area code 742

Toronto is getting another area code as demand grows for new phone numbers

Toronto residents have been known to snark that the only people who call this city "The 6ix" are from the 905 (as in residents of nearby suburbs that have 905 area code phone numbers.)

Ironically, Drake's now-ubiquitous name for our city is actually said to be derived from one of downtown Toronto's OG area codes: 416. Some like to say that it also pertains to the city's other most-prominent area code, 647, which was introduced in 2001 after new 416 numbers ran out.

What I'm trying to say is that people put a lot of meaning to area codes around these parts, for whatever silly reason or another.

But while the difference between having a 905 number and a 416 number may be obvious to most GTA residents, there are plenty other three-digit codes in the mix that aren't as easily recognizable: 437, for instance, was introduced atop 416 and 647 for Toronto in 2013.

The City of Toronto proper is expected to max out on phone numbers once again by 2025, which is why it has already reserved the 387 code for future use.

As for the 905 (a region also served by the area codes 289 and 365,) they're about to run out of numbers again quite soon, hence the introduction of a brand new one, rolling out this fall: 742.

"Starting October 16, 2021, an additional area code will be introduced in the region currently served by area codes 289, 365 and 905 in southern Ontario," announced the Canadian Telecommunications Alliance on Wednesday.

"The introduction of the new area code 742 is the result of a decision by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and is intended to meet the continuously growing demand for new telephone numbers."

This new area code is expected to create millions of additional phone numbers for areas currently in 905, 365 and 289 regions (which do overlay with some parts of Toronto proper in the east)

The alliance says we can expect to see 742 area codes introduced gradually across Southern Ontario to consumers and businesses requesting a new phone number after October 16, if no others are available.

"Numbers with the new 742 area code will only be assigned to customers once there is no longer a sufficient supply of numbers with the existing area codes – 289, 365 and 905," reads the release.

What's cool is that, every once in a while, the Canadian Numbering Administrator does release a batch of old, decomissioned numbers to telecoms that may include 905, 416 and 647 area codes. 

So don't lose hope if you've got your sites set on a 416 number or, for some reason, a 905 number — they're not gone forever, they're just really hard to find and you can only get them second-hand.

Lead photo by

Rasheed Kemy

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