The Canadian branch of the J. C. Eno Company, chemists by trade,
opened offices in the Cowan Building in the late 1920's, and the
business stayed at this location until 1952. (The Cowan Building was renamed
the Ritchie Building in the late 1940's, after the firm that distributed Eno’s products
in Canada. I guess that if you have the clout and the cash, you get
to have the building named after you.) Their primary product, Eno's Fruit Salt, is
advertised on this sign; according to newspaper ads, it apparently relieved constipation.
Many chemists often have to worry about the moral implications
of their work: anyone making Red Dye Number 2, Agent Orange or PCB's must
sometimes have trouble looking in the mirror at the end of the day. Anyone
manufacturing laxatives would have no such qualms, as they would be
offering blessed, blessed relief.
What's odd about this sign is that it's painted over top of the remodeled face
of this building, and the sign looks older than the remodelling. Did the company
repaint the sign, or what?
Update, 2006: this sign now appears to be gone.