416: People spending a lot of money to get original Toronto area code

TORONTO –  People are paying a lot of money to get a hold of a 416 number.

Bill Pollock is one of those people. He won’t say how much he spent but admits to buying his 416 number.

“We wanted to have a centrally located number that anybody can call from any part of the city and not have a long-distance fee,” said Pollock.

But Pollock says the area code holds status above Toronto’s other area codes.

“416 is identified as Toronto. Toronto, and in fact it’s referred to often as the 416,” he said.

Pollock obtained his number through, a website which distributes 416 numbers for a fee ranging from $99 to $2000.

And the website may be the only way to get a 416 number, because the Canadian Numbering Association doesn’t distribute 416 numbers anymore.

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“The last large group of CO codes, the first 3 digits of the phone number, we handed out would have been 2006.” said Glen Brown, a project manager with the Canadian Numbering Administrator.

The 416 area code has been used since 1947. The area code 647 was introduced in 2001. Some people are not even aware of a third area code, 437, which was introduced in March, 2013.

And of course 905, a Toronto area code Brown says, people forget about.

“What they now associate as the 905 area code was also originally part of the 416 area code and it was sort of split off at one point,” he said.

Many former Torontonians keep their 416 number when they move away. Chris Butryn did when he moved to Durham in 2006.

“It helps you keep in touch with your friends from the old region and makes it easy for them,” Butryn said.

Now a realtor in the Durham Region, Butryn said he is glad he still has the number because it helps connect him to his clients.

“I think it lets people know that you know them. I did live in the city. I have a 416 numbers. I know areas, I know people in the city,” he said.


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