The Farine Five Roses sign was build in 1948 and at that time it was FARINE OGILVE FLOUR on three lines. It changed to FARINE FIVE ROSES FLOUR in 1954 after Ogilvie purchases Lake of the Wood Milling. The Quiet Revolution resulted in sweeping legislation that established the primacy of the French language in all forms of public communication, including signage. This led directly to the removal of the word ‘FLOUR’ from the sign in 1977.
The sign currently consists of fifteen letters arranged in two rows, repeated on both sides of the sign: ‘FARINE / FIVE ROSES’. These letters are each about 15 ft. tall, supported by a huge open scaffold, such that the words stand out prominently against the night sky, especially when approaching the city from the South shore of the St. Lawrence River.
The words are currently outlined in white and in-filled with red. At night they are lit by red neon laid into the red parts; the first word ‘FARINE’ is described in outline, while more elaborate rows of red neon up to three lights wide describe the words ‘FIVE ROSES’. These words flash on and off in a slow rotation, such that one full cycle – lasting about 22 seconds – is as follows: top row on, bottom row on, both off; top row on, bottom row on, both off; top and bottom on, top and bottom off.
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