Toronto Elevator History


Coming Soon!






How Elevators Work

Roped Elevator: Traction ropes go around a motorized sheave. The sheave, a pulley with grips around the circumference, hoisting the attached elevator cab up and down. The other end is connected to counterweights with equally load of approx 40% elevator occupancy. This balance allows for optimal energy use so the motor just needs to tip the balance one way or another using the POTENTIAL ENERGY. Both the elevator car and counter balance run along guide rails along the side of the elevator shaft. Breaks along the guide rails work as a redundant safety measure. Additional safety measures include floor counter (governor switch) with built in breaks on the cab, the specialty metal ropes 4x strong, electromagnetic brakes that engage when the car comes to a stop. The electromagnets actually keep the brakes in the open position, instead of closing them. With this design, the brakes will automatically clamp shut if the elevator loses power.

Safety Measures: 

  • Elevator Ropes
  • Elevator Guide Rails
  • Car Break
  • Floor Governor Switch
  • Electromagnetic Breaks
  • Elevator ‘Shock Absorber'
  • Load Sensor

Door operator

Manual control operating panels gave way to automatic in and around the 50-70’s. 

Later on, Otis introduced manually controlled elevators with automatic leveling. The operator could still control the speed, but when they released the controller the elevator leveled smoothly to the nearest floor in that direction. This was one of the first steps towards full automatic control of elevators.