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FARINE FIVE ROSES : A neon light that’s here to stay

A new step has been taken in the saga of the most famous neon sign in the city. Good news: the FARINE FIVE ROSES sign is going to be restored and will continue to illuminate the landscape of the South-West and Old Port of Montréal
Farine Five Roses le Lowney condos Prével

An article published in Le Devoir in December confirmed the safeguarding of the famous FARINE FIVE ROSES sign, a key element in the landscape of the South-West and Old Port as well as the neighborhoods with Prével condos.

Few of us know this, but since its installation in 1948, the Farine Five Roses sign has been modified many times, whether from the many owners or the change in signage laws. In fact before the current lettering we see today, Farine Ogilvy Flour and Farine Five Roses Flour took turns above silo # 5.

The red neon sign also created lots of paperwork over the years, with two camps establishing two different visions for the Montréal landscape. It was then in 2006 that the livelihood of the imposing neon structure was the most seriously threatened. Indeed, the company was considering getting rid of the sign because it endangered the public’s safety. That decision prompted people to band together and create a movement to save the famous icon.

Supporters of the sign were very relieved when the company decided then to restore the sign, a decision that was welcomed and appreciated by the City of Montréal and Heritage Montréal. The company remains mum on the costs of this initiative, but according to Le Devoir, ‘almost one million dollars will have been spent for the restoration and maintenance of this legendary sign’. A rather tidy sum for certain people, but others believe it is an essential investment to protect the landscape of Montréal.

Even if some people aren’t too attached to that type of sign, it must be recognized that it gives character to Montréal and is a nice little nod to our cities’ past.


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