Originally named Ile a la Raquette (Snowshoe Island), this island located in Halifax harbour was renamed George Island in 1749 after King George II. From the mid-18th century until after World War II, it played a part in the defense of Halifax.
During the 1750's, the island served as a prison of Acadians during the Great Upheaval.
Construction of Rockwood Asylum began in 1859 to house the "criminally insane" of Kingston Penitentiary. The asylum's site overlooking Lake Ontario was thought to have a calming effect on patients. The new limestone edifice - still situated near here - began accepting non-criminal patients in 1868. Rockwood became part of the Ontario provincial asylum system in 1877.
This facility began operation as a TTC streetcarhouse in 1921. In 1954, it was converted to a bus garage as it served until closure in 2002 when it was replaced by another, larger facility.
After some slowdowns, minor construction began April 30, 1897. This wasn't a serious attempt at construction, but rather just enough to satisfy certain contractual obligations.
Many legal battles and negotiations ensued, and real construction on the site did not begin until May 23, 1901, just over four years later. On January 2, 1905, the station formally opened with two operational 10,000 HP generators producing about 17,000 kilowatts.