Biographical Dictionary of Canadian Engineers

Edited by
Rod Millard

ACRES, Henry Girdlestone, b. 1 May 1880, Paris, Ont,; d. 4 Sept. 1945, Toronto. Educated at Paris elementary and high schools, he was graduated from the University of Toronto (1903), and then worked for the Canadian Steamship Lines, and the Canadian Niagara Power Co. In 1905, he joined the Ontario Hydro-Electric Power Commission, becoming chief hydraulic engineer in 1911. He gained his engineering reputation for building the Queenston-Chippawa development and several other power plants. Entering private practice (H.G. Acres and Co.) in 1924, he consulted in Canada and abroad. From 1939 to 1942, he supervised the construction of the Shipshaw power development in Quebec to speed up aluminum production for manufacturing aircraft during the Second World War. He designed the Shand Dam (1942) on the Grand River, Ont. Elected vice president of the Engineering Institute of Canada (1921), he was also a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers of Great Britain, the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Institute of Electrical Engineers. The University of Toronto granted him honorary mechanical and electrical engineering degrees (1916), and a D.Sc. (1924). In 1942, the EIC awarded him the Julian C. Smith Medal for his contribution to Canadian power development. He belonged to the National Club and Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Toronto and the Niagara Falls Country Club. A Conservative, and an Anglican, he married Augusta Louise Helliwell in 1908, and they had one daughter.

Lauren Waters