Yarmouth Gas Light Company Limited
Yarmouth Street Railway Company Limited
Yarmouth Electric Company Limited
Yarmouth Light & Power Company Limited
Western Nova Scotia Electric Company Limited

Historical Notes

Service area: the Town of Yarmouth and Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia



General Overview


Following is quoted from pages 8, 9, and 10 of an undated document titled Western Nova Scotia Electric Company Ltd. Appraisal of Property, prepared by Engineering Service Company Ltd., Halifax.  These pages are part of Murille Schofield's collection.  A Property Appraisal was an important official legal document whose main purpose was to list and describe all property and equipment owned by a utility company; upon completion it was forwarded to the Public Utilities Board and was used by the PUB to establish the total invested capital or the "rate base", which in turn was the basis for the calculation of that portion of the company's annual income legally allowed for return on invested capital.





Western Nova Scotia Electric Company Ltd.
Appraisal of Property


Corporate History


The Western Nova Scotia Electric Company, Limited, is a body corporate, incorporated August 4, 1928, under the provisions of the Nova Scotia Companies Act with an authorized capital of two hundred shares of no par value. On September 28, 1928, this number was increased to five thousand shares of no par value.

On August 6, 1928, it purchased at Sheriff's Sale all the assets of the Yarmouth Light and Power Company, Limited, which included a hydro-electric generating station at Carleton on the Tusket River, a distribution system in the Town of Yarmouth and vicinity and a tramway system in the Town of Yarmouth and vicinity. Operation of the tramway system was discontinued later that year [other sources give the date of the end of streetcar operations as October 20, 1928] and the tracks were taken up and most of the equipment disposed of.

In 1929 the hydro-electric plant was sold to the Nova Scotia Power Commission. Since that time the Company has purchased its requirements of power and energy from said Commission and carries on the business of the distribution and sale of the same within the County of Yarmouth.  It has extended its system from the Town of Yarmouth to Beaver River in one direction and to Pubnico in the other direction.

The Yarmouth Light and Power Company, Limited, was a body corporate incorporated under the provisions of the Nova Scotia Companies Act on June 24, 1912, with an authorized capital of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000.00).  Subsequently it acquired the property and rights of the Yarmouth Street Railway Company, Limited, and the Yarmouth Electric Company, Limited.

These purchases were confirmed and the objects and powers of the Company added to under Chapter 162 of the Acts of Nova Scotia, 1919. This Company generated and distributed electric power and energy and operated a street car system in the Town of Yarmouth and immediate vicinity.

The Yarmouth Street Railway Company, Limited, was a body corporate, incorporated under Chapter 93 of the Acts of Nova Scotia, 1887, with an authorized capital of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) with power to increase same from time to time.  It was empowered to construct and operate a street railway system.  Subsequent legislation added to and extended its powers and amongst others it obtained the right to generate and distribute electric power and energy.

The Yarmouth Electric Company, Limited, was a body corporate, incorporated June 18, 1907, under the Joint Stock Companies Act with an authorized capital of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) being one thousand shares of a par value of one hundred dollars each.  Briefly the principal objects of this Company were to acquire stock or securities of other companies for the purpose of managing or operating them, or of consolidating them; also to engage in any other business which may seem to work in well with the Company's enterprise.  It is not clear just how extensive this Company's operations were.

There were other companies incorporated for the purpose of engaging in the electric light and power business, some of which apparently functioned as such and some of which did not.  There does not seem to be any direct connection between these and the present Company's undertaking.  Of these may be mentioned the Yarmouth Gas Light Company which was incorporated some time previous to 1882 under the Nova Scotia Joint Stock Companies Act.  At first this Company was engaged in the production and distribution of gas.  Later it also provided an electric service and for a time supplied the Town of Yarmouth with street lighting.  As time went on and the gas business fell off this Company finally went out of business.

About 1903 the Town of Yarmouth bought the street lighting system and operated it for a number of years.  In 1912 the Town entered into an agreement with the Yarmouth Street Railway Company, Limited, and the Yarmouth Electric Company, Limited, to supply it with street lighting and other service and allowed said companies the use of the poles, wire, etc. owned by the Town.  The equity of the Town in said poles, wire, etc. was finally sold to the Yarmouth Light and Power Company, Limited, about 1927.



First Electric Street Lights in Yarmouth

6th January 1888



The Electric Light


Alladin's lamp was lighted on Friday evening in Yarmouth, or rather several dozens of them.  The Electric Light Company, which is a Yarmouth company, having a capital of $15,000, has now in operation a system of electric lighting which gives great satisfaction.  The whole circuit was lit for the first time on Friday evening last, and every evening since except Sunday.

Most of the stores on Main Street have been lighted and present a brilliant appearance, one arc light furnishing abundant illuminating power for the largest apartment.  The Company has placed several street lamps on Main Street, one on Water Street, and one on Parade Street, which furnish a beautiful light in their vicinity.

A strong popular feeling prevails in favour of the adoption of electric light for street lighting.  The displays on Saturday and Monday evenings afforded evidence that a proper disposal of twenty or thirty street lights would splendidly illuminate all the principal thoroughfares, and if the cost were not excessive would prove more satisfactory than the present system of street lamps.

—  Source: Yarmouth Herald, January 11, 1888

[ICS]  The "Friday evening last" would have been January 6th, 1888.  The "Electric Light Company" probably meant the Yarmouth Street Railway Company Limited, which was incorporated in 1887 and had the legal power to generate and distribute electric power.  The "present system of street lamps" referred to the gas lights then operated by the Yarmouth Gas Light Company Limited under contract with the Town of Yarmouth.




From the Yarmouth Herald, January 11, 1888

Mr. Editor:
I see that the electric light is in operation and is a most satisfactory light, and if it will not cost more than gas to light our streets, let us have it; but we cannot afford much extra taxation for electric light.

Tax Payer





Yarmouth Gas Light Company Limited


On 9 September 1909, the Yarmouth Gas Light Company's rate schedule was as follows.  The "Rate" column gives the price per 1000 cubic feet.
[Source: Public Utilities Board records.]

Yarmouth Gas Light Company
September 1909


CATEGORY RATE
For Lighting Purposes
To Consumers of under 500
cubic feet per month
$2.25
To Consumers of from 500 to 3000
cubic feet per month
$2.00
To Consumers of over 3000 to 8000
cubic feet per month
$1.80
To Consumers of over 8000
cubic feet per month
$1.60
For Heating Purposes
Under 2000 cubic feet per month $2.00
Over 2000 cubic feet per month $1.50
The rate is the price per 1000 cubic feet.

[1000 cubic feet = 28.3 cubic metres = 28,300 litres]




1892 August 6

First Electric Streetcar Line


The first electric streetcar line in the Maritime Provinces, and the third in Canada, began regular operation in the evening of 6 August 1892, in Yarmouth.  (The first electric streetcar line in Ottawa, Ontario, began operation on 29 July 1891.  The first electric streetcar line in Hamilton, Ontario, began operation on 29 June 1892.  The first electric streetcar line in Toronto began operation on 15 August 1892.  The first electric streetcar line in Winnipeg began regular operation on 5 September 1892.  The first electric streetcar line in Montreal, the Belt Line, began regular operation on 21 September 1892.  It has been claimed that Windsor, Ontario, had "the continent's first electric streetcar" but this claim is not supported by any details, not even a date.)

It was built and operated by the Yarmouth Street Railway Company.  The route followed Main Street from the southern town limit to the northern town limit, about three miles [five km].  It was a single-track line, except for a short double-track section past the car barn at King Street.  From April 15th to November 15th, cars ran every 15 minutes, beginning from the south end at 6:45am and continuing until 10:45pm.  From November 15th to April 15th they ran every 20 minutes, beginning at the south end at 6:40am and continuing until 10:40 pm.  The fare was five cents cash, or four cents if you bought a book of 25 tickets for $1.  Several years later, the track was extended in a northward direction, about one mile, along the shore of Lake Milo to Murphy's Bridge, near Lakeside Park; an open car operated along this line during the summer, connecting with the regular Main Street cars near the Pumping Station at the northern town limit.

The Yarmouth streetcars continued running until operations ceased in October 1928.





Yarmouth Light & Power Company Limited


Incorporated 1912


On 24 June 1912, the Yarmouth Light and Power Company Limited was incorporated under the provisions of the Nova Scotia Companies Act, with an authorized capital of $250,000. Subsequently it acquired the property and rights of the Yarmouth Street Railway Company Limited, and the Yarmouth Electric Company Limited. These purchases were confirmed and the objects and powers of the Company added to under Chapter 162 of the Acts of Nova Scotia, 1919. The Company generated and distributed electric power in the Town of Yarmouth and immediate vicinity, and operated an electric streetcar system in the Town of Yarmouth.





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Yarmouth Electric Companies

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