addresses: official languages
Follow the guidelines below when translating addresses from one official language into the other. (Note that an address can often be left untranslated.)
While the official name of a thoroughfare should not be translated, words indicating a type of public thoroughfare may be translated into the other official language because they do not form part of the official name.
- 375, rue Deschambault = 375 Deschambault Street
- 515 Main Street = 515, rue Main (not 515, rue Principale)
When a thoroughfare name is translated from French, capitalize it in accordance with English usage:
- 100, boulevard de Maisonneuve = 100 De Maisonneuve Boulevard
However, when the word is considered to be part of the official name of the thoroughfare (e.g. avenue preceded by a number [1re, 2e, Fifth, 25th, etc.], chaussée, chemin, montée, Circle, Square), do not translate it.
Enquiries concerning the official name of a thoroughfare should be directed to the appropriate municipality.
Note that according to Canada Post’s Addressing Guidelines, in addresses appearing on envelopes and parcels, only the terms rue (Street), avenue (Avenue) and boulevard (Boulevard) should be translated.
Names of municipalities should be left in their official form and not translated. Names of French municipalities should retain any accents that are part of the official name in French.
- Saint John (Nouveau-Brunswick)
- Montréal, Quebec
Provinces and Territories
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, whereas in French, parentheses enclose the name of the province or territory.
- English style: Vancouver, British Columbia; Montréal, Quebec
- French style: Vancouver (Colombie-Britannique); Montréal (Québec)
Copyright notice for Writing Tips Plus
© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Public Services and Procurement
A tool created and made available online by the Translation Bureau, Public Services and Procurement Canada