It’s been pretty easy to pick on the way the people who run the City of Toronto have chosen to spend their money over the past few years, but this one will have particular interest to people who care about language and information.

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) recently launched its updated maps, those large-size versions that appear in the actual stations, mostly to guide tourists or residents not familiar with the particular neighbourhood to where major landmarks appear.

If the errors hadn’t been caught and brought to the TTC’s attention , some of these folks would either be taking longer than they thought to reach their destinations, or missing them altogether, thanks to the version now appearing.

Not only do the new maps leave out major Toronto attractions – such as the Rogers Centre, CN Tower or City Hall – they also misspell a few of them.

As an editor who focuses on the reader experience, I am aghast! How could they have let these go out? Didn’t Where now?they hire a fact-checker to review these maps? Didn’t they consider what the users of these maps would most often be looking for?

According to today’s Toronto Star, an urban and regional planning professor at Ryerson said he wouldn’t even accept such shoddy work from his students. Yet the TTC allowed these to be created, printed and mounted, at a cost of a couple thousand – a questionably low amount given what’s involved, but certainly reflective of the quality of the finished product.

TTC commish Adam Giambrone has told media that they will be removing these maps and making needed corrections. At least now, one can be comforted that they will be quite certain of the updates’ accuracy before they go public again. Perhaps they should put the work out for public tender this time, ’cause it’s a safe bet that they didn’t go that route for the embarrassments that are out there at present.

And speaking of communication debacles with our public dollars…
If you’ve been following my account of our frustrating experience with paying traffic tickets, you’ll laugh at this newest development. My husband just received a notice that he has to pay and take a new photo to renew his driver’s license on his upcoming birthday.

This after he’s already done so in response to having his license suspended due to having forwarded his fines to the wrong office. We’re looking forward to spending even more time clearing this up.