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The phone system in British Columbia, Canada, has become congested and sprawling, calling for the implementation of new area codes to meet the demand. One of those new codes is the 236 area code.

Why Do Area Codes Change?

As they are nothing more than seemingly random three digit numbers, why do area codes become ‘exhausted’, calling for the creation of new ones?

The ‘problem’ is that over the years and especially over the last decade or so the amount of technology in daily use that requires a phone number to operate has increased in leaps and bounds. The residential landline is becoming a thing of the past, with it now being more common for every household member having their own cellphone with its own number instead of that single ‘family line’.
In addition, businesses also now make use of more phone lines, fax machines and yes, even more cellphones. The increase in the number of ATMS and POS digital payment systems adds to the burden on an area code as well (yes, ATMs need phone numbers).

The addition of these extra phones means that area codes do become ‘exhausted’ and new ones are implemented. It’s not really that the system runs out of numbers, instead all of the NXX codes – that’s the first three digits of a phone number following the area code are used up.
By 2013 that was the case for area codes 604, 250 and 778, so the 236 area code has been introduced to help lighten the load.

Areas Covered by Area Code 236

Now, the geographical area covered by the 236 area code is not, in compared to other code areas, particularly large now and right now it covers all the following communities, although some areas of these towns and cities still make use of other area codes as well:

  • Abbotsford
  • Burnaby
  • Chilliwack
  • Courtenay
  • Kamloops
  • Kelowna
  • Nanaimo
  • New Westminster
  • Prince George
  • Surrey
  • Vancouver
  • Vernon
  • Victoria

These towns and cities have their own set of characteristics and charms. Let’s take a look at some of them.


Vancouver – The 236 area code is only one of the area codes that is assigned to the city of Vancouver, but it is the one being issued to a great many of the businesses looking for new and/or additional phone numbers.

Vancouver is the most populous city in British Columbia, a thriving seaport city that is hugely diverse, with 52% of the city’s population speaking a language other than English as their native tongue. The lifestyle in Vancouver is so unique that it is consistently named as one of the top five worldwide cities for quality of life and livability and plays host to all kinds of national, and international, conferences and festivals.

Vancouver has come a long way since it was established as Gastown in 1867, when the settlement consisted only of a few railroad workers huts and a tavern. Over the decades businesses of all kinds have been attracted to the city, with tourism and the movie making industry having the strongest presences in the areas of the city now served by area code 236. A 236 area code can quickly indicate that a company is located in this fast moving, vibrant area and for many of them that is quite the selling point.

Prince George – Prince George is another of the major cities of British Columbia. It is the largest city in Northern British Columbia, Canada, and is now known as the “Northern Capital” of province and is one of the fastest growing areas for industry in British Columbia.

Service businesses and educational institutions dominate the economy in 21st century Prince George, although the forestry industry that helped turn the city into a hub of business is still thriving. Many of the businesses assigned the new 236 area code are those that are new to the area, having been attracted to its growing economy.

Victoria – Victoria is the official capital city of British Columbia, even though it is actually smaller, in terms of population, than Vancouver or Prince George. This means that this coastal city is a centre of government  but its technology sector is also growing rapidly and tourism still plays a large part in the area too, which is indeed very beautiful.

Companies making use of the new 236 area code tend to be those at the cutting edge of the city’s growing economy, and that prestige is something that can greatly benefit a business.

Who Cares About Area Codes Anymore?

In a day and age where there are so many phone numbers, and so many area codes, it is easy to assume that area codes don’t really matter that much anymore. That’s not the case.

Area codes have always been a quick and easy way for people to identify the geographical location a number is based in. That means that if the business shares the same area code as a consumer lives in or nearly many surveys and research reports have found that they are more likely to consider them to be trustworthy and appealing to do business with. There is also the simpler consideration of cost, as people would prefer to make a local call than having to spend extra on long distance calling.

Establishing a Local Office from Anywhere in the World

Did you know that there is a way a company can use its telephone numbers to establish a local presence in certain area without being physically located there? By making use of an Internet powered cloud based phone system you can choose the area codes assigned to your telephone numbers, allowing you to make those important connections with the locals even though your physical base of operations may be many miles away.

The Advantages of Internet Based Phone Systems

Having the ability to choose your own area codes is far from the only advantage that a cloud based telephone system has to offer over a more traditional PBX (Private Branch Exchange) system. These include the following:

  • Features – Today’s consumer is a busy person, and when calling a business for any reason they expect to be answered quickly, have their calls routed efficiently and to have the ability to solve basic issues via an auto attendant or similar system. Adding these features to a traditional telephone system is often an expensive and time consuming process, whereas with an Internet based cloud system such features are just a few clicks away.


  • Customization – Every business has different needs when it comes to a telephone system. Some smaller businesses need only a few lines and the most basic voicemail services. Others need a large number of lines, several phone numbers and more complicated IVR and auto attendant features and many more fall somewhere in between. The advantage offered by a cloud based system is that it can be customized with ease, without the need for lots of extra hardware, expense or special visits from the ‘phone man’.


  • Compatibility – The way businesses communicate with their customers, clients and on a B2B basis is changing significantly. In addition to the phone call they are communicating via email, instant messaging, video and audio conferencing and more. Integrating all of these methods into a single, easily tracked communication system is a serious challenge when using a traditional phone system. A cloud based system, on the other hand, works seamlessly with a great many functions and applications, allowing managers and others to track important metrics like call volumes and employee performance with ease.


  • Cost Effectiveness – In addition to affordable basic calling rates, cloud based phone systems allow businesses to save money in various ways. The addition of an extra line, for example, is just a matter of a few clicks and the purchase of a compatible hand/headset.
    The process takes minutes and calls for very little in the way of technical expertise. Compare this to the process with a traditional phone company, which would call for new wiring, new phone jacks and a visit from a phone tech and you can easily see just one of the ways in which a cloud based phone system is more efficient in terms of both time and money.

If saving money while offering a better experience to your customers and clients thanks to a more efficient phone system and a local presence in the 236 area code is important to you and your business, now is the time to act before these numbers are exhausted and no longer available.

To learn more and to get started, simply contact us today.