreation area closures and restrictions.

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Hours, admission fees and contact info

The Stave Falls Visitor Centre is open March 1 to October 13, 2014. The Visitor Centre will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please contact us for more information or for group bookings for our 2014 season.

Admission fees

  • Adults: $6
  • Youth (6 to 18) and seniors (55+): $5
  • Children 5 and under: free
  • Families (2 adults + 2 youth): $15
  • Season pass: Adults $7, Youth and Seniors $6

Please call 604 462 1222 or email us for more information.

Field trips & teacher resources

The Power House at Stave Falls provides a unique opportunity to bring the curriculum to life and engage students with real world experiences. Students' curiosity and wonder will be awakened once they see the inner workings of a 100-year-old power generating facility, interactive displays, archival photos and artifacts, and the original mechanical and electrical components installed over a century ago.

We invite you and your class to enjoy and experience first-hand the history, power and place that is Stave Falls. Contact us to book your field trip during our season.

Teacher Resource Guide

Stave Falls: Power and Place is a new resource designed to support the Grades 4 to 7 Social Studies and Science curricula, while connecting learners to an outstanding national heritage site and the natural environment that surrounds it. Students are encouraged to think about B.C.'s renewable and non-renewable resources, hydroelectric generation, human and natural heritage, and conservation.

Free resource materials – such as a teacher resource guide, downloads, handouts, etc. – are available through FirstWave, BC Hydro's interactive website for educators and students. FirstWave is an exciting interactive tool that teachers and students can use to learn more about our programs, enhancing the off-line materials. To download the free resource materials, visit bchydro.com/firstwave.

History and hydroelectric operation

Inside the Stave Falls Visitor Centre – the generator floor

Hydroelectric developments were instrumental in shaping the history and landscape of the Stave Valley from as early as 1909, when the Western Canada Power Company Limited began the construction of a power plant at Stave Falls.

Construction of the Stave Falls Dam and Powerhouse began in 1909 and was completed by January 1, 1912. From 1926 to 1928, the construction of an earthfill dam, tunnel and Powerhouse saw the completion of the Alouette component of the regional hydroelectric system.

In 1929, construction began on Ruskin Dam and Powerhouse at the narrow granite gorge 5.6 km downstream of Stave Falls. This development created Hayward Lake Reservoir, named after Stave Falls Dam's first Production Superintendent.

An additional generator was installed in the Ruskin Powerhouse in 1950 to meet increased electrical demand in the region. Electric power produced at the Ruskin Generating Station is used to meet short-term peak electrical demand in the Lower Mainland.

In January 2000, an upgrade to the Stave Falls Dam and Powerhouse was completed to increase the dam's efficiency while ensuring long-term hydroelectric service.

The Alouette-Stave-Ruskin generation system is a source of hydroelectricity for the Lower Mainland. Water from Alouette Lake is directed by tunnel to the Alouette Powerhouse on Stave Lake Reservoir where it then passes through the Stave Falls Powerhouse, and into Hayward Lake Reservoir. From here, water flows through the Ruskin Powerhouse and eventually down into the Fraser River. Together, the three powerhouses have a production capacity of 205 megawatts of electricity.

Facilities and activities

The Power House at Stave Falls offers an exciting experience for all ages, with interactive games and historic displays that tell the story of how power helped build British Columbia.

Take a walk through the past into the future at the Power House at Stave Falls! Learn how electricity is made and see turbines and generators up close. We offer:

  • Self-guided tours
  • Friendly staff to answer questions
  • A 50-seat theatre
  • A gift shop
  • Full wheelchair accessibility
  • A scenic location with BC Hydro recreation sites nearby
Historical artefacts from B.C. Electric at the Stave Falls Visitor Centre.

Start your self-guided tour with a nine-minute video, "Rain", in our theatre. It introduces you to the life and times of the early 1900s. Play with experiments on the solar energy workbench in the "Alternative Energy" area. Go through the "Science of Electricity" area and test your knowledge with interactive displays that will "shock" you. Enter the "Generator Hall" and see the actual turbines and generators from 1912!

Go back in time in the Historic Gallery to when electricity was a vague promise for the future and TVs and computers were still a half-century away. Appreciate the hardships and effort to build the Power House and hear the stories of intolerable mosquitoes and no safety equipment. Experience the changes made to lifestyles as the years went by.