Style Guide for

Tone of Voice

  • Be friendly and welcoming
  • Use straight-forward jargon-free wording


  • When linking to a file or a URL that’s not on this site, set target="_blank" so that it opens in a new window or tab.
  • Text links should be in mixed case (aka “skyline case” or “camel case”), not lower case, e.g.,
  • Picture and icon links should contain the HTML tags alt="text" and title="text", where text describes that picture or icon.

Email Addresses

  • For mailto links, use only addresses. Do not use personal email addresses (e.g., gmail, sympatico)
  • For mailto links, specify the default subject line, starting with ?subject=TorontoFirst:%20… (This is because most of the site email addresses are redirections to personal email addresses and we want the emails that come from this site to be immediately identifiable.)

Phone numbers

  • Do not show personal phone numbers on the site, unless there is explicit permission from the person.
  • Use dashes, with no parentheses and no spaces: e.g., 416-924-9654
  • For extensions, use a space, then “x”, e.g., 416-924-9654 x3010

Dates and Times

  • Dates should be formatted as “mmmm dd, yyyy”, e.g., February 12, 2011
  • The year may be omitted if it’s obvious from the context.
  • The day of the week may be added if it's interesting and not obvious from the context, e.g., Saturday, February 12, 2011
  • Use 12-hour time format, with no punctuation for the meridian, e.g., am, pm
  • When specifying a time range, only use the meridan on the last, if that's appropriate and use a short dash with no spaces, e.g., 10:30-11:30 am and 7-8:30 pm



  • No clipart - use photographs instead


  • No fly-outs (3rd level menus)


  • No text should be underlined, except possibly links.
  • Use smart quotes (,) and smart apostrophe (), not straight quotes (", ')
  • Use double quotes usually, but within a quote, can use single quotes
  • At the end of a sentence, use one blank space, not two.


  • email (not e-mail)
  • UU (not U.U.)
  • Convenor (not Convener)