942 area code

Toronto is about to get a 942 area code

Toronto will soon have a fourth area code to relieve the dwindling supply of 416/437/647 phone numbers serving Canada's largest city.

Get ready to see phone numbers starting with 942 on your call display, as the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has approved a date for the rollout of this new area code.

The new 942 overlay code will enter the mix effective April 26, 2025.

This new overlay will come just in time, as a 2022 CRTC report found that all existing 416, 437, an 647 phone numbers are expected to be exhausted by April 2026, just one year after the new 942 code rolls out.

It will be the third time a new area code has been overlaid on the 416 zone, following the introduction of the 647 area code in 2001, and the 437 overlay code just a dozen years later in 2013 to relieve the already-exhausted supply of 416 and 647 phone numbers.

Before the introduction of the first 647 overlay code, 416ers could dial other phone numbers in the city with just seven digits, skipping the area code altogether.

As an old-timer in my mid-30s, I can still remember the initial shock of having to dial ten-digit phone numbers, including area code, as the city's number of phone lines skyrocketed in the 2000s. And then there was subsequent alienation non-416ers felt when explaining their then-new 647 area code was, in fact, a Toronto number.

That social divide between area codes was a hot topic at the turn of the 21st century, and not just in Toronto. The area code divides forming in cities across North America at the time was famously spoofed in a 1998 episode of Seinfeld, and again two years later in an episode of The Simpsons.

Similar area code overlays have been required for the rapidly expanding 905 region surrounding Toronto, which has grown to include the overlay 289, 365, and, most recently, 742 area codes.

The same applies to other areas of Ontario with rapidly-expanding populations, as the total number of area codes in the province continues to grow.

Lead photo by

Jack Landau

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