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10.14 Official languages in addresses

See the FIP Manual for detailed information and guidelines on the presentation of addresses in letters and on other stationery. The Manual specifically covers use of the official languages in addresses and makes the following main points:

  • Generally, words indicating a type of public thoroughfare such as Street, rue, Avenue or avenue are translated into the other official language because they do not form part of the official name of the thoroughfare.
  • When the word is considered to be part of the official name of the thoroughfare, e.g. Avenue (1re, 2e, etc.), Chaussée, Chemin, Montée, Circle, Square, (Fifth, 25th, etc.) Avenue, do not translate it.
  • When an address such as 100, boulevard de Maisonneuve is translated, capitalize it in accordance with English usage:

    100 De Maisonneuve Boulevard

  • Enquiries concerning the official name of a thoroughfare should be directed to the appropriate municipality.
  • Names of government buildings and complexes that do not lend themselves easily to translation should not be translated, e.g. Les Terrasses de la Chaudière, Place du Portage, L’Esplanade Laurier.
  • The names of provinces and territories are translated. In English, a comma is used to set off a place name from that of the province or territory (see 7.20 Dates, geographical names and addresses), whereas in French parentheses enclose the name of the province or territory.

Note that an address can often be left untranslated.

See Chapter 15 Geographical Names, "Geographical Names," for further information on the translation and spelling of such names.