British Columbia’s New ‘236’ Area Code Goes Live Today


Last month we reported the CRTC was adding the new ‘236’ area code for British Columbia and as of today it is now live. The new area code will be introduced gradually across the province, given to residents or businesses setting up new lines where existing numbers with area codes 604, 250 and 778 are no longer in supply.

As mentioned before geographic long distance boundaries are not affected by the new area code. The CRTC had originally anticipated BC would experience a shortage of numbers by 2016, however the increase in smartphone and cellphone adoption has increased demand at a faster rate than normal. Let us know if you happen to get a new number with the 236 area code.


  • einsteinbqat

    Province? I thought that it was going to be a Vancouver-specific code, like Montreal’s 514/438 and Toronto’s 416/647/437.

  • Nope it’s province-wide.

  • biggy604

    wouldn’t that suck because the 236 could be mistaken as a local call when calling Whistler or somewhere outside the fraser valley region. So if 236, is in let’s say Van Island or Whistler and beyond, it will still be longdistance to say someone how has the new area code in the Lower Mainland.

  • Nope. It’ll be handled automatically and people just need to know they will get charged long distance. It was like when Vancouver Island started getting 778 numbers. Dialing to Victoria from Vancouver would still be charged LD.

  • SV650

    There is no certainty that any of these prefixes would ensure you are making a local call. Area code 604 covers Powell River to Chilliwack, much of which is outside any specific local calling area. Area Codes 250 and 778 are similar; there are varying local calling areas, including asynchronous calling areas where a call from area A to area B is local, but the reverse is LD.

    In addition, cellphone local calling areas do not match landline local calling areas.

  • Shorty_dammit

    The fact that long distance charges even exist anymore is ridiculous anyway.

  • einsteinbqat

    True. That should not even exist anymore.

  • einsteinbqat

    Local or Long distance, I don’t deal with that anymore. It’s been a long while now that I have formatted all my telephone numbers using the international format. My call will go through. No more annoying message telling me that the number is a long distance call, and that blah-blah-blah. No more “Do I need to dial 1, 011, 00, etc., before the number?” That is especially useful when travelling and texting.

    + (country code) (area code) (telephone number)
    + 1 514 2345678 (Canada, Montreal)
    + 1 416 2345678 (Canada, Toronto)
    + 1 310 2345678 (USA, Los Angeles)
    + 1 832 2345678 (USA, Houston)
    + 49 30 2345678 (Germany, Berlin)

  • Chris Zhu

    how can we get a 236 number?

  • JB

    It’s random.

  • SC

    I remember the Sunshine Coast having the strangest rules when dialling:

    calling within sunshine coast (except between Pender Harbour and Gibsons) ,local 10-digits
    Calling Vancouver, 1+10D

    on a cellphone
    Within Sunshine Coast and to Vancouver (or vice versa) , local 10D
    Calling Nanaimo before 2008, local 7-digit dialling or the number without the area code (call is still local but now requires area code)