A smokestack, also known as a chimney, is an edifice constructed as a part of an industrial company to provide ventilation for the smoke and flue gasses that are emitted from a fireplace, boiler, furnace or stove. The ability of a smokestack to release flue gases to the atmosphere is dependent on its height in that the higher the chimney is, the lower the impact of pollutants on the surrounding environment.
The History Of Smokestacks
The idea of chimneys can trace their roots back to the 12th century when Romans used to put tubes in walls to draw out the smoke emitted from their bakeries. However, it was not until the 16th century when they became popular in houses. The first large smokestacks were constructed in England between the 18th and 19th century to draw out toxic smoke produced in large quantities during the extraction of lead. The construction of chimneys ensured that the emissions caused minimal harm to the surrounding environments. The advancement of technology and industrialization brought about a new era of a smokestack with some being the world's tallest structures.
Canada has a number of relatively tall smokestacks all around the country. Ontario has the highest number of tall smokestacks in Canada compared to the other regions accounting for 11 of the top 20 tallest smokestacks in the country.
1. Inco Superstack
The Inco Superstack, located in Sudbury, Ontario is the tallest smokestack in Canada and the second tallest freestanding smokestack in the world after Kazakhstan's GRES-2 Power Station, with a height of 1247 feet. Inco Superstack is also Canada's second tallest freestanding structure after the CN Tower but taller than the First Canadian Place. Superstack is the world's 40th tallest freestanding structure located atop the Copper Cliff processing company which is the world's largest smelting company.
2. Flin Flon Smelter, Stack
The Flin Flon smelter stack located in Flin Flon, Manitoba is the second tallest chimney in Canada with a height of 825 feet. After more than 70 years in operation, the Flin Flon smelting plant together with its iconic smokestack closed down officially in 2010.
3. Hearn Generating Station, Stack
The Hearn Generating Station located in Toronto was a former electrical generating station that was the third tallest smokestack in Canada with a height of 705 feet. The power plant was formerly powered by coal and later converted to burn oil. The plant is still under the ownership of the Ontario Power Generation which is a public electrical generating company. Following a series of chimney demolitions, a new single smokestack was constructed on the power plant completed in 1971 making it one of the tallest smokestacks in the world. Construction of the smokestack cost around $9 million.
4. Wesleyville Generating Station, Stack
The Wesleyville Generating Station located in Wesleyville, Ontario was constructed in the mid-1970 by Ontario Hydro. The power plant which was supposed to be an oil-fired, 2,000-megawatt structure but was never completed because of the oil crisis that occurred in 1973. At present, the plant is used for other functions such as rigging and fighting among other safety programs. A smokestack was built on Wesleyville Generating Station making it the fourth tallest chimney in Canada with a height of 682 feet.