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Well over half a century ago, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, as the telephone systems in North America expanded, and more people installed a phone in their home, a new dialing system was devised to take the pressure off all the operators then charged with connecting long distance phone calls manually, one by one. Part of this move towards ‘direct dialing’ involved assigning 89 three-digit area codes to various geographic locations. In 1949, the entire province of Alberta was assigned the area code 403.


The 587 Area Code Arrives

The number of phones in use across North America has, of course, increased significantly since 1949. And so, for this reason, in 1997 the 403 area code was split, with many of the areas once assigned to it given a new area code; 587.

Currently, area code 587 is the designated dialing code for phones in all of the following areas:

  • Calgary
  • Airdrie
  • Banff
  • Brooks
  • Canmore
  • Claresholm
  • Crowsnest Pass
  • High River
  • Medicine Hat
  • Olds
  • Lethbridge
  • Red Deer
  • Rocky Mountain House


The 587 area code does cover some very interesting, and vibrant areas. Here’s a look at what is to be found in just some of them.

Lethbridge – This bustling and vibrant city is considered to be the commercial, financial, transportation and industrial centre of southern Alberta. At the turn of the 20th century the city began to build it wealth on the back of agriculture and mining industries, but has since become dominated by the healthcare, retail, education and hospitality industries, as well as being a centre for government employment.

It’s not all work and no play for Lethbridge residents though. For those living in this section of the 867 area code there is a wealth of arts and culture to enjoy, including the works displayed at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, one of the foremost art galleries in the province.


Airdrie – Like many of the cities and towns in North America, Alberta’s Airdrie does have a counterpart elsewhere in the world, in this case, Scotland. When it was first founded by Scottish railway workers in the late 1880s it was little more than a railway siding, with no real houses, just huts that occasionally accommodated travelling laborers.

In 1901 however, the nearby city of Calgary was growing in leaps and bounds, and people needed a place to live. The first few homes were built and sold that year, and within a decade Airdrie had become both a lively bedroom community for those working in the big city as well as something of a growing industrial town in its own right.

These days Airdrie still serves as an ideal place for those who work in the big city to enjoy a more suburban home life as well as something of a recreational centre, as the whimsically named Nose Creek Park offers children’s playgrounds, walking trails and more that are used by town residents and visitors from Calgary a great deal. The park also hosts an annual ‘Festival of Lights’ that attracts people from all over the region.

Rocky Mountain House – As is the case for a great many of the older settlements in Alberta, the most famous thing about this town is its very memorable moniker.
It is however a town with historical significance, as the house it was named after it, a real house by the way – was one of the centres of the fur trade in the province until the late 1870s.

This means that the town is a fascinating place for historic buffs to visit, as many of the remnants of the old fur trade remain. It’s a favourite destination for nature lovers too, as it offers stunning scenery and easy access to the very picturesque Alberta Rocky Mountain.

Crowsnest Pass – Another fascinating city with a colorful history and heritage located within the 867 area code designation, Crowsnest Pass has a very checkered past. Founded as a mining village it was unfortunately the site of several mining disasters, including the Hillcrest Mine Disaster, an accident that killed 189 miners and has been the inspiration for many songs, plays and movies penned by Canadians.

The town was also a centre of the ‘rum running’ trade when prohibition was established in Alberta between 1916 and 1923. This is still celebrated today during an annual festival that attracts visitors from all over North America and beyond.

As you can see, all of these towns and cities, all of which are served by the 867 area code, are rather unique. Many residents do enjoy the fact that their area code identifies them as part of this diverse area, which is why they would prefer to be able to keep it, even if the area is further divided in the future.

The Importance of Area Codes in the 21st Century

Since so many people now communicate via methods other than the phone, text, social media, and email, primarily using the same cellphone to make calls all over the world, does the area code you are assigned really matter anymore?

The answer is yes, especially for a business. In the same way as a zip or postal code can quickly identify the area a business belongs to, an area code can do the same. If someone is from ‘the 867’ it signifies that they are a part of this diverse region and for a business trying to reach local customers in that area having a number that begins with those three digits can help build trust and loyalty.


Is Your Telephone System Up to the Challenge of the 21st Century?

Every area code is attached to a phone number and for a business, that phone number need to be attached to a phone system.
No matter what other new forms of communication come along and gain popularity, a business will always need a phone number or phone numbers that allows their customers and clients to contact them quickly and easily.

In today’s fast paced world no one really has the time or patience for delays and holds when calling a business. Consumers expect to be connected to the right party to get their queries or concerns addressed in the shortest time possible. They also expect to be able to leave messages when calling outside business hours and to be able to complete simple tasks such as; checking a balance or getting an address via auto attendant, without having to speak to anyone at all.

To make all of this happen, and happen efficiently, does put a traditional phone system under a great deal of stress, not to mention the expense of updating an older one to meet these new needs.
That is where a cloud based telephone system comes in. To achieve all of this puts a serious strain on a standard telephone system.

Here are just some of the advantages of switching to a cloud based phone system can offer businesses of all sizes:

  • No extra wiring – A cloud based phone system is not tied to a maze of wires and boxes, it uses simple, standard Internet connections instead, meaning that phones can be placed anywhere in the office.
  • If a problem arises a cloud based telephone system can be repaired wirelessly and over the web, so there is no more waiting and wondering when a repair person might arrive.
  • The same system can be used to send faxes, text messages and even to facilitate online meetings and conferences.
  • The system can be expanded on an as needed basis, in just a few hours and at a minimal cost, instead of waiting for days, or even weeks, it would take to update a traditional PBX system.
  • Employees can literally take their office phone number with them, forwarding their calls to their mobile devices with ease.
  • Auto attendants and IVRs – interactive voice response – features can be set up and maintained with ease.
  • Call usage and call volume is easy to monitor, allowing businesses to control costs and improve efficiency.

Our system allows you to gain access to these great features and more while also choosing the area code assigned to the phone numbers in use. This means that if establishing a presence in the 587 area code is important to you, it can be assigned to you, even if your company does not maintain a physical office in the area.


These numbers  and these opportunities can’t last forever! So, if a modern efficient phone and the 867 area code is important to your business contact us today to discuss your needs.