Commuters to endure botched pronunciation of the word ‘avenue’ on TTC

A photo of a TTC bus stopping at Linden Avenue.
A photo of a TTC bus stopping at Linden Avenue. Fred Lum / The Globe and Mail

Toronto commuters will have to endure a few weeks of a botched pronunciation of the word “avenue” after the city’s transit commission failed to correct the communication system’s already poor delivery of the word.

Toronto Transit Commission spokesman Stuart Green says the system that announces transit stops is updated every six weeks, and on June 23 the TTC rolled out what they were hoping would be a corrected pronunciation.

He says the TTC had received complaints saying the robot voice’s utterance of avenue – pronounced “ah-ven-OO” – sounded too American, so the transit commission updated the system to say “ah-ven-YEW.”

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But when the update was programmed on TTC buses, the system delivered the word as “ah-v-EE-noo” causing commuters to joke about the announcements on social media.

Green says the TTC considered changing the system voice, but he says that comes with the risk of losing other pronunciations of streets like Yonge Street and Spadina Avenue.

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He says Torontonians will have to “suffer” through the announcements until the TTC reverts back to the old pronunciation of avenue on Aug. 4.