Home > History > Today > The Cité de l'énergie

The Cité de l'Énergie

The idea of showcasing the industrial history of Shawinigan dates back to 1947 when Shawinigan Water and Power planned to develop a museum in an old disused power plant. But the project did not materialize. The idea was raised again in 1970, but the project only began in earnest in 1985, with the foundation of the Centre d'interprétation de l'industrie corporation. In the fall of 1988, Robert Trudel was hired as director general and he quickly set up a working team. Less than 10 years later, in June 1997, the Cité de l'Énergie opened its doors to visitors. Since its inauguration, the establishment has welcomed an average of 100 000 visitors per year.

The Cité de l'énergie is a touristic complex. Its mission consists of popularizing the themes of energy and industry from scientific and historic standpoints. Efforts also focus on the development of the industrial heritage of Shawinigan. The site offers visitors an enriching and entertaining experience. Tours begin with a multisensoral show unique in Canada. The show features the very latest multimedia technology, drawing visitors into the fascinating world of raw energy. An exhibit hall then addresses mastery of the untamed energy by man. The 115-metre observation tower offers an impressive view of Mauricie scenery. Visitors can learn more about the daily lives of the people of Shawinigan at the Nos Belles Histoires exhibit.

The Cité de l'énergie is proud to offer access to a hydropower generating station built in 1899, in cooperation with Hydro-Québec. Here, visitors can explore the world of industrial technology. Presentations include aluminum casting, the production of newsprint and magnetic levitation. In addition, visitors have access to the Shawinigan-2 generating station, in operation since 1911.

The Cité de l'énergie also proposes a tour of the city and a cruise on the Saint-Maurice River, where visitors can learn more about the many facets of the river and Shawinigan. Likewise, the Cité de l'énergie site is home to the Jardins de la synergie, where visitors may view an impressive collection of colourful landscaping layouts.

In an exceptional natural environment, the Cité de l'Énergie presents an evening show featuring theatre, music, dance and circus arts. The heated, revolving and covered outdoor amphitheatre adds a touch of magic to the fanciful atmosphere of the show. Likewise, to the delight of contemporary art enthusiasts, each year since 2003 Espace Shawinigan has presented an art exhibit in the building housing the first aluminum smelter in Canada, now recognized as a national historic site.