Moving Day Madness in Montreal

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A recent study informs us that over 60% of the residents of Montreal are tenents.  They are a restless lot too.  It seems that Montrealers are quite ready to pack up their stuff and try to find that perfect apartment.  If only the place could be a little cheaper, a little bigger, a little closer to transportation, a little hotter in winter and cooler in summer!  If only one could be closer ( or further away from) the in-laws, up on the mountain, down by the river, in a modern, charming, quieter, more hip place……life would be perfect.  And so, the tribe packs up and plays musical apartments.

Almost all leases end on June 30 in my city.  This has its advantages.  It means that kids don’t get bounced to a new school during term time.  It means that there is a huge pool of apartments for tenants to search through.  It means that landlords get to pick what they hope is a decent  tenant from the hordes hopefully looking for new digs.

The disadvantages are pretty glaring though.  Following the laws of supply and demand, moving companies jack up their prices to an exorbitant amount and so do companies renting trucks for a do-it-yourself move.  Timing is everything is a phrase that can have no greater meaning than on moving day.  If the old tenants haven’t moved out when you arrive with all your possessions, it’s a problem.  Pray for good weather when everything you own ( and how tawdry it looks) sits on the sidewalk waiting for the movers to show up.  They are always late since every move has its particular snag.  Have you marvelled at the charm of the winding staircases of Montreal?  Try getting a king sized headboard or a piano up one of those mothers.

Having moved more than ten times myself before I found my little paradise 17 years ago, I have had good moves and bad ones.  I can spot a good moving team from the first moment they  show up at the door.  Yesterday I “helped” a young couple move.  As soon as I saw the young mover descend with his first item….a foot long shelf…..I knew we were in trouble.  He and his partner dragged their feet inexcusably and when we arrived at the destination they sat back and demanded double the estimate before they would touch anything in the truck. This holding the goods for ransome is not an unknown tactic but it was the first time I had experienced it. The whole experience was very unpleasant and my only significant assistance in this whole affair turned out to be a garbled discussion  on the phone with what the movers called ” the boss”.  And yes, he sounded like the movie kind of boss. Was it a coincidence that after I mentioned the Consumers’ Protection Office, a second truck arrived with a negotiator? All is,well that ends well but the whole day was pretty stressful.

The picture? Well, after all when you take all your stuff out of their comfortable  little niches, some of it looks pretty awful and the streets of Montreal are stacked with discarded furniture, mattresses and ” art” for the first week of July.  It is a pickers’ paradise.  I wish all hose who moved that they happily set down roots and never have to move  again

Who am I kidding?  Canada Day? In Montreal, it’s moving day!