On July 1, tens of thousands of Quebec residents will be hauling boxes, televisions, and perhaps even a fridge, down flights of stairs, and then up new flights of stairs. It’s the traditional moving day in Quebec that has its roots going as far back as 1750!
It was originally set up so that landlords couldn’t evict tenants in the middle of winter, and in 1866 it was set into Quebec’s Civil Code that all leases had to start May 1 and end April 30 – ensuring tenants had a fixed term lease. It was then changed to July 1 in 1973 to ensure that it didn’t interrupt the children still in school. Plus by having it on a National Holiday, it meant workers didn’t have to take time off to move – a real benefit for lower income families.
While it is no longer a law, most leases still keep this traditional date. It can make some things a little more challenging – you have to book your moving truck 6 months in advance, moving costs tend to be higher (2-3x), and you have to navigate around everyone else who’s moving – but it also makes finding a place a little easier, as you know there are going to be apartments available to move in on that exact day.
In the weeks leading up to Moving Day, there are plenty of garage sales if you’re looking for some deals. And on Moving Day it’s a great time to scavenge for some unusual finds, as many movers leave bags of unwanted items on the sidewalks. There are even some people who make a living off what they discover.
If you’re moving on July 1, make sure you’ve planned ahead, and have got some tips from friends and family to help you make your move as painless as possible.