416

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Toronto area code stereotypes: a guide to the city’s shifting phone-based social hierarchy

Each area code in Toronto comes with its own set of stereotypes that—rightly or wrongly—circulate with remarkable persistence. When Toronto and the rest of the GTA each get a new area code in March (437 and 365, respectively), the trash-talk hierarchy will only get more baroque. As Maestro has revealed no plans for a “416/647/437/905/289/365 (T.O. Party Anthem),” we offer this handy primer on phone-based bigotry.

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The Informer

Real Estate

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TREB accuses the land transfer tax of pushing buyers to the ’burbs 

According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, Torontonians are so horrified by the land transfer tax that they’re running for the suburbs. The context: home sales and values are way, way up in the suburbs, while sales and values in the city are, well, also up, but less so. The TREB believes the land transfer tax is to blame (although Richard Silver, president of the board, admitted cheaper homes might also have something to do with it) and cites a recent poll that said 75 per cent of would-be buyers in Toronto and the 905 regions say they’re more likely to buy outside the city because of the tax as proof that it is pushing homebuyers away. However, that 75 per cent includes people who already live in the ‘burbs or wanted to move there anyway—we’d say the numbers suggest there’s some opposition to the tax, but don’t quite confirm a mass exodus of disgruntled house-hunters. [Financial Post]

The Informer

Politics

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Toronto is shaping up to be a battleground for the provincial election (but where’s Ford Nation?)

A raft of new polls on the provincial election race is showing the same thing over and over: where once it looked like Tim Hudak could win the election in a cakewalk, it now appears there is a genuine race to form government in Ontario (in one poll, by polling firm Forum Research, only five points separated Hudak from Liberal leader Dalton McGuinty, with NDP leader Andrea Horwath running a strong third). But there is one player who’s noticeable because of the surprisingly weak effect he’s having on the race—Toronto’s mayor, Rob Ford.

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The Informer

Random Stuff

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CONFIRMED: Toronto gets two new area codes—416 and 647, meet 437 and 387

Image: Seattle Municipal Archives

We mentioned a couple days ago that the CRTC was considering—“within weeks”—announcing a new area code for Toronto, a response to the exploding mobile market that will likely use up all currently available numbers within the next three years. For once, a federal bureaucracy actually did something ahead of deadline, announcing a pair of new three-digit prefixes for city cellphones.

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The Informer

Random Stuff

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Toronto is set to get a third area code, 416 holders set to get even smugger

The city is running out of phone numbers. Two decades ago, the GTA had to be split into the 416 and 905 area codes keep pace with an ever-increasing population—Ontario’s political language has never been the same—and then, when the 416 wasn’t big enough for Toronto proper (the decade-long shift from one phone per household to one phone per person certainly helped), the 647 code was born. Now, it looks like the city has outgrown that schema, too.

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The Informer

Random Stuff

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From the 416 to the 905, Toronto area codes are about to get a lot more significant

With Toronto’s new area code looming, the Star is predicting a “long-sought bump in prestige” for the dreaded 647 digits and the coveted 416 becoming even more elite. According to the piece—which is remarkably similar to another story on the subject from three months ago—647 has only about 2.5 million numbers left, which are expected to be gone by 2015, leading to the new 365 rolling out sometime in 2014. The Star imagines that the new code will be met with harsh derision; an interviewee was quoted as saying, “If somebody gave me that number, I don’t know if I would put it in my phone.” He doesn’t even like his 647, bemoaning, “I have to act like it’s cool, but really, on the inside, no one wants a 647 number. It feels like a 905 number.”

The news isn’t all bad. Even if Maestro never predicted anything beyond “416 to the 905,” at least Ludacris will have more “hoes” in different area codes.

How to be cool in Toronto: Have a 416 number [Toronto Star]

The Goods

Homes

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Great Spaces: The 1960s Ardwold Gate home of the city’s top event planner

(All images: Michael Graydon)

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The Informer

Politics

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Channelling Mel Lastman, Tory MPP wants Toronto to separate from Ontario

Bill Murdoch, Tory MPP for Bruce–Grey–Owen Sound, is pretty confident that he knows what Ontario is and what it isn’t. And what it isn’t is Toronto. The Brantford Expositor reports:

Bill Murdoch says it’s time Toronto separates from the rest of Ontario.

“The province is run totally by the mentality that is coming out of Toronto. The government of the day can’t get anything done because they are overruled by Toronto,” said the maverick MPP.…

Murdoch suggested that the new province of Toronto would be limited to the 416 area code.

“The 905 area code stays with Ontario. We’re still going to have cities, like London, Windsor, Ottawa. We could put the capital in London,” he said.

Sound familiar?

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