Everything You Need To Know About the 416 Area Code

Everything You Need To Know About the 416 Area Code

What happens when you live in one of the coveted area codes in Toronto? You have the chance to earn hundreds and even thousands of bucks. Yes, that’s true if you live in the 416 area code. It has become a sensation these days.

Many businesses are even buying phone numbers for this code so that they gain some extra popularity. But why is there such a craze to belong to the 416 area code? The simplest way to understand is that it is one of the most traditional area codes of Toronto; this also means if you are running a new business but manage to get a registered phone number with 416 area code, your business will be considered a reliable one.


The story of 416

Anyone who has not gone through the history of Toronto will not understand why the 416 area code is so popular. This area code has a distinct history behind it. In 1947, there were 86 original area codes that were introduced in Toronto. 416 was one of them.

This code covered a massive region starting from the populous area of Golden Horseshoe in southern Ontario to Kitchener-Waterloo to Niagara Falls to Colborne. In fact, the area was so huge that it almost overlapped the 613 area code in Ontario. Some of the areas like Quebec and Ontario also got multiple area codes too.

The telephonic story

Traditionally, the telephone numbers of Toronto had six digits that contained named exchanges. Later in 1950, the length of the phone numbers was increased to seven digits so that the city could accommodate various direct distance dialling. One of the reasons why the 416 area code has become such a sensation is that it has been split twice.

There was a time when the western portion of the actual 416 area was combined with the southern province of 613. These two combined to form the 519 area code in the year 1953. This left the remaining 416 area code to coexist with the area that is known as the core of the Golden Horseshoe. Soon after the split took place, the area of Greater Toronto grew rapidly but the 416 area code ceased to grow. This continued for almost 40 years and by the late 1980s, 416 was almost struggling to exist.

There were a couple of reasons why the 416 area code saw a drastic fall during the late 1980s. First, Canada had a disastrous number allocation system that did not have any relation to the named exchanges. And, second, the continuous growth of the Greater Toronto Area became so huge that the 416 area code became minuscule. The situation was so complicated that Canada didn’t even bother to use number pooling to improve the number allocation system.

With the rising use of fax machines, pagers, and cell phones, and the rapid growth of the Greater Toronto Area, it became a necessity for the Golden Horseshoe to get a different area code. Soon, the 416 area code was restricted to just the Metro Toronto area that included Old Toronto, Scarborough, Etobicoke, North York, East York, and York.

What was once considered as the prime area code of Toronto was now being enjoyed by 905. However, permissive dialling did continue to exist throughout the Golden Horseshoe until the beginning of 1994.

The rapid rate at which Greater Toronto Area grew called for an immediately dedicated area code, and it was in 1998 that the amalgamation of Metro Toronto took place that left 416 to be the only Canadian area code that served only one rate centre and one city.

People believe that the split was done to settle the sizeable toll-free calling zone in Canada. But 416 was constricted to such a small area that it was often thought of as a dead area code. The solution to the problem came when Toronto became magnanimous in size and desperately required an area code.

That is why another split was done between two area codes of which one portion got an overlay of the area that 416 covered. Later in 2001, 416 and 647 were overlaid giving the city one of the unique area codes that got split twice but still existed even after getting restricted so many times.

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