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Moving Day Is Almost Here

Posted by Sarah / June 26, 2008

moving-dayFriends, a pretty impressive Quebec phenomenon is about to take place this weekend. Canada Day weekend is the weekend when many, many quebecers move. It's a pretty strange ritual to tell you the truth. I figure that after all the partying of Saint-Jean Baptiste is over, they move on to other things. Maybe Canada Day is not really cause for celebration for most quebecers, so move on they do.

As a child, I used to watch Musique Plus quite a bit. They always did that special episode around this time of year and it was all about moving day. Being from the Maritimes, I didn't really understand what was going on, because back home, we just moved whenever we felt like it. Here, it's another story though. You'll see lots of chairs and tape blocking out parking spaces, near empty appliance stores, swollen truck-rental prices, and just a general mess for a city as densely populated as Montreal. Why would everyone want to move at the same time in a city of almost 2 million people? Beats me. The fact remains, here, that's the way it's done. In fact, it's such an important ritual they've even made a movie about it.

I always moved outside of the general time period in order to avoid the shared chaos, but this weekend, it turns out I'll be moving at the same time as everyone else. Mind you, I'm not moving very far... just across the hall so my landlord can renovate my apartment. I am however determined not to use boxes, tape, or packing paper, and to do most of it by myself. We'll see how that turns out.

Having moved over 17 times in the last 6 years, I've been through all kinds of moves: winter storm driving with a full-load on dirt roads in the woods, trying to move with the strict minimum and going through the anguish of parting with some of my beloved belongings because I'm moving to another time zone, finally getting away from the roomate's evil cat, being ditched by my truck-driver on the morning of the move because he was too hungover to help me, the list goes on. All the moves were special in their own way, and every one of them had their very own set of kinks. Something always goes wrong, that's a given.

So what's your moving story. I want to hear them all. What's the worst thing that's happened to you during a move? What's the best thing that happened? Do you move a lot? Are you moving this weekend? If so, why? Do you like moving? Do you hate it? Why? Do you have any moving tips for people who are about to take on this monstruous task? I'm sure you guys have lots of great stories to share, so let's hear them.



Michael Black / June 26, 2008 at 02:50 pm
There was a period when I was helping a lot of people
move, which seems to have faded out now. It included
one move where she was switching apartments with the
neighbor, I guess it was a move to a slightly larger

Anyway, the neighbors moved over the balcony, we
moved her through the hall. I seem to recall it
worked smoothly, no worse than any move despite
the chance that it could have bottlenecked.

With so many people moving, it's a great day
to be out walking, seeing what gets left behind.
I usually find a few things that are useful (and
lots that I have no interest in or can't be bothered
carrying home).

Harold / June 26, 2008 at 03:11 pm
Dieu merci j'ai déménagé dimanche dernier!
Kate M. / June 26, 2008 at 11:53 pm
I like going out with my camera and taking pictures of the piles, large and small, of abandoned stuff.

La Presse did a piece a year or two ago in which a couple of journalists went out on Moving Day with a pickup truck and the idea of scavenging enough furniture and appliances for a medium-sized apartment. It didn't take them very long.
Michael Black / June 27, 2008 at 01:04 am
Furniture is really easy to find, but without a car
most of it is uninteresting to me. You actually see
around McGill, certainly at the end of the summer if
not July 1st, a lot of foot traffic as they move furniture
about, I assume things they've found for their new

I've actually brought home three office chairs from
one spot near McGill, wheeling them along Sherbrooke
Street. Same location each time, just cosmetic problems
with two, and I seem to recall seeing other chairs there
other times.

Around McGill, it's usually best as the terms end.

I must say though that my impression is that less is
being tossed these days. Maybe it's merely the laws
about putting garbage in proper garbage bags, which
results in a lot that isn't obvious. I'm not going
to dig through garbage bags just in case there's something
interesting. There seems to be more garbage bags than a
decade ago; back then there'd be huge piles of things
lying on the sidewalk, easy to see what's there. And
it's subjective, but I think I'm seeing fewer computers,
and if that's true, then I suspect people are actually
taking them to some site rather than toss them.

gm / June 27, 2008 at 06:22 pm
Currently in the process of moving hell. The new tenants taking over our apartment agreed to buy our fridge. They actually went out and bought a fridge two weeks ago, but didn't bother telling us until yesterday. Of course we've already moved our other stuff out and no longer have access to a moving van/truck. Then they have the balls to ask us if they can move in 4 days early, but won't let us use their truck to take our fridge somewhere to sell....yeah, no thanks.

That said there's a 3 year old perfectly working fridge in the plateau for sale ~$200 o.b.o.
Sarah / June 27, 2008 at 07:04 pm
Try posting an ad on Craigslist and Kijiji for your fridge. I sold my washer and dryer that way within 24 hours this week. Those sites work wonders. Good luck with that.

Speaking of frustrations... ugh, I have to rant a bit.

So the apartment next-door was supposed to be ready for me to move in tomorrow, but I called my landlord today to find out that it's probably not going to be ready until next week. There's still stuff to be tweaked out, but knowing him, that week probably means an additional month. So with the fact that I canceled my fabulous trip to NB to be able to move THIS weekend and booked all my manly friends to help me THIS weekend, and the fact that NEXT weekend is NOT going to be a long weekend I'm left hanging at the last minute. I'm so pissed, I feel like demolishing the apartment before I even move out of it (since it'll be demolished anyway).
Now I get to wait for the delivery of my new washer and dryer between 8AM and 6PM tomorrow. What a fascinating weekend full of rage I'll be having.

If anyone has any suggestions on how I can blow off some steam (or make my landlord pay for this - in a law abiding manner), I'm open to suggestions.
K / June 28, 2008 at 02:41 pm
My partner and I moved here from Edmonton a few years ago, and had the (stupid) idea that we would just live in a tent until we found a place. We quickly discovered that it is hard to apartment hunt without a phone, and that sleeping in a tent is not romantic when it rains every night for a week straight. We eventually found a place through friends. It wasn't bad for a first apartment in a new city, but did earn the name 'The Ice Palace' in the winter. Though I swore when I came to Montreal that I would stay put, I've moved twice since then. It seems to get easier each time. You know more people and have less crap, I suppose.
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