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Moving Forecast: A Season-by-Season Breakdown of the Best Times to Move in Canada

Posted: February 20, 2024
Snow continues to fall in Toronto. Moving in Canada during the winter can present challenges such as icy driveways and snowy roads.

By: Mackenzie Scibetta, Zoocasa contributor

You’ve hired a real estate agent and started viewing houses. You’ve considered everything for your upcoming relocation including budgeting for your mortgage, researching neighborhoods, and calculating moving expenses. But have you factored in how the timing of your move can impact costs, availability of services, market conditions, and efficiency? Choosing the right time to move is important for ensuring a smooth transition into your new home and new life.

By understanding how seasonality affects the moving process, you can plan for any bumps along the way and settle into your new home without delays or stress. This comprehensive guide will equip you with everything you need to know to strategically schedule your relocation according to the best times to move in Canada.

Winter: Off-Peak Season With Unique Weather Challenges

When most people think of moving, they typically gravitate toward the sunny days of spring and summer. While moving in the winter typically won’t give you the benefit of nice weather, it’ll bring the benefit of reduced costs and increased flexibility.

Since fewer people are buying and selling homes in the winter, moving companies will typically offer lower rates during this time, and with less competition from other movers, companies will likely have more flexible schedules. This could allow you to better negotiate rates and dates in your favor.

On the other hand, moving in winter can present the most challenges. Snow and ice on the road could slow down moving trucks, and unexpected snow storms could completely delay a move. If your new driveway is icy, this also could present safety concerns as movers could easily slip and fall. It’s important to keep salt or sand nearby to prevent any slips. With that being said, if you’re moving to parts of British Columbia, like Vancouver or Victoria, where winters are milder, you likely won’t have to deal with these challenges.

Moving in winter also requires some special care and attention because of the freezing weather and limited daylight hours. You’ll want to be careful of packing cold-sensitive items such as electronics, musical instruments, and other fragile items, so make sure to insulate them accordingly with bubble wrap, blankets, or towels.

With limited daylight hours throughout winter, you’ll want to ensure your utilities are all set up in your new home before arriving, or else risk walking into a cold, dark home. Call your local utility company ahead of time to schedule electric and heating services in your area.

Spring: Popular Season With Unpredictable Weather

Spring is the busiest season for buying and selling homes, which also makes it one of the most popular times to move. Spring weather is generally much milder than winter, but depending on whether you’re moving in March or May, there’s still a risk for sudden snow or ice. This makes moving in spring one of the most unpredictable times to relocate.

As the days start to get longer in spring, movers will benefit from more sunlight than in winter which could lead to a generally safer and more efficient process. Since spring is a popular moving time, you’ll likely face more competition with securing a moving company, an increase in cost, and less availability for moving dates and times compared to winter. If you decide to move earlier in the spring, like sometime in March, you may be able to avoid high fees and competition.

Not only will movers have the potential to deal with unexpected snow during this time, but this also is when there’s an increased chance of rainfall. In Toronto and much of Ontario specifically, April is the wettest month. For movers, this can complicate plans, so you’ll want to protect your belongings carefully from rain or mud. Make sure unpaved access ways to your home are clear from mud as well to ensure the loading and unloading process is without mess.

Summer: The Busiest Season With High Demand

Many people with families like to match their moving time to school holidays, which makes summer the busiest time to move. Since this is peak season, moving companies may have higher prices, limited availability, and much less flexibility. If you’re planning to move in the summer, it’s advised to reach out well in advance to a moving company to secure help.

With much of the country in vacation mode, traveling on weekends during this time can be exceptionally crowded. If you’re able to, moving on a weekday in the summer will better help you to avoid traffic and keep you on schedule.

Even with increased prices and competition, summer is still an ideal time to move because of the long sunny days and minimal risk of rain. The moving process will be comfortable and easy, although if you’re moving in July — the warmest month of the year — you may want to prepare extra water bottles to prevent dehydration.

Fall: The Underrated Season for Moving

The city of Victoria enjoys a sunny day during the fall. Moving in Canada can be difficult depending on the weather challenges. Moving during the fall in Canada offers a sweet spot between the summer and winter seasons.

Fall offers the perfect sweet spot between the busy summer season and the upcoming cold winter. Children are back to school, and the real estate market typically starts to slow down at the end of fall, which keeps this season less hectic than spring and summer. People moving during this time may be able to benefit from decreased moving costs with greater availability from moving companies. 

There are fewer challenges to moving in the fall than compared with winter. Weather still plays a role, however. In early fall, days are still long and sunny, so this is an ideal time to move.

However, waiting until mid-to-late fall means shorter and colder days, which can add pressure to complete the move efficiently. Snow also is a possibility in late fall, which means movers will have to deal with similar hurdles as when moving in winter such as slippery pathways and driving delays. 

This means that timing your move for early fall, when the leaves are just starting to change, can afford many families a smooth transition with minimal disruption to the school year. With the weather still being relatively mild and daylight lasting into the early evening, there’s sufficient time for unloading boxes. 

Contributor’s bio: Mackenzie is the Senior Specialist of Public Relations and Content Marketing at Zoocasa, an award-winning prop-tech company that uses technology to provide an intelligent, end-to-end real estate experience. As a dedicated real estate writer, Mackenzie is known for her comprehensive and data-driven reports, which track and analyze trends in local markets across North America.