Two 198-metre tall chimney stacks were demolished Wednesday. The stacks belonged to the shuttered Nanticoke Generating Station, near the north shore of Lake Erie, which stopped using coal as fuel in 2013.

The spectacle was carried out using 800 pounds of dynamite, which brought the chimneys down into each other.

Roads near the demolition site were inundated by dozens of spectators to look at the stacks being destroyed. Glen Kean and his son, Spencer, saw the significance of the event and came out to watch the scene. “I thought it was a historic day given the change in direction of power generation and these have been up for a very long time,” said Glen Kean.

The demolition is one more sign of the times, where an emphasis on more green energy is gaining a foothold.

The site of the power plant will be repurposed with a more sustainable model in mind, says Ontario Power Generation (OPG). “Our plan is to build a solar farm. So we have authorization to build a 44 megawatt solar farm which, in fact, we are in partnership with the Six Nations of Grand River and we’re shovel ready,” said Mike Martelli who is the president of Renewable Generation and Power Marketing at OPG.

The coal fired power plant began generating power for the residents of Southern Ontario in the 1970s. It was decommissioned in 2013 as part of the Government of Ontario’s plan to phase out coal as a fuel source.

The chimneys were a major landmark in the town of Nanticoke, Ont. For some, the plant was not just a place that provided them with electricity, but was also helpful in getting around town. “If you tell people that…. give them directions you say just head for the hydro towers,” said Ian McMillan, a resident who lives near the plant.

Next spring, the power plant’s main building will be imploded which, officials expect, will also draw a crowd.

With a report from CTV Toronto’s Scott Lightfoot and files from The Canadian Press