W.A.C. Bennett Dam Visitor Centre


Peace River vital to powering B.C.

In northeast British Columbia, near the town of Hudson's Hope, is Williston Reservoir, pictured above, the largest reservoir in the province. The Peace River flows out of the eastern edge of Williston through the Peace River Canyon.

BC Hydro's Peace Canyon project includes the W.A.C. Bennett Dam and the associated Gordon M. Shrum Generating Station, and the Peace Canyon Dam, 23 kilometres downstream, which reuses water that has already generated electricity.

The W.A.C. Bennett Dam Visitor Centre overlooks Williston Reservoir.

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News feature: Awe-inspiring experiences on offer at B.C.'s largest dam

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Access and directions

Need directions? View a map of BC Hydro recreation areas and get specific directions to the W.A.C. Bennett Dam Visitor Centre, 21 kilometres west of Hudson's Hope, and near Williston Reservoir and the Peace Canyon Dam.

WAC Bennet Dam and Peace Canyon Dam Map

Visitor information

A brand-new visitor centre experience at W.A.C. Bennett Dam is now open. We invite you to see our new exhibits and experience a guided tour with incredible views of the dam and reservoir.

The Visitor Centre overlooks the Williston Reservoir and offers a one-of-a-kind guided tour through the W.A.C. Bennett Dam and powerhouse.

Hours, admission fees and contact info

The W.A.C. Bennett Dam Visitor Centre is now closed for the 2015 season and will re-open on May 21,2016. During the season, guests can visit from 10am to 4pm everyday.

Admission fees

Prices include admission into the new Visitor Centre and the bus tour which runs every hour on the half hour throughout the day.

  • Adults: $6
  • Seniors and Youth (6-17 years): $5
  • Children under 5: free
  • Season pass: Adults $7, Youth and Seniors $6

Contact information

For further information, please call 250 783 5048 or email: bennett@bchydro.com.

History and hydroelectric operation

The Peace Canyon project is the second hydroelectric development to harness the turbulent water of the Peace River, which plunges from the Rocky Mountain Trench to the Mackenzie River system, and the Arctic Ocean.

The W.A.C. Bennett Dam at the head of the Peace River Canyon, is key to the multiple uses of Peace River water for power generation. Completed in 1967, it is one of the world's largest earthfill structures, stretching 2 km (1.25 miles) across the head of the canyon and measuring 183 m (600 feet) in height. Behind the dam is British Columbia's largest reservoir, Williston Reservoir, which covers an area of 166,000 h (410,000 acres).

Gordon M. Shrum Generating Station at Bennett Dam has the capacity to generate over 13 billion kWh annually. The powerhouse, carved deep in bedrock under the east shoulder of Bennett Dam, was the largest underground powerhouse in the world when it began generating electricity in 1968.

The Peace Canyon Dam, situated at the outlet of the Peace River Canyon 23 km (14 miles) downstream from W.A.C. Bennett Dam, reuses water which has already generated electricity at the Gordon M. Shrum power station. The two Peace River power developments have an ultimate rated capacity of 3,425,000 kW.