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How to Call Canada from the US

Sheryl Cannes
Updated on: May 23, 2022

The distance between Canada and the US may not seem far, but it’s still an international call. If you’re not careful, you can rack up international fees that pad your phone bill. These calls to the land up North take a few extra digits, but with a little understanding of the North American Numbering Plan and Canadian area codes, and you’ll be ready to say hello to your favorite Canadian.

How to Direct Call a Landline in Canada

Usually, when you make an international call, the first number you dial is the country exit code. However, Canada and the United States are part of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP), so there’s no need for an exit code. Instead, you dial a Canadian landline with the country code and local area code followed by the recipient’s phone number. You start with:

  1. Dial the country code – 1
  2. Dial the three-digit area code (varies by location)
  3. Dial the seven-digit phone number

It would look something like this:
1 + 555 + 123 + 5555

How to Call a Mobile Number in Canada

Calling a mobile phone in Canada isn’t any different than dialing a landline. The process follows the same steps:

  1. Dial the country code – 1
  2. Dial the three-digit area code (varies by location)
  3. Dial the seven-digit phone number

The final call looks like this:
1 + 555 + 123 + 5555

How to Call Canada from the United States

Landline or Mobile Device: 1 (country code) + 555 (area code) + 123 +5555

(Major) Canada Area Codes

Northern Alberta: 780
Southern Alberta: 403
British Columbia: 250, 604, 778
Edmonton: 780
London: 519
Manitoba: 204
Montréal: 514
New Brunswick: 506
Newfoundland: 709
North Bay: 705
Nova Scotia: 902
Ottawa: 613
Prince Edward Island: 902
Québec: 450, 819
Saskatchewan: 306
Sherbrooke: 819
Thunder Bay: 807
Toronto: 289, 905, 416, 647
Vancouver:778
Yukon and Northwest Territories: 867

New Calling Options

Landlines and mobile phones aren’t the only way to make a call these days. High-speed Internet and calling apps have opened the field to a number of ways to stay in touch with business associates, friends, and family. Many of these options are less complicated than making a call from a landline or mobile phone, allowing you to use mobile devices like laptops and tablets.

Downloadable calling apps like Skype, WhatsApp, and Google Voice are often free or incredibly inexpensive to use. They also offer unlimited calling and let you identify the person you’re calling by their telephone number or email address. Both you and the person you’re calling normally need an account to make these apps work, but it can save you money, especially for long calls.

Businesses, both large and small, may benefit from a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) system. These systems use a high-speed Internet connection to transfer the voice signal over the Internet. The system requires the use of provider activated phones or converters that attach to an existing phone system.

The benefit of VoIP is that you get many other phone features needed for business calls like call waiting, call forwarding, on-hold tones, and conference call capabilities on an international stage. International calls to Canada and many other countries around the world become much less expensive using this kind of system. Mobile VoIP systems work from an app that employees can download to their mobile phones to make business calls from almost anywhere.

Phone Call Etiquette

As much as you’d love to jump on a call when it’s convenient for you, you have to make some considerations for international calls. Thankfully, Canadian time zones are similar to US time zones, but be mindful if you’re calling across the continent from your location. It may be 5 pm where you are and 8 pm on the recipient’s end. If you’re making a business call, they may not appreciate the after-hours communication. You can look up time zone maps online or use an online time zone converter to make the calculations for you.

Watch out for daylight savings time (DST). Canadian provinces and territories that do not use DST include:

  • Yukon
  • Saskatchewan
  • Some areas of Quebec
  • Southampton Island
  • Some areas of British Columbia

FAQs

Are there international charges for calling Canada?

If you call Canada from the United States on a landline or mobile phone using a traditional provider like Verizon or AT&T, you will accrue international charges. Rates vary by calling plan but usually average around $0.49 per minute.

Many calling apps and websites make international calls for free. However, both you and the recipient will need access to high-speed Internet or an area that gets mobile service to use a data plan.

Are toll-free numbers in Canada free when calling from the US?

You can call toll-free Canadian numbers from the US for free because both countries use the NANP.

What’s the best way to make business calls to Canada?

If your business has a VoIP phone system, using your regular phone system may be the best option. The calls are charged as part of your Internet/phone bundled plan. VoIP calls can be made to either landlines or mobile phones. However, you may want to use a calling app with video like Zoom or Skype to save money and talk to your associates face-to-face.

Conclusion

International calls have gotten easier and less expensive. Once you know the territory and availability of your call recipient, connecting is as easy as setting a time and dialing the right digits.

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