Everyday commuters across the country rely on public transit to get them around their cities. As someone who commutes every day, I am really grateful for that voice that comes over the speaker to announce which stop is next if I've fallen asleep or gotten caught up in a Netflix show.
While everyone owes a big thanks to these announcements, most people have no idea who the actual voice belongs to. Across Canada, these are the men and women, and sometimes computers, who have lent their voices to transit systems to get you from stop to stop.
1. Seth Rogen - Vancouver, BC
Just this year it was confirmed that Seth Rogen, Canadian actor and Vancouver native, would be the new voice of the Vancouver Skytrain but the decision was not without controversy. The project was originally going to feature Morgan Freeman, put Translink put a stop in that after it came out that he had harassed women on his movie sets.
2. Holly McConnell - Calgary, AB
For over 40 years Calgary commuters have enjoyed the voice of Holly McConnel making announcements on their buses and trains. Holly was one of many transit employees who recorded test tapes (yes, on real tape) but the executives liked her voice the best. Though Holly retired just last December, her voice is still used across the system.
3. Automated Voice - Saskatoon, SK
Transit announcements are a pretty recent addition to Saskatoon's transit system. In 2015 the city added an automated system to announce the stops on 140 buses. The system uses GPS to determine which stop is coming up next. The system is praised as helping make transit more accessible for riders who are visually impaired.
4. Computerized Female Voice - Winnipeg, MB
Automated systems seem to be popular in Central Canada. Winnipeg transit also used a computerized system but they specify that their's is a female voice. The system was added in 2008 along with screens that showed the next stop. Before that bus drivers had to call out which stops were coming up.
5. Seth Rogen - Toronto, ON
Seth Rogen has been busy lately, lending his voice to not one, but two Canadian transit systems. Seth recently recorded 12 public safety announcements for the TTC which use his unique humour to remind commuters of transit etiquette. Not everyone has been on board with it though. A number of Torontonians would rather have heard someone from their city, like Drake, get the job.
6. Julian Doucet - Ottawa, ON
Apparently, two transit systems aren't enough for Seth Rogen, who has also offered to be the voice of Ottawa's new LTR system. Unfortunately for him, the role has already been filled by Julian Doucet, a local Ottawa actor. Doucet has been the voice of the bilingual announcements on all OC Transpo lines for a few years now.
7. Michèle Deslauriers - Montreal, QC
Montreal also looked for local talent when recording their transit announcements. For almost 15 years actress Michèle Deslauriers has been the voice of the STM. Her voice is apparently so smooth, many commuters think the announcements are actually made by a robot.
8. Siri-Like Voice - Halifax
While Montreal opted for a human that sounds like a robot, Halifax has decided to go with a robot that sounds like a human. Of all the cities on this list, Halifax was the most recent to jump on the announcement trend. The city permanently introduced what the Halifax Herald calls a Siri-like voice to their buses just last year after a six-week pilot.
Seth Rogen's recent transit takeover has had Canadians across the country imagining which celebrities they would love to hear on their daily commutes, but as for these cities, the role of transit announcer has already been filled.