A Detailed Guide to Canadian Phone Number Format

A Detailed Guide to Canadian Phone Number Format

Table of contents

Navigating a Canadian phone number format can feel like deciphering a secret code. It includes multiple dialing components, from the initial country code to the specific area code and subscriber number combinations. These combinations of components can be quite confusing. However, for successful dialing—whether you're trying to reach a business partner, friends, or family in Canada—understanding these components is a must. Without the correct dialing sequence, your calls may fail or be redirected to different destinations.

What Does a Canadian Phone Number Look Like?

The phone numbers in Canada follow the fixed-length North American Numbering Plan (NANP) format. The format consists of three primary dialing components: the country code, three-digit area code, and local number. When understanding the general calling codes in Canada, you will get past the country and area codes. These overall components ensure successful routing and identification of calls.

  1. Country Code
    Canada's country code is “+1”. The United States (US) and other NANP territories also use this country code. When dialing internationally, you must include a country code to reach a Canadian phone number.
  2. Area Code
    The area code is a three-digit number assigned to different geographic regions within Canada. The country has 42 Canadian area codes (dialing or telephone codes) corresponding to different geographic territories and provinces. Area codes are essential for routing calls to the designated city or province.
  3. Local Number
    The local number is a seven-digit number divided into two parts: a three-digit central office code and a four-digit station code. The central office code represents an area code exchange, and the station code identifies the subscriber.

With these components, the final phone number format in Canada will look like: (country code) (area code) (central office code) (station code) or “+1 XXX XXX XXXX”. 

For instance, if a person is trying to reach Toronto with a local number “555 1234”, the final number will look like “+1 437 555 1234”, where +1 is a country code, 437 is a Toronto area code, 555 is a central office code, and 1234 is a station code.

💡Pro Tip:

Remember that multiple area codes can be assigned within a province or city. Check the area code carefully before dialing a phone number for successful routing. For example, Toronto has three area codes: 647, 416, and 437.

Area Codes in Canada

Canadian area codes are fundamental aspects of the country's telecommunications. They are essential for anyone placing calls within Canada or internationally. They are assigned to provinces, territories, and cities within it. Telephone codes ensure that your call is routed to the intended destination, whether the bustling Toronto or the historic Quebec City. The following table lists provinces and territories with their popular cities and area codes.


Popular Cities

Area Codes

OntarioOttawa613, 343, 753
Hamilton905, 289, 742, 365
Toronto647, 437, 416
North Bay683, 705, 249
London, Windsor548, 519, 226
Thunder Bay807
AlbertaEdmonton, Jasper, Grande Prairie, Peace River780, 587, 825, 368
Calgary, Red Deer, Lethbridge, Banff, Medicine Hat403, 825, 587, 368
ManitobaWinnipeg, Brandon431, 204
British ColumbiaVictoria250, 778, 236, 672
Vancouver, Abbotsford, Richmond, Whistler604, 672, 778, 236
Nova ScotiaHalifax, Dartmouth902, 782
QuebecQuebec City367, 418, 581
Montreal438, 450, 262, 514
Laval579, 450, 354
Gatineau, Sherbrooke468, 819, 873
New BrunswickSaint John428, 506
Northwest TerritoriesYellowknife, Inuvik867
SaskatchewanRegina, Saskatoon639, 306, 474
Prince Edward IslandCharlottetown, Summerside782, 902
YukonWhitehorse, Watson Lake867
Newfoundland and LabradorSt. John’s, Happy Valley-Goose Bay709
NunavutIqaluit. Arctic Bay867

Different Types of Canada Phone Number With Examples

The Canadian phone number system offers various types of numbers for different needs, whether you’re dialing locally, personally, contacting businesses, or for emergencies. Being familiar with these different Canadian phone number examples ensures quick and efficient connectivity.

1. Local Number

A local number is a standard phone number used for mobile phones or landlines within a specific geographic area or city. These numbers are used for both business and residential purposes. The format includes “Canada Country code + Area code + Local Number,” usually written as: “+1 XXX XXX XXXX”.

For instance, the phone number of La Vecchia Restaurant Uptown in Toronto, Ontario, is “+1 416 489 0630”.

2. Toll-Free Number

A toll-free number is a number that allows callers to reach organizations or businesses without incurring charges. These numbers are widely used to facilitate customer service departments. Toll-free numbers start with three-digit codes such as 800, 877, 888, 844, 855, 833, or 866. The format is  “ Country code + Toll-free code + Local Number,” written as “+1 XXX XXX XXXX”.

For example, the toll-free number of Enbridge Inc. in British Columbia, Canada, is “1 800 474 6886”.

3. Mobile Number

A Canadian mobile number follows the same format as the local number: "Country code + Area code + Local Number.” However, the main difference lies between their usage and dialing codes. Local numbers are typically tied to a specific geographic region or area. On the other hand, mobile numbers offer mobility.  

For instance, the mobile number of an Ottawa residence can be  “+1 613 123 4567”.

4. Vanity Number

A vanity number is a customized number that consists of a sequence of meaningful numbers and letters associated with your brand. These numbers are often used for branding or marketing purposes.  It can either be a local or toll-free number. The format of the Canadian toll-free number is “Country code + Toll-free code + Vanity Number,” written as “+1 XXX XXX XXXX”.

For instance, the vanity phone number of a flower delivery business in Canada is “1 800 FLOWERS”.

5. Emergency Number

The universal emergency number is “911”. It is used to gain immediate assistance for emergencies, such as fires, medical services, crime reporting, and reaching the police. Canada and 11 other countries, including those in the NANP, use the “911” emergency number. It can be dialed from any phone, including mobiles, landlines, and payphones.

Canadian Phone Number Example of Major Cities

Be familiar with dialing formats of major Canadian cities for mobile and landline numbers to ensure a successful connection regardless of location.


Landline Number

Mobile Number

Within Canada

International Calls

Within Canada

International Calls



+1 416 XXX XXXX


+1 647 XXX XXXX



+1 604 XXX XXXX


+1 778 XXX XXXX



+1 415 XXX XXXX


+1 438 XXX XXXX



+1 587 XXX XXXX


+1 403 XXX XXXX



+1 613 XXX XXXX


+1 613 XXX XXXX



+1 418 XXX XXXX


+1 418 XXX XXXX

These Canadian phone number examples illustrate the dialing protocols for landline and mobile numbers from within the country and abroad. The international format always begins with the “+1,” the Canadian country code, followed by the area code of the intended city and the subscriber’s number. Here, “X” represents the subscriber’s number, which is unique for each mobile and landline, even with the same area code.

You must still dial the country code “1” for domestic long-distance calls. For example, if you’re trying to call Saskatchewan to Quebec City, dial 1 367 XXX XXXX.

Landline Number Format

Canadian landline numbers start with an area code followed by a seven-digit local number when dialing within the country. The country code “+1” must precede the area code for international calls. For instance, if you’re trying to call Toronto, the format will be:

  • Local (within Canada): 416 XXX XXXX
  • International Call: +1 416 XXX XXXX


📖You May Also Read : International Phone Number Format

Mobile Number Format

Canadian mobile numbers also start with the city’s area code, followed by a seven-digit mobile number within the country. When dialing internationally, add the country code “+1” before the area code. For example, if you’re trying to call Toronto, the mobile number format will be:

  • Local (within) Canada: 647 XXX XXXX
  • International Call: +1 647 XXX XXXX

📝Note: The dialing format for mobile and landline numbers is the same, as both are based on area codes and geographic allocations. However, you can often differentiate between them by their dialing codes. Original area codes are primarily used for landlines, while overlay and new ones are frequently used for mobile phones. It's important to remember that the same dialing codes can be used for both mobile and landline numbers.

How To Call Canada?

To initiate a call to Canada from abroad, you must understand the international call prefixes, formats, and correct dialing procedure. Knowing the correct dialing sequence ensures a smooth and hassle-free call.

Calling a Canadian Landline Number

Calling a Canadian landline number is straightforward and takes four simple steps. Follow these steps for swift connectivity.

  • Dial the international access code of your home country to indicate an international call. For example, if you’re trying to call from the UK, dial “00”.
  • Dial the Canadian country code, “1”. Usually, “+1” is the country code, but the “+” is not included for international dialing. The country code signifies the call is intended for Canada.
  • Dial the three-digit area code of the intended region or city. For instance, if you’re calling a recipient in Toronto, dial “ 416”.
  • Dial the seven-digit local number. Let’s take “555 1234” as an example.

The final dialing format for calling a Toronto landline number from the UK would be “00 1 416 555 1234”.

Calling Canadian Mobile Number

The process for calling a Canadian mobile number is similar to that of a landline number.

  • Dial your home country’s international exit code. For instance, if you’re trying to call from the UK, dial “00”.
  • Dial the country code of Canada, “1”, to ensure the call is routed to Canada.
  • Enter the three-digit area code. For example, if you’re calling a recipient in Vancouver, dial “778”.
  • Dial the seven-digit mobile number. For example, “555 4567”.

In this case, the final dialing format for calling a Vancouver mobile number from the UK would be 00 1 778 555 4567”.

If you're calling from within the NANP region, which includes the US and its territories, you can ignore the exit code for both landline and mobile numbers.

Things to Consider While Calling Canada

Several factors should be considered for efficient routing and successful connectivity when placing an international call to Canada.

  • International Calling Plan: Check if your mobile plan has an international calling plan. If not, consider subscribing to one to save on frequent calling costs.
  • International Exit Code: Remember to include the access code for international calls if you’re dialing from outside the NANP region.
  • Dialing Codes: Verify the correct sequence of dialing codes, including area codes, station codes, and central office codes.
  • Time Zone: Consider the time zone differences between Canada and your location to avoid call failures and inconvenience.
  • Roaming Charges: Check your carrier’s additional fees for international calls. These may include charges for connection, text messaging, data usage, and per-minute calls.
  • Primary Failure Reasons: Bear in mind that most call failures are due to network issues, incorrect dialing format, and lack of an international calling plan.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Canadian Phone Number Format

How would you differentiate between Canadian and US phone numbers?

Canada and US phone numbers follow the NANP format and use the same country code, “+1”. So, it can be quite confusing. However, you can differentiate between two phone numbers by their area codes, which are specific to each country.

How many digits are in a Canadian phone number?

A Canadian phone number consists of 11 digits. The first digit is the country code, followed by a three-digit area code. The remaining seven digits constitute the subscriber's unique number, which comprises a three-digit central office code and a four-digit station code.

Does the Canadian telephone number format include +1?

The Canadian telephone number format includes the country code “+1” at the beginning of the number.

How do you call Canada from the UK?

To call Canada from the UK, first, dial the international access code “00”, then Canada’s country code “1”, followed by the area code and seven-digit Canadian phone number.

How do you call Canada from the USA?

Calling Canada from the USA is straightforward as both are within the NANP region, sharing the same country code, “+1”. Start by dialing the area code followed by the seven-digit phone number as you would for any long-distance calls within the US.

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