All About the Moving Day in Quebec
The 1st of July - Canada day for most Canadians and "premier julliet" or the Moving Day for Quebeckers. Moving Day in Quebec is a well-practiced tradition dating all the way back to when the province used to command fixed terms for leases on rental properties. This date just so happens to fall on Canada Day, July 1st.
Why is July 1st a Moving Day in Quebec?
The tradition was first set in place as a humanitarian measure of the French colonial government of New France, who forbade landlords from evicting their tenant farmers before the winter snow melted. While originally the French law in the 18th century set the “Moving Day” to be on May 1, that later got changed. On May 1st children were still in schools, and moving was a huge inconvenience for the parents. That was why in 1973, the Quebec government decided that it would be a better fit to switch dates and make July 1 the official Moving Day.
Keep in mind that July 1st is also Canada Day and while it is still celebrated in Quebec, one can argue that it is not as popular as in other regions throughout the country. The 24th of June is the Quebec National Holiday, whereby Quebecers celebrate the distinct French identity of the province—both culturally and artistically.
July 1 Moving Madness in Quebec
According to Statistics Canada, the homeownership rate in Quebec has always been below the national average. In 2016, it was the lowest among the Canadian provinces, at 61.3%. According to city spokesman Philippe Sabourin, 250,000 people across the province moved on or around July 1 in 2019. In Montreal alone about 70,000 Montreal households move each year (Bloomberg, June 28, 2019).
Can you imagine so many people moving on the same day?
On July 1st you can find moving vans clogging all around the streets, desperate people who forgot to pack something or didn’t manage to book a professional moving company, an old fridge somewhere on the street… total madness!
A lot of people leave furniture or appliances in designated dumping sites or just on the streets. This is a municipal headache actually. The officials urge people to recycle as much as possible, but people are too busy on those days and can hardly think about their next home.
So the streets and sidewalks of the streets look like a big shop for junkers and treasure hunters. One may actually find some valuable items as well, as the owners just leave it there to be taken.
Finding and booking moving companies for 1st of July is yet another huge headache for Quebecers. Usually people book their movers a few months before.
Moving Rates on July 1st
July 1st is the busiest day for the moving companies in Quebec. Because of the high demand most moving companies raise their hourly rates considerably, some to 250% or more. That day alone a mover can earn 15% of its annual revenue.
It’s quite natural that movers also get stressed, miss a few bookings, or run out of trucks. That’s why the moving companies prepare for that day for months. Most movers hire extra hands, so that they don’t lose customers.
How to Prepare for Moving Day in Quebec?
One cannot argue that Quebeckers take special pride in being different from the rest of Canada—often, these differences can be festivals or cultural celebrations. More often, it can be as unique as a designated special moving day around the province. So, how does one get ready for such a mass-moving event?
1. Avoid Moving on July 1st :))
Although most housing leases in Quebec end on June 30 you still have a chance to change the date. You can actually move earlier in June, or negotiate with the landlord to avoid the first of July move. Moving on July 1st is not mandatory like it was decades ago. You can move whenever you want just keeping in mind that the house lease is usually given for a year. So if you can avoid July 1st go for it!
2. Make Arrangements for the Moving Day
Moving Day in Canada is a rather special event and you cannot leave anything to the last minute-especially if you have a lot of items.
• Get Rid of that Clutter
This is the perfect time to sit down and skim through your belongings.Whether it’s clothes, electronics, or furniture, it is ideal to decide ahead of time what you wish to take with you to your next destination. This will also give you the chance to make a profit off your past belongings and sell them to either friends, family, or anyone interested over the internet.
• Do Not Overpack Boxes
Keep in mind that these are just cardboard boxes, and chances are they won’t be as sturdy as your trusty luggage. While it is ideal to be conscious of the number of boxes you are using, it is also better to avoid a huge fiasco on the day of the move. Also, make sure you have taped them shut and have ideally placed them close to the door.
• Keep Your Valuables on You the Whole Time
With such a chaotic event happening all around, it is easy to lose track of items when they are scattered. Make sure to always have your expensive jewelry and valuable items in a secure location that you will not move or forget. Moreso, it is ideal to transport these items with you to minimize the risk of panic.
3. Change Your Address
As it’s getting closer and closer to the “Moving day” all the governmental bodies get busier too. So you better change your address earlier rather than later to avoid all the last-minute worries. You will need to notify about the address change to the post office, tax agencies, all utility companies, insurance agencies, etc. Luckily, Quebec offers a centralised online service where you can change your address for most of the government services that you use. Just don’t forget to notify your family and friends.
4. Obtain Moving Estimates from at least 3 Moving Companies
Whether it’s the moving day or not, you will surely want to get the best deal. It’s better to obtain at least 3 moving quotes from different movers so that you can have the chance to compare and make your choice. You will be able to conduct your own research. This is when you will need to ask around or even read online for the company’s past performances. With that being said, you will have to check with each company to consider what fits your needs the best. The best way to do so is through an online platform that offers multiple rates from various moving companies at once. At Gvota, you can request multiple moving quotes now and get your planning started early.
5. Book the Right Mover at least 3 Months Before
On July 1st and a week before and after the day all the best moving companies are usually fully booked. You’ll hardly find a rental moving truck in case you decide to do it yourself. So it’s a good idea to start preparations as early as 5 months before the moving day. Even after securing your reservation with the mover, call them now and then to confirm and reconfirm the time. This is a stressful time for the moving companies too. If you forget about the time or haven’t backed all your belongings, chances are that the mover will not be able to wait for you to finish.
To avoid such troubles make sure you choose the right mover. Booking with Gvota is safer as all the registered movers are verified and follow our strict guidelines.
Moving during Coronavirus
In 2020 a lot of tenants were unable to move, or had problems with the landlords. This year however, as the moving companies adapted the new rules, they’re planning to recover from last year’s loss. While a pandemic still poses its unique challenges and inconveniences for a move, July 1st is coming and so does the lease deadline. Anyway, with some precautions you can still manage to have a safe and stress free move. With that being said, here are a few tips and tricks you can do to keep yourself and your family safe during this time.
- Always keep personal hygiene in check.
- Keep a safe distance.
- Disinfect the important things and items you know you will be reaching out for very often.
- Communicate with your moving company and ask them about their prevention and safety methods.
- Keep your essential items, such as your phone, on you the whole time.
Still Planning to Move?
While the moving day resembles a hell for order-obsessed people as the streets get crazy with people, trucks and a lot of stuff on the sidewalks, the Quebecers wouldn’t change a thing. This is a long-lasting tradition specific only for Quebec. With relatively cheaper renting prices and almost half the population being tenants, moving is a whole culture in Quebec. Are you going to be a part of it? Good luck!
As the province gets wrapping and moving companies start booking, make sure to get your share of the deal on July 1st with Gvota.