These two pieces overlap a bit, but together they are probably the best account's I've read of Ontario's long journey away from coal under Dalton McGuinty, something he doesn't get much credit for up here in Canada. An excerpt from the first:
A decade ago, Ontario’s coal-fired power plants were responsible for the province’s largest water withdrawals, accounting for 1.8 billion cubic meters (475 billion gallons) of water taken annually for cooling and steam generation from rivers and Lake Ontario. The province’s coal-fired plants were built with once-through cooling systems, meaning that, after passing through the plants, most of that moisture was returned to the environment as hot water.
Next year, though, Canada’s most populous and industrialized province is scheduled to complete a 21st-century environmental clean-up project that distinguishes it among North American jurisdictions.
After a decade of work by the Liberal Party government, Ontario is scheduled to close the last of its big coal-fired generators at the end of this year, leaving a single small coal-fired unit available during periods of peak electrical demand until it closes next year. In shutting down the province’s 19 boilers fueled by coal, Ontario will no longer need fresh water to operate a coal-fired generating sector that provided one-quarter of its electricity, and the province will become the first industrial region on the continent to eliminate coal-fired generation.
I might have said this before, but when I first moved to T.O. big smog clouds would blow in every summer and hang over the city for days at a time, so thick that you could taste the chemicals in your sweat. Not good for asthmatics, or anyone really. You don't see them anymore, and some of the thanks has to go to McGuinty era policies.