Area codes 450 and 579

Area codes 514 and 438 Varennes, Quebec Boucherville

Area codes 450 and 579 are telephone area codes in the North American Numbering Plan for the Canadian province of Quebec, encompassing the off-island suburbs of Montreal, which is served by area codes 514 and 438. Among the cities in the numbering plan area are Longueuil and Laval, Ormstown, Huntingdon, Boucherville, Varennes, Roussillon, Joliette, Saint-Hyacinthe, Granby, Chambly, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Vaudreuil-Dorion. Area code 450 is also shared by several small communities in an adjacent part of Ontario: some landline customers in Chute-à-Blondeau (East Hawkesbury), near Pointe-Fortune have +1-450-451-xxxx numbers from the Rigaud exchange.


514 had served the entire Montreal area for over half a century. However, by the mid-1990s it was on the verge of exhaustion due to Montreal's rapid growth and Canada's inefficient system of number allocation. All Canadian competitive local exchange carriers are allocated blocks of 10,000 numbers for every rate centre where they plan to offer service, even in the smallest hamlets. Even though most rate centres don't need nearly that many numbers, a number can't be reallocated elsewhere once assigned to a carrier and rate centre. This resulted in thousands of wasted numbers. By the latter years of the 20th century, this made a second area code necessary in Canada's second-largest toll-free calling zone.

Area code 450 entered service in 1998. The numbering plan area completely surrounds 514, which was confined to the Island of Montreal and a few surrounding islands, making it one of the six pairs of "doughnut area codes" in the numbering plan, and the only one in Canada. For this reason, Montrealers sometimes refer to the off-island suburbs as "les 450" (the 450s), much like the suburbs of Toronto are called "the 905."

On May 7, 2009, the CRTC ruled that area code 438, which had been used as an overlay for 514 since 2006, would be extended to overlay both 450 and 514.[1] However, a later decision revised this, and ruled to overlay 450 with new area code 579, effective August 21, 2010.[2]

On May 2, 2011, a prepaid mobile telephone registered to "Pierre Poutine, Separatist Street, Joliette" at (450) 760-7746 on Bell Mobility's "Virgin" service played a key role in a robocall scandal in which voters in Guelph, Ontario were inundated with calls directing them to the wrong polling station.[3][4]

As of February 2, 2019, area code 354 is formally assigned as an additional area code for the 450/579 overlay complex,[5] but the relief action was suspended indefinitely on October 8, 2019 and this area code is not in use.[6]

The incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) for the 450 and 579 territory is Bell Canada. The major competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) are Vidéotron and Telus.

Service area and central office prefixes

See also


  1. ^ http://www.cnac.ca/npa_codes/relief/450/documents/FINAL_NPA_450_IPD_10_November_2008.doc[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "CRTC introduces a new area code for the greater Montreal region in 2010". www.newswire.ca.
  3. ^ "Pierre Poutine made 7,000 robocalls in Guelph on election day using 450 number". nationalpost.com. 29 March 2012.
  4. ^ "Robocalls phone number registered to 'Pierre Poutine' - CBC News". cbc.ca.
  5. ^ NANPA Planning Letter 526
  6. ^ NANPA Planning Letter 533