Running out of phone numbers, Southwestern Ontario gets new area code

(File photo courtesy of Pixabay/ StockSnap)

Southwestern Ontario is running out of phone numbers.

Just six years after adding the “548” area code, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) will introduce a new one, “382,” starting next June.

“The introduction of a new area code creates millions of additional telephone numbers without affecting the existing numbers,” said Canadian Numbering Administrator Program Manager Kelly T. Walsh.

The area code “382” will be used in areas serviced now by “519,” “226,” and “548.” That includes regions around Windsor, London, Woodstock, Sarnia, and Stratford.

The area code 382 will only be assigned to customers and businesses once there are no longer numbers left with the existing exchanges. The Canadian Numbering Administrator believes that will be after June 17, 2023.

Adding the new area code will not impact the geographic boundaries for calling areas or how customers dial long-distance.  It won’t affect special three-digit numbers like 911.

In 1953, Southwestern Ontario got its first area code, “519.” Since then, demand for new telephone numbers has increased, especially with the use of cell phones in recent years.

The CRTC added “226” in 2006 and 10-digit dialling for local calls. A decade later, “548” was added.