Montreal Is Officially Getting A New Area Code Next Year
The chances of getting a 514 number are getting increasingly slim (but not impossible).
The 514 and 438 area codes are getting a new sibling. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has officially approved the distribution of the brand-new 263 area code in the Montreal area.
First announced in 2020, the plan to implement a new area code follows a forecast showing the 514 and 438 codes becoming exhausted by February 2024.
The 263 will be what's called an "overlay area code," meaning it will be used in addition to 514 and 438.
According to the CRTC, "An overlay area code does not necessitate changes to telephone numbers, as was the case with some methods used in the past," so you won't be forced to change your phone number.
The Commission plans to introduce the 263 area code on October 22, 2022.
Are you excited about the new Montreal area code – or worried about someday being boxed out of 514's old-school charm?
Although it's necessary to address the dwindling supply of 514 and 438 numbers, they won't disappear completely .
According to Kelly Walsh, program manager for the Canadian Numbering Administrator (CNA) – which oversees phone number distribution – there are nearly 8 million numbers in an area code.
It's highly unlikely, but you might even be able to get one of the few remaining 514 numbers that are kicking around. And phone companies will sometimes recycle disused numbers, which could free up some 514 numbers.
"You could get one, but it's very, very unlikely," noted Walsh.
The CNA says all possible combinations of the next three digits that follow the 514 area code have already been assigned — which explains why the area code is being retired.
Montreal's new 238 area code will be Canada's 47th unique area code.