Niagara Parks Commission
The Floral Clock
The Ontario Power Generation (Ontario Hydro) - Niagara Parks Commission Floral Clock is located along the Niagara River Parkway just north of the Sir Adam Beck Generating Stations.
The clock was inspired by then Ontario Hydro chairman, Dr. Richard L. Hearn and was based on the famous clock built in Princess Street Gardens in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1903. Dr. Hearn had seen this clock at the Princess Street gardens during a business trip.
The clock is the largest type of its kind in the world. It is three times the size of the clock in Scotland.
The clock was completed in 1950 and was Ontario Hydro's floral show piece. The first clock face was unique in design. Rather than using numerals, the letters of the words "Ontario Hydro" marked each the twelve numeral locations.
The clock is 40 feet (12.2m) in diameter and has a planted area of 38 feet (11.5m) in diameter consisting of more than 24,000 colourful carpet plants. During the winter multi-coloured stones replace the flowers. A 10 foot (3.05m) wide by 85 foot (25.9m) diameter water garden surrounds the clock. The face of the clock is sloped at a 3:1 ratio.
The hands of the clock are made of 3¼" and 3½" stainless steel tubing telescoped into each other and welded to stainless steel castings. They are counter-balanced in their short ends so that they require the same turning effort in all positions of their entire sweep. The hour hand is 14.6 feet (4.4m) long and weighs 500 pounds. The minute hand is 17.6 feet (5.3m) long and weighs 500 pounds. They have a combined weight of 1000 pounds. The second hand is 21 feet (6.4m) long and weighs 250 pounds.
The clock mechanism runs in a bath of oil and is driven by a 2 horsepower (hp), 3 phase squirrel cage motor, the rotor of which has been altered in such a way that the motor now operates as synchronized at 1,500 rotations per minute (rpm) up to an input of approximately 1,200 watts. The power requirement to operate this motor is 600 watts. The clock mechanism, hands, drive system and chimes were designed and built by Ontario Hydro staff.
Underneath the clock is a reinforced concrete bunker containing three rooms, each being 9 feet (2.7m) by 10 feet (3m) in diameter and 8½ feet (2.5m) in height. This space serves to house the clock mechanism and the electrical equipment. A stone tower located at the rear of the clock rises 24 feet (7.3m) in height. Only 12 feet (3.5m) of the tower appears above the clock dial when viewed from the front.
Behind the louvered opening in the tower are four - 25 watt co-axial speakers which broadcast the Westminster Chimes on every hour and quarter hour. The notes of the chimes are produced by miniature metallic rods being struck by a hammer actuated by contacts on the clock. The relatively low sound is amplified to a maximum of 100 watts. This method of producing chimes is less expensive and more versatile than the use of bells.
The time on the floral clock is checked daily to ensure accuracy.
Designs for the face of this clock are changed seasonally and yearly. Designs are created a year in advance to allow for the proper preparations. Tin dividers are built and installed to prevent soil slippage caused by the slope of the face of the clock. The clock is stopped during the planting process. A specially designed aluminum ladder is used for workers to install the plants.
Since 1977, the floral clock has been displayed and maintained by the Niagara Parks Commission. The Niagara Parks Commission rather than using numerals, use the letters of the words "Niagara Parks" to mark each the twelve numeral locations.
The clock mechanism runs in a bath of oil and is driven by 2 hp-three-phase squirrel cage motor. The rotor of which has been altered in such a way that the motor now operates as a synchronous motor at 1500 RPM up to an input of approximately 1200 Watts. The clock mechanism, hands, drive, chime system, etc. were all designed by Ontario Hydro staff at Niagara Falls and fabricated in its own local shops.
Overall the clock face diameter is 40
feet in diameter. The planted area diameter equals 38 feet with a slope
ratio that equals 3:1
The Floral Clock Plaque
The Floral Clock
Date last updated:
February 20, 2012
THANK YOU FOR VISITING
Generation/Niagara Parks Commission