Honoring the legacy of hydropower pioneer, Dr. Henry Acres and his lasting impact on Niagara
Niagara Falls, Canada – On October 3, Hatch colleagues came together with representatives from the City of Niagara Falls and the hydropower industry to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Henry Acres, hydropower pioneer and founder of engineering consulting company H.G Acres, later renamed Acres International. Hatch was able to continue the legacy of Dr. Acres through the purchase of Acres International in 2004.
The celebration honoured the significant impact that Dr. Acres had on the City of Niagara Falls by naming the final stretch of the Millennium recreational trail the Dr. Henry G. Acres Pathway. The pathway was officially opened by Mayor Diodati and other dignitaries on October 1, 2022. Fittingly, it runs along hydro canals.
Dr. Acres began his distinguished career in 1911. His influence on the hydropower industry and the City of Niagara Falls was earned through his instrumental work on the construction of the Queenston-Chippawa (later named Sir Adam Beck1) development—the world’s largest hydropower generating station at the time. Many of his groundbreaking ideas and procedures are still used today.
The H.G. Acres firm eventually expanded around the country and overseas and became a world-renowned hydropower company—a legacy that carries on today through Hatch. By the time Dr. Acres passed away in 1945, the company had become a leading engineering consulting firm, and by the early 1970s, had designed well over 50% of Canada’s hydropower. Today, Hatch’s global hydropower center of excellence is located in Niagara Falls and continues to be a world-renowned hydropower consultant.
In 1943, Acres was awarded the Julian C. Smith Memorial Medal for outstanding contribution to the development of Canada. When Acres died two years later, his funeral was one of the largest ever held in St. Catharines.
Dr. Acres’ hard work lives on through his significant visible impact on hydropower and on the community within the City of Niagara Falls, where Hatch continues to be a stable downtown business and employer within the City. Hatch’s involvement in the community with initiatives such as STEM Q&A, Spark Makerspace, Project Share, and United Way allows our local staff to give back to the community in which we live and work.
“With almost 100 years of history in Niagara Falls, Hatch is honoured to continue the legacy of Dr. Henry Acres. We are proud to continue the important work of Dr. Acres and help our clients solve their toughest challenges through our rich hydropower experience. We are also proud to be an employer of choice for the residents of Niagara where they can experience long and fulfilling careers and live in the great City of Niagara Falls,” says Jim Sarvinis, Managing Director, Power, Hatch.
The Acres Pathway celebration was held at Queenston Heights restaurant, close to one of Dr. Acre’s largest power projects, the Queenston-Chippawa Hydroelectric Development (Sir Adam Beck I), which is still considered a global engineering success today. The event included remarks from Hatch’s Managing Director of Power, Jim Sarvinis, as well as Mayor Jim Diodati and Zak Erzinclioglu—a former executive of Acres International and Hatch Ltd.—and Paul Norris of Ontario Waterpower Association.
“H.G. Acres has left more than a legacy in Niagara Falls. What he has left is a life’s work – and his passion and signature is everywhere we look. From major projects like Sir Adam Beck I Power Station to the Niagara Tunnel Project, our lives are transformed because of the work of Henry Acres. With the founding of his company, engineers from the world over travelled here to make Niagara Falls their home. Under his tutelage and later, in partnership with Hatch, the Acres team has changed the face of the hydroelectric landscape in Niagara Falls and well beyond. It was H.G. Acres’ brilliance that started it all and that truly lives on, in the people and the impact of their work. H.G. Acres is a legend and it is so fitting that the final stretch of our trail system, which connects the entire City of Niagara Falls will be named in his honour.”
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