The triple-digit sphere code is permanently engrained into the cultural framework of the city ( and permanently tatted on Drake ‘s ridicule ), which makes sense as to why it still costs a pretty penny for a phone number starting with 416 these days .
Despite its impact, the area code itself is — anticlimactically — wholly arbitrary, if you trace it back to its origins .
When the 416 area code was created
In 1947, the north american Numbering Plan Administration ( NANPA ) — the system which governs the number plan areas of 20 countries in North America and the Caribbean — came up with 86 inaugural area codes.
Of those codes, nine were assigned to Canada by AT & T, and then divvied up between NANP areas across the nation .
That included 416 and 613 in Ontario, with the former going to Toronto and most of the Golden Horseshoe region, while the latter was assigned to Ottawa and eastern Ontario .
The remaining codes went to the provinces, with 902 representing the entirety of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, P.E.I, and Newfoundland and Labrador .
merely a few years by and by, Toronto numbers were lengthened to seven numbers for direct distance calling, rather than its former format of six digits with named exchanges .
At that fourth dimension, there was no rhyme or argue to the numbers, says Kelly Walsh, Program Manager at the canadian Numbering Administrator ( CNA ) .
The alone prerequisite for NANPA numbers was that the second digit of the fixed be either a zero or a one. Turns out Toronto could have just as likely been assigned 204 ( Manitoba ‘s area code ) as its beloved 416 .
All modern area codes that have been assigned to Toronto since then are precisely as arbitrary, though they do come from a pool of numbers that were allotted by NANPA as future canadian geographic codes .
According to Walsh, that pond only has 17 area code numbers left. It does n’t seem like a lot, considering cellular telephone custom is more common nowadays than always before.
Are there any more 416 numbers left?
No, unless they ‘re being reused .
New 416 numbers have n’t been given out since 2006, but the sphere code was in need of stand-in decades before then .
At this period, the area code is more of a condition symbol than anything, and even fetches premium for businesses who want to seem well-established enough to warrant a bequest 416 total. Pizza Pizza even had its call count trademarked, so as not to lose its iconic jingle — basically a Toronto anthem .
CNA is responsible for chairing and participating in relief plan committees, whose job is to plan ahead for area codes that are nearing exhaust .
“ There ’ south always some kind of easing planning going on, ” says Walsh. “ There ‘s more than a handful of easing planning areas occurring right now. ”
Which area codes does Toronto use now?
The 416 has entered that window a number of times. In fact, the first time a fresh area code was introduced to relieve the bowed down area code was in 1953, with the arrival of the 519 in southwest Ontario, which split up parts of 416 and 613 .
> By the 1980s, the 416 was about completely exhausted, thanks to the proliferation of cellular telephone phones, facsimile machines and pagers .
Another noteworthy burst : the 905, introduced in 1993, which has since come to represent the forbidden suburb of the GTA ( and a social demarcator between the ‘burbs and cooler-than-thou 416ers ) .
Another five years after that and the 416 was cheeseparing exhausted once again, prompting Canada ‘s first overlay code in 2001 : the 647 ( for mobile types like cellphones and voice over IP ) which made ten-digit dial mandatary in Toronto.
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By 2013, both numbers had reached near-exhaustion again, therefore the insertion of the next overlie code, 437, which joins the 416 and 647 codes .
According to the 2018 NANPA Exhaust Projections, the 416, 647, and 437 sphere codes are all projected to be exhausted by 2027 .
next up on the list for new Toronto area codes : 387 and 942. They do n’t have a lot of a call to them, but then again, they ‘re just earphone numbers .