PUC Building


The Oshawa Public Utilities Commission building, located at 100 Simcoe Street South, was built in 1931. It was designed by Oshawa architect C.C. Stenhouse and built by the W.J. Trick company. It is considered to be a vernacular example of Art Deco architecture.

Electricity in Oshawa arrived by the late 1880s, supplying power to the businesses and allowing the electric rail system to thrive. By 1916, the Oshawa Electric Light Co. was purchased, falling under the control of the Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario. After the First World War, the Hydro Electric Power Commission developed a plan whereby municipalities would take over distribution of their utilities. On May 20, 1929, Oshawa City Council passed a by-law to authorize a vote on purchasing the Oshawa electric distribution system and to establish a public utilities commission. The public vote took place on June 15, 1929 and passed. Oshawa purchased the electrical distribution system for $310,000 and the gas distribution system for $210,000. The first Public Utilities Commission was elected in January 1930, and one of their first objectives was finding a suitable headquarters.

Construction took place through 1931. By November of that year, staff moved into the building, and it officially opened on December 2, 1931. Hon. J.R. Cooke, Chairman of the Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario officiated the ceremony and the Rt. Hon. Arthur Meighan, former Prime Minister, was in attendance. Tax payers were originally hesitant at the idea of a new building, fearing the costs, but the building was paid for from PUC reserve funds, “without adding one cent to the taxes payable in the city.”

Oshawa Power remains a local electricity distribution company, delivering electricity to homes and businesses across Oshawa.

With information from:




Oshawa Daily Times, 2 Dec 1931, p. 1

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Simcoe Street South 100
Oshawa L1H 4G6 ON CA
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