What to Know When You're Moving to Canada

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Canadian Moving Laws and Regulations

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A multi-stakeholder group comprised of moving industry professionals, consumer group representatives, and government officials was formed by the Office of Consumer Affairs Industry Canada to outline good practice guidelines for Canadian movers.

In the wake of an increased level of consumer complaints about movers, they created guidelines for moving companies in Canada to follow.

These guidelines pertain to...

Customer rights and responsibilities

It is mandatory for movers to provide you with a pamphlet detailing customer rights and responsibilities, mover liability for loss or damage, additional liabilities and any optional programs available.

The pamphlet you receive should be in simple language and easy to understand. If you request an estimate by phone, movers are entitled to send the pamphlet by mail, fax or e-mail.

Written estimates

At your request, a written estimate on the company's letterhead should include:
  • The number of boxes to be moved
  • Size and value of items
  • Flat-rate or cost per hour
  • Terms of payment
  • Timing of services
You and the company representative have to put your initials on the document and the mover has to abide by the terms and conditions of the estimate as per the law.

Weight of shipment

A certified scale should be used to determine the weight of each shipment at the place of origin. If you ask for this information, then the evidence should be provided.

If the actual weight exceeds the estimated weight by more than 10%, the mover can perform a re-weigh of the shipment. This is information which should also be provided to you, the customer.


An inventory of goods with details about any existing damage(s) should be given to you before shipment. You and/or a representative should be present at the time of the loading and unloading of goods to sign the inventory.

Bill of lading

A bill of lading or an invoice should be given to you at the time of pickup and delivery. It includes information about the amount of payment, date of delivery and services provided.

Claim period and resolution of issues

A written claim for loss or damage should be acknowledged in writing within 30 days after delivery for local moves and 60 days for long distance moves.
  • A decision advising you about the status of the claim should be made
  • A compromise offer should also be made
  • Movers should try to resolve the issue within 120 days after the claim
  • Issues regarding claims should be resolved through an in-house complaint cell or an external dispute mechanism
  • “Consumer Complaints Management: A Guide for Canadian Business” is a federal, provincial, territorial guide on dispute resolution process which the movers can refer to


It is reasonable on the part of the mover to inform you about any service delays and when the service should be expected as a result.

Fair service

A fair policy should be adapted while communicating with the public through advertisements, estimates, and prices of various services.

The above guidelines complement the legal provisions that are already in place. While these aid movers in maintaining high service standards, you can also use them to help you make an informed decision about a moving company.

Author :

on January 15, 2013

TopMoving.ca - Moving Expert
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1 Comment

tom morrison | Commented on September 2, 2018 at 05 : 07 PM
hi I dealt with a moving company here in Toronto In January they moved my house items I have been paying storage since Febuary can you give me information on how I can contact the the insurance company that insures movers I found out today that they disappeared and are gone I contacted the police to charge them who else can I go to


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