Moving is never an easy task. Period. But you are still required to do it, whether you wish for it or not. The question is how do you make your life easy on the moving day and at the same time ensure that you're not shelling out insane amount of money on Packers & Movers, or something similar.

Quite recently I faced a similar dilemma, move economically (and less painfully). On previous occassions, before this move, either the new address was withing walking distance of old address or I didn't really have much stuff to move besides a couple of luggage bags (and handful of smaller ones). Add to that I was a University student, meaning only essential stuff was there to speak of.

However, things were different this time around, the new address is roughly 10 KM from old address and I've a lot more stuff (employment => increased impluse buys => junk collection)! So, relying on public transportation coupled with multiple to-fro trips, was out of the questions right from the start. Another option was offloading everything to Packers and Movers, which although a good idea (or might have been the best one, who knows) wasn't really easy on the pocket and required careful packaging on my part.

There was a 3rd option as well, rent a mini van (of sorts), shove everything in there and un-load it at the new place. Not a bad idea. Required physical work, yes but I'll be saving multiple round trips on buses, metros and saving money as well. I decided to stick with it, started exploring options and zeroed upon Uhaul.

I rented a 9' Cargo van at one of their locations in Montreal, QC. Booking and renting was rather painless (except for the 35 min. wait time) on a non-canadian driving license. And so was transferring my stuff from apartment into the van. Taxing but easy. The troubling part was my first ever experience with Montreal police (SPVM: Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal)!

The rule I broke was blocking traffic and parking in a lane on a 2 lane street. Going by what I read on reddit and across forums, as long as the traffic isn't completely blocked, temporarily blocking one lane (for moving purpose) should be fine. But I guess doing so in Downtown, Montreal wasn't the brightest of idea. Anyhow, being a good immigrant I apologized without arguing.

The police office though, showed interest in seeing my driving license and that's when I learned something new. The puffed up guys were quick to notice a non-canadian driving license and asked how did I procure the vehicle. Upon telling them the Uhaul renting procedure and based on their expression, It felt like they weren't aware of renting practices of a Uhaul vehicle (or any other company for that matter). Fortunately they didn't create any sort of nuisance, or impose fine and I was almost fully packed (into the van) by that time. I took off after the complimentary Have a Nice day closing words.

Take whatever you may from this experience but I learnt a couple of things,

  • Montreal police isn't as bad as people project them to be,
  • Get a driving license if you are planning to stay in Canada for more than 6 months, and
  • Renting a truck is so much fun!!!