No existing numbers will change, but the 514 and 438 codes are expected to run out of phone number blocks to assign in 2024.
Montreal will be getting a third area code starting next year, meaning that phone numbers in the city won’t just start with 514 and 438, but with 263 as well.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission issued a decision Monday approving a committee report that set forward a plan for the new 263 area code to be implemented and new numbers to be issued starting Oct. 22, 2022. The code is being added because the 514 and 438 codes are expected to run out of phone number blocks to assign in 2024. These area codes cover the agglomeration of Montreal, Île-Perrot and smaller surrounding islands.
As was the case when the 438 code was added in 2006, no existing phone numbers will change. Only new numbers will get the 263 area code as number blocks with that area code are assigned to telephone service providers.
The committee report projects that the new area code will provide enough phone numbers to last until 2036.
Over the next year, telephone service companies will reconfigure their systems, including things like payphones and 911 call centres, and test them to ensure the new area code works.
Planning committees have recommended that two other Quebec area codes also be added on Oct. 22, 2022: 354 to the 450/579 area codes covering suburban areas around Montreal, and 468 to the 819/873 area codes covering northern and western Quebec. The CRTC has not yet approved those plans.