In 1892 the Citizens Telephone and Electric Company was formed and subsequently sold to the Town of Rat Portage in 1902. In 1920 the Town sold the hydraulic generating station and control dam (Norman Dam) to Backus Brooks and, in return for this and other assistance, agreed to establish a pulp and paper mill in the Town.
In 1937 poor water levels and unfavourable flows prompted the Town and then mill owner, Ontario Minnesota Pulp and Paper Co., to arrange for additional supply from the Winnipeg Electric Co. until this agreement was terminated in 1958.
In 1956 the Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario (Ontario Hydro) constructed 140 km of 115,000 volt transmission line to serve O – M Pulp and Paper.
With the expansion of the Town’s grid and concern over the technical adequacy of the electrical supply, Kenora approached Ontario Hydro for the supply of electricity. In a 1965 referendum, the town agreed to form the Kenora Hydro Electric Commission supplied by Ontario Hydro. The results of the vote were: 1049 in favour and 943 opposed.
In 1967 the newly formed Commission took office and spent $ 970,700.00 for the construction of a 115 kv substation and the conversion from the 2.5 kv distribution system to the present 12.5 kv system. The substation was later expanded and today has the capacity of 36 MVA.
Kenora Hydro Electric Corporation Limited (Kenora Hydro) was incorporated in 2000 under the Ontario Business Corporations Act, as mandated by The Electricity Act, 1998. The City of Kenora owns 100% of the shares of Kenora Hydro. All assets and liabilities associated with the former Hydro Electric Commission of the Town of Kenora were transferred to Kenora Hydro. Kenora Hydro operates under the direction of a six member Board of Directors that are appointed by Kenora City Council.