07/29/2014 11:24 EDT | Updated 09/28/2014 05:59 EDT

Montreal metro stations getting name makeover

Montreal is changing the names of 19 of its metro stations, but if you blink, you might miss it.

The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) wants to standardize the station names to be in line with the city’s toponymy guidelines.

So it’s tacking on the article in front of the current name at stations named for the street or landmark they serve.  

The Mont-Royal station, for example, will become du Mont-Royal to reflect the street’s full name, Avenue du Mont-Royal.

“We have in Quebec, our own way of presenting the names and we just wanted to go with the [correct toponymy]” said Isabelle Tremblay of the STM.

“It doesn’t change the essence of the names of the stations so it’s just to standardize things.”

The change comes as the STM makes a more significant alteration to the name of the Square Victoria metro stop, tacking on both the article “du” and OACI to the stop’s name to reflect the headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organization. OACI is the UN agency’s acronym in French.

That move alone will cost $125,000 for signage and re-recording of system messages.  

Isabelle Tremblay of the STM said the board consulted with Quebec’s toponymy commission while working on the Square Victoria change and decided to adopt the standard names across the board.

The STM says the smaller changes will cost nothing and will be phased in over time as signs are replaced.

“Once in a while we change our maps, for instance, our documentation, our annual report So as we go along, we will modify it,” Tremblay said.

The move will mean the city’s metro stops will be more in line with proper French toponymy than the Paris metro system, where stop names do not include the articles.

Tremblay said the change was voted on by the STM board in the spring and the city was notified.

Aref Salem, the executive-committee member responsible for transportation, said he didn’t know about the change but the STM has the power to make those decisions.

“They have their own board of directors and they can make the decisions they want,” he said, adding that change is minor and likely won’t have any impact on users.

“For the common people, it’s not going to change anything.”