I grew up in Forest Hills--my family owned the same home from 1921 until
I sold it in 1981.
When I was moving in 1981, I found a record (telephone bill) from the
1930s, IIRC, that showed the telephone number to be BOUlevard 8076.
When you ended up dialing that, it was 268. One step that seemed to have
occurred in the 1940s or 1950s was the splitting of exchanges (might
have occurred sooner).
If you notice the "U" in BOUlevard is "8" so when they went from
BOUlevard to BOulevard 8, the original numbers did not change. They
added at least a BOulevard 3 and one other number, but it escapes me--I
think it was BOulevard 1, but I'm not so sure as I am of BOulevard 3.
As an aside, someone moving into the neighbourhood did not like getting
a phone number that started with "BO" when he used deodorant, but that's
In the 1950s we also had LIGgett numbers, and those became LI4 numbers,
and then 544--an overlay, in a sense of the 26x numbers.
I had 268-8076 until about 1975 when I wanted more features and had to
change my number as the 268 exchange was running on old equipment. The
520 exchange was another overlay and I suspect was an ESS.
I took a step backwards when I moved to Aurora, ON, the first time in
1981. I had the original 727 exchange and, at that time, you could dial
people in that exchange by merely dialing four digits. At that time it
was in the 416 area code and dialing Toronto was long distance.
I did not get touch tone until I moved to Glendale California in 1983
and got a number in the 213 area code. That was changed within a year or
three when the 213 code split off the 818 code.
When we moved back to Aurora in 2004, no 727 numbers were available. We
have three numbers (one line) in the 751 exchange and my business line
is in the 713 exchange. Now this is in the 905 area code but Toronto is
a local call (and the monthly rates are higher, but the calls are
cheaper). Interestingly, while calls from the 905 area code to the 416
area code are local, calls within the 905 area code across different
"spokes" radiating from Toronto are toll calls...so our cell phones are
What is interesting about this is how soon memory fades about how things
were and how technology used to be operated. I'm seeing this already
with our magic sound reproduction boxes that appear to many to be arcane
magic rather than simply a former, pervasive technology. I recall most
of my friends knowing how to mount a cartridge in a turntable. Fewer
knew how to align a tape recorder...but some did.
Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.