- The invention of the electric motor spurs the development of electricity for industrial applications and public transportation.
- Toronto's first generator is built for T. Eaton Co.
- In 1883, the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa are lighted by lamps, powered by a steam-driven plant on the Ottawa River.
- In the same year, Hamilton installs Canada's first incandescent street lights.
- The first electric utility company, the Pembroke Electric Lighting Company, is formed in 1884. It is still in operation.
- From limited operation during the early years, utilities are soon supplying electricity 24 hours a day.
- Engineers realize that Canada's water resources offer vast potential inexpensive electricity; development is soon underway.
- The first single-phase AC generators in Canada are put into operation at Bow River Lumber Company in Calgary, and at Chaudière Electric's generating plant in Ottawa.
- In 1890, the first electric streetcar service begins operation in Victoria.
- In 1891, the Canadian Electrical Association is formed to represent the industry.
- A device for cooking food with electricity is demonstrated at the Ottawa Exhibition in 1892.
- In 1893, Niagara Falls boasts the world's largest generating station, with three 5,000 hp generators.
- In 1897, the British Empire's first long-distance high-tension transmission (11 kV) of electric power travels 27 km from St-Narcisse on Batiscan River to Trois-Rivières, Québec.
- The Canadian National Electrical Code is first published in 1897.