Since 1948, the Farine Five Roses sign, a celebrated and highly viewed historical landmark, has been greeting visitors to Montréal via the south shore of the St. Lawrence River (just over the Champlain Bridge).
An advertisement for the flour mill, which once existed below, the iconic sign has enjoyed a storied history. Starting out, the sign read FARINE OGILIVIE FLOUR, a product of the Ogilivie Flour Mills Co. Ltd. In 1954, after Ogilvie purchased Lake of the Wood Milling, the sign was changed to ‘FARINE FIVE ROSES FLOUR’. The removal of the word ‘FLOUR’ from the sign occurred in 1977.
Continuing to light up the city skyline and serving as a reminder of the city’s illustrious industrial past, the signs blinking red letters outlined in white, each fifteen feet tall, are pretty hard to miss!
From icon to art
Neat fact: The sign recently served as an interactive art project encouraging the public to submit anagrams that flashed and rotated on the sign. Here we sit – a mere year out from the World Gymnastics Championships in Montréal! What message would you create if you could submit an anagram for the sign?