What Is ‘Moving Day’ In Quebec?

If you are considering living in Quebec, for example in Montreal, and are reading up on accommodation in the region, then you may have seen some references to the local peculiarity that is ‘Moving Day’. Moving Day occurs on July 1st, which is also Canada Day (a national holiday), and while Canada Day is probably the more famous occasion for people outside of Quebec, in the area Moving Day is such a tradition that companies even market their Canada Day holiday sales as Moving Day sales and offer discounts on things someone moving into a new home might want to buy.

What Is 'Moving Day' In Quebec?

So what is Moving Day, why did it come to exist, and how does it affect you if you want to live in Quebec?

What Is Moving Day?

Moving Day, as you might expect from the name, is when most people living in rented accommodation in Montreal and elsewhere in Quebec move house. The leases on the vast majority of properties in the region run yearly, and so in keeping with this, most leases start on the 1st of July. Around 90% of people who are going to move in a given year in Quebec move on this date, and it is also the date when you would renew your rental contract if you were planning to stay where you are for another year. For many people, the Canada Day holiday is almost always spent either moving or helping friends move into new homes, so it is a very busy time.

Why Does It Happen on The 1st of July?

The tradition of people moving into new houses, apartments and condos in Montreal and wider Quebec on July 1st has been around for decades, but there are several good reasons why this is a convenient date for people to move. For one thing, the summer timing means that moving your stuff in and out of properties is far easier and more pleasant than trying to do it during Canada’s notorious winters, and while Montreal has, by Canadian standards, a fairly mild climate, July 1st usually falls with some of the best weather for shifting stuff into vans or cars to move house. Additionally, because it is a holiday, nobody needs to take time off of work to move and friends are usually free to help. From a contractual point of view, the fact that the holiday always falls on the first of the month makes things easier. The final reason is that moving at this time of year means kids don’t have to switch schools mid year if families are moving to a new part of the region.

So, what do you do if you want to start renting a property in Quebec at any other time of year? The good news is that Moving Day is a tradition, and not a law, so you can still find places available to rent starting from other dates. This can even be better if you want to avoid the hectic day that Moving Day can often be!

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