The Great White North is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world, as well as expats. With its progressive politics, stunning natural scenery, universal healthcare and affordable, top-tier education, it’s no wonder so many people are looking to Canada as a place to visit or call home. Need to get ahold of someone in Canada? Here’s how you place a phone call from anywhere in the world to the Great White North.
Every country in the world has a different country code that must be dialed before a local phone number. Without them, phone numbers would have to be far too long for people to memorize, simply so there could be enough phone numbers for everyone in the world.
- Canada’s country code is +1.
Canada has many three-digit area codes that you must dial depending on which province or territory you’re trying to reach. Some provinces have many different area codes because they have high populations.
- Alberta: 403, 587, 825, 780, 587, 825
- British Columbia: 604, 778, 236, 250, 778, 236
- Manitoba: 204, 431
- New Brunswick: 506
- Newfoundland: 709
- Northwest Territories: 867
- Nova Scotia: 902
- Nunavut: 867
- Ontario: 905, 289, 365, 519, 226, 548, 705, 249, 613, 343 , 807, 416, 647, 437
- Prince Edward Island: 902
- Quebec: 418, 581, 450, 579, 514, 438 , 819, 873
- Saskatchewan: 306, 639
- Yukon Territory: 867
For example, if calling a mobile phone from outside Canada, you would dial +61 4 and the 8-digit mobile number.
If you see: (604) 555-5555, then dial +1 604 555 5555.
When calling a foreign country from a landline, you won’t be able to dial the “+” before the country code, so you use an international call prefix instead. These vary depending on where you’re calling from, but some of the most common are:
|UK, Italy, China||00|
|United States or Canada||011|
For a full list of international call prefixes, click here.
If your call to Canada isn’t going through, troubleshoot with these tips:
- Make sure the local number you’re dialing is correct.
- Make sure you’re using the correct dialing format (your country’s international call prefix, Canada’s country code, the area code, then the local number)
- If you’re calling on a mobile phone, make sure you use the “+” symbol before the country code, not the international call prefix.
Another way to make a call to Canada is to use an app, like Whatsapp or Skype. Whatsapp offers free calls, and Skype allows you to pre-load the app with credits for making international calls (calls via the app to another Skype user are free).
In recent years, mobile phone use has far outpaced landline use in Canada — there are now more than 26 million mobile phones in use in the country, compared to just over 18 million landlines. As more and more Canadians trade their landlines and go mobile-only, more and more will have phones with built in voicemail boxes. Mobile phone voicemail boxes can have generic greetings or ones that are personalized. That’s entirely up to the phone owner.
If you live in the United States, Canada’s ringing tone will sound familiar to you. The ringing tone will be very similar to the dial tone you hear when you first pick up a landline phone, but instead of one continuous tone, it will be in bursts that are each several seconds long.
You can hear Canada’s ringing tone by clicking here.
Do you spend a lot of time travelling abroad? Need to send money to friends or family who live in Canada, or another country? If you’re looking to move money across borders quickly, safely and cheaply, try TransferWise. TransferWise moves money internationally via a series of local bank transfers, which means money never physically crosses borders, and you don’t have to pay international or intermediary bank fees. You get the exact exchange rate that you see on Google, and only pay a small, fair transfer fee that’s spelled out upfront.
TransferWise also offers borderless multi-currency accounts, which allow users to send, receive and manage money in several global currencies at once, including Canadian dollars. By 2018, borderless account holders will also have access to consumer debit cards, which makes accessing your money while traveling even easier.
Until you’ve had some experience doing it, placing international phone calls can seem over-complicated. But with this guide in hand, you should know what to expect and be better prepared for making your first international call to Canada. Good luck with your call!