This tradition dates back to an 18th century New France bylaw, protecting tenant farmers from being evicted by their seigneurs before the winter snow was gone. It was therefore common during this era to move in the spring time.
The bylaw later evolved into a requirement that all urban leases begin on May 1 and end on April 30. In law history, this was passed into the Civil Code of Lower Canada in 1866. May 1st became known as “Moving Day”.
Fast forwarding to 1973, the Quebec government then decided that it would be best if Moving Day be moved to the summer, allowing for students to not have to move during the school year. The new law then overthrew sections of the Civil code: fixed terms were set for leases as of 1974 but allowed for a 2-month extention of previous year leases in order to transition.
To date, this tradition has held strong and the majority of today’s leases are still 1 year in term and begin Jul 1st. A 2004 figure claims that on (or around) July 1st, approximately 120,000 households moved (about 4% of the Quebec population). Notably, this is also a national holiday time (June 24th La Fête nationale du Québec followed by Jul 1st Fête du Canada), allowing for ideal move preparation time with statutory public holiday.
Moving Day is a peak period for commercial moving service, supply and truck rental companies. In some cases it could be required to book several months in advance. Montreal is now seeing the rise in green moving concepts such as GoBAC reusable plastic moving boxes, as well as heavy-duty bicycle trailers.
In Montreal, 2002 statistics revealed that only 36% of residents owned their own home, making Moving Day a particularly busy day. Typically it is an event which leads to an abundance of empty cardboard boxes left on the side of streets. The city predicts a collection of approximately 60,000 tonnes of discarded items during the Moving Day weekend.
Choose GoBAC reusable moving boxes as an alternative to cardboard boxes.
Other interesting facts:
- According to Hydro-Québec, more than 700,000 Quebec households moved in 2009, including 225,000 on the island of Montreal.
- The annual Quebec ritual is the theme of Gabriel Roy’s classic novel Bonheur d’occasion, describing a traditional fever surrounding Moving Day in the Montreal suburb of Montreal
- Quebec film director Philippe Gagnon sets his 2004 comedy Premier juillet, le film in Montreal and features 3 households involved with the excitement of Moving Day
Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – Moving Day (Quebec)