Et-a-ba-co-key? These are Toronto's 10 most mispronounced places

May 24 2022, 6:37 pm

Have you ever hesitated to pronounce certain Toronto streets or neighbourhoods for fear of sounding like a total newbie? It turns out you’re not the only one.

Preply, a language and e-learning platform, has revealed the top Toronto spots, streets, and neighbourhoods that people have been Googling for the correct pronunciation.

“Some places are super simple to get right, but good luck with these lesser-known towns in Toronto,” Preply told Daily Hive in a release. “Unfortunately, how to pronounce Toronto’s streets, neighbourhoods, and destinations that make up our everyday vocabulary is much more complicated than it should be.”

Here are the 10 most mispronounced places in the city and how to pronounce them like a true Torontonian.

1. Toronto


Correct: tuh-ronno

Incorrect: toe-ron-toe

Unless you want to sound like a tourist, do NOT pronounce the second T. It’s not “tor-ahn-toe,” “Toronno,” or “Churrano,” it’s “Tuh-ronno.”

2. Geoffrey

Shawn Goldberg/Shutterstock

Correct: jeh-free

Incorrect: gee-off-free

Geoffrey is a residential street with a tricky pronunciation. It’s not “Geo” or “Ji” like “George.” Instead, it’s pronounced with a “Jeh” like “Jeffery.”

3. Etobicoke


Correct: et-toh-beh-co

Incorrect: et-a-ba-co-key

Residents know that the “k” is silent so it’s “Etobico” and not “Etobi-COKE.” According to Preply, the name Etobicoke (with its silent “k) comes from the Ojibwe word “wadoopikaang,” which refers to a place where alder trees grow.

4. Yonge


Correct: young

Incorrect: YUN-ji

This one’s simple enough. One of Toronto’s main streets, Yonge Street is pronounced Young Street.”

5. Wellesley

Robert Szymanski/Shutterstock

Correct: WELLZ-ly

Incorrect: well-LESS-ly

This busy street with its own subway station is pronounced “WELLZ-ley” and not “WellLESS-ly.” But if you’re a regular on the subway, you probably already knew that.

6. Grosvenor


Correct: gro-vner

Incorrect: gross-vee-nor

Beware the silent “s.” This short street downtown is pronounced “Grov-ner.” Preply says, “Let’s all pretend to be English and say ‘gro-vner’ almost like ‘guv-ner!'”

7. The Esplanade

Toasted Pictures/Shutterstock

Correct: thuh esplan-aad

Incorrect: thuh esplan-AID

As tempting as it is to call it the “Esplan-AID,” resist the urge. It’s “Espan-aad.”

8. Strachan

Eric Amoah/Shutterstock

Correct: strawn

Incorrect: strak-en

This is a tough one. This street that stretches from Lake Shore Boulevard to Trinity Bellwoods Park is pronounced “Strawn” (like yawn) and not “Strack-an,” according to Heritage Toronto.

9. Spadina


Correct: spuh-dee-nah

Incorrect: puh-die-nah

This is a more controversial one. While the most common pronunciation is “spuh-die-nah,” apparently the historical pronunciation is actually “spuh-dee-nah.” Who knew?

10. Roncesvalles

Shawn Goldberg/Shutterstock

Correct: rawn-SES-vay-yez

Incorrect: rawn-SEZ-vales

“Some say Rawn-sez-valls; others insist that it ends with ‘vale.’ Others give up and call it Roncy,” states the release. People clearly can’t agree on how this Spanish word is pronounced. It’s actually “rawn-SES-vay-yez.”

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