Though not original, the illuminated sign on this building is a landmark well known to locals and visitors. Seen by travellers entering and leaving Montreal by train, boat and automobile, these 15-foot high familiar red letters flash 'Farine Five Roses' in 22 second cycles.
According to the Farine Five Roses Project, it was in 1946 that Ogilvie Flour Mills Co. Ltd. opened the New Royal Mill but their original sign, installed in 1948, flashed 'Farine Ogilvie Flour'. In 1954, Ogilvie purchased Lake of the Wood Milling and changed the sign to read 'Farine Five Roses Flour'. In response to the new signage laws in Quebec, in 1977 the word 'flour' was removed from the sign.
Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) bought the company in 1993-1994. When ADM sold the Farine Five Roses brand to Smuckers in 2006, Smuckers promptly shut off the sign. Due to a public outcry against Smuckers for pulling the plug on this much-loved sight, the sign was later turned back on and still flashes today.
©2016 Linda Sullivan-Simpson
The Past Whispers
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