Hello! Fourth area code coming to Southwestern Ontario

First, it was the coveted 519.

Then 226 came along.

A decade later, 548 was thrown into the mix.

Soon, Londoners will have to a fourth area code to punch in — 382 — to reach others in Southwestern Ontario.

The new area code announced Thursday will be rolled out in the summer of 2023 in response to continuous growing demand for new phone numbers in the region.

"The introduction of a new area code creates millions of additional telephone numbers without affecting the existing numbers," Kelly T. Walsh, program manager of the Canadian Numbering Administrator, the agency that oversees telephone numbers in Canada, said in a statement.

"The new area code 382 will be added to the current area codes already in use in this region," she said.

519 and 226 numbers are all allocated, and a small number of 548 numbers remain, Walsh said by email.

The Canadian Numbering Administrator is regulated by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

Existing alongside the 519, 226 and 548 trio, the new area code will be assigned to customers and businesses starting June 17, 2023.

Local and long-distance calls and calling 911 will remain the same.

cleon@postmedia.com

twitter.com/CalviatLFPress

1947: Area codes were introduced in Canada. Ontario had just two: 613 and 416.

1953: The 519 area code is introduced in Southwestern Ontario.

2006: The 226 code is added in Southwestern Ontario, as 10-digit dialling comes into effect across Ontario.

2016: The 548 area code is introduced in Southwestern Ontario.

2023: The 382 area code will be assigned.

Calvi Leon, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, London Free Press