Hollywood-style sign suggested for Wakefield

The signs along a newly opened highway extension in western Quebec fail to mention the towns of Wakefield or Sainte-Cecile-de-Masham, leading one resident to suggest a Hollywood-like solution.

New signs along Autoroute 5 extension fail to mention small Quebec towns

Someone spray painted Wakefield (incorrectly spelled) on a new Autoroute 5 sign because the town is not mentioned on signage along the newly-opened extension. (Stu Mills/CBC)

One resident of Wakefield, Que., believes the Municipality of La Pêche should install a Hollywood-style sign to make up for highway signage that some have deemed confusing.

The recently opened extension of Autoroute 5, a new $175-million stretch of highway from Ottawa, no longer has signs for the communities of Wakefield or Sainte-Cecile-de-Masham.

That has left residents like Rory Smith curious about a possible solution. He says he wasn’t looking for one specifically, but while walking his dog on the steep, western side of the Ski Vorlage hill porperty, a light bulb came on.

On mobile? To see a CBC reporter's photo illustration of what the sign could look like, click here.

"I thought, God, you can see the exit here," Smith said. "What if we had a sign up here?"

Smith wasn’t thinking about a small sign. He was thinking big — Hollywood big.

"[I thought] replicate the Hollywood sign up on the side of the mountain because you can see it from the exit," he said.

Ski hill owner, councillor like sign idea

That would mean nine letters, each 14 metres tall, would need to be installed on the Ski Vorlage property and be approved by the municipality of La Pêche.

CBC News asked Dave Saunders, owner of Ski Vorlage, whether he’d allow such a giant installation.

"Anything is possible, but you need municipal approval … and it’s a two-way street," he said, adding that ideally, he's like to see Ski Vorlage prominent in the signage.

"There’s a lot of spirit in Wakefield. We raised a bridge. Maybe we could raise a sign," Smith said.

Claude Giroux, a councillor in La Pêche, said he would likely support a Hollywood-style sign. He laughed when shown a picture created through photo-editing software, which shows "Wakefield" on the Ski Vorlage hill.

Before any sign is erected, the municipality’s council would have to approve the idea and order a cost estimate to decide if it's affordable.

The idea has not yet been put before council.


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