So Long 613?

613 and 343 area code, Kingston, OntarioA few years ago, the people who make big decisions about telecommunication services decided that Kingston was in desperate need of ten digit dialling. The move was in response to increased demand for phone numbers across Canada and the US, and ultimately it brought the Limestone City in line with the standard practice in the GTA, as well as every other major metropolis. During the initial transition period, telephone users were greeted with a friendly reminder that they would soon have to add the 613 area code to all of their outgoing calls. The courteous warnings eventually stopped, and instead of friendly reminders, Kingstonians were asked to try our calls again by dialling the new way.  If I had a nickel for every time I forgot to add 613 to my calls during that first month, I’d have enough for a carload of moon pies and penny whistles.   In the end, the most annoying aspect of the change was the process of adding 613 to all of the contacts in my home and cell phone’s address books.

Today, we’ve learned that Eastern Ontario will be adding a new area code to the mix.  That’s right 613, say hello to your new baby bro, 343.  Rather than arbitrarily  drawing a line somewhere between Kingston and Ottawa, and making people adopt one or the other, supposedly only new users will have to use the 343 area code.  As we’re quickly running out of 613 numbers, 343 numbers are expected to make an appearance in May 2010.  The change will impact all communities around Kingston and Ottawa, including Cornwall, Trenton and Belleville.

I know that, for a small fee, we are able to take our phone numbers with us when we move our residence within the same city.  That said, I am unaware if we are also permitted to transfer our phone numbers to another person.  If so, 613-coded phone numbers could turn out to be e-Bay’s newest hot commodity.  Otherwise, the move could also prove to be beneficial for businesses who missed out on securing their namesake with a 613-number.  Move over 613-546-TAXY, 343-546-TAXI is the superstar’s choice within the realm of three-four-three. Thanks to Sean Dreilinger for allowing us to remix his original photo of brotherly love.

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