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old Canadian telephone exchange

Started by rbouch, March 21, 2015, 08:00:26 PM

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I'm working on an old metal Northern Electric 302 and the dial card has the number 416- AV5-3275.

I have fiund out the 7 letters/digits makes it crom the Toronto area in the late 50's, but does anyone know where I could find out what part of Toronto.

I have found lots of 2 letter echanges, but not this one

thanks to anyone who can help


AV5 should be 285, and Streetsville (part of Mississauga) uses that exchange.  It was probably in the 416 area code back in the day before they split off the 905 area code.  I don't know for sure but would guess the exchange is still in the same place it has always been, but is now in a different area code.  See Area codes 905, 289, and 365.


That's great!


I went to high school there...


416 was only split twice, in 1953 to 519, and 905 in 1993.

I find that the 416-285 prefix is on the TOROON36DS0 switch at 1421 Victoria Park Ave. (in Victoria Village ?) which is on the opposite side of downtown, northeast.

905-285 is indeed in the Streetsville rate center, but it doesn't seem to have a separate switch, at least I can't find it, and it is out of time range anyways.

519-285 would be almost in London, too far probably for you.

So  in the late 50s, which you are searching, the exchange is most likely the one on Victoria Avenue.

In the last picture you can even see the distribution frames.


Well whichever it is, you guys are unbelievable!
The phone I'm talking about us in the attached picture, although I think it looks a lot better now..
The other one is from Amherstburg, Ontario. My wife found the exchange in an old newsletter.


Both look quite nice.
The dial card only reads AV5. No exchange name is spelled out. This means that exchange names were already eliminated, which made extra office codes available, those with potentially unpronounceable names, but this happened before all-number-calling. So your estimate is quite correct, late 50s to early 60s.

Amherstburg could be 519-736, but the situation is the same as for AV5.
There is another one in 416-736, and it is not far from the other phone, in North York at 1101 ALNESS ST in Toronto. 

Can you read some dates of the parts of that phone? This would give you a chance to eliminate the 519 exchange.  Since there is no area code on the card, it is definitely earlier. Toronto conversion from 6-digit numbers to 2L-5N happened between 1951 and 1958, so this is probably the time range for your phone.


Here's the newsletter that made us think Amhearstburg,
Scroll through to the bell news....


Quote from: rbouch on March 21, 2015, 10:13:29 PM
Here's the newsletter that made us think Amhearstburg,
Scroll through to the bell news....

Nice that you found that.  It is certainly a possibility. This was in 1951 about right for conversion to dial, and for number expansion to 2L-5N at the same time.   Now you only need to check the dates in your telephone to confirm that they make sense.


The leather feet on the phone, actually both, seem to be in exquisite shape, nice light brown still.


As for the dates on the REdwood phone, everything on the phone is 1949 except for the transmitter which is 55.

I actually don't think anything on the phone has ever been touched outside of the transmitter.

The sticky screws on the induction coil told me that more than anything


Small world.  I drive by that Bell building on Victoria Park Avenue all the time!



I know that building very well.

I used to live in a house right behind there on Engelhart Cres..

Luckily I came to my senses and moved out. It was my girlfriend's place. That woman was nuts.