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For reasons that nobody has ever made clear to me, about one quarter of the population of Montreal moves today – July 1. Most leases expire June 30, so for the past couple of days, and indeed, a few more days yet to come, the streets become a zone of ceaseless moving activity. Trucks park across entire lanes of traffic, interrupting the flow; unwanted furniture is piled on the pavement; men and women struggle under the weight of boxes as they climb the steps of walk-up apartments and enter their new homes. Most people will also have to outfit their apartments with appliances, because stoves, fridges, washers and dryers are not typically provided by landlords. There is a small seasonal industry geared towards meeting the needs of people at this time: movers, appliances repairers and resellers, truck renters. The price of anything related to moving will be jacked up to exorbitant rates. If it cost $100 to rent a cargo van two months ago, today it will cost $200. If a moving company charged $400 for their labour two months ago, today they will charge $700.

Happy Moving Day to my girlfriend, Monika, and to Matt, and to Lorenzo, and to Denis, and to Sarah, and to everyone else making an exciting step forward into more salubrious (or less salubrious, depending on budget and life circumstances) lodgings!

Happy Moving Day, Montreal!

And, I suppose, in the rest of this country, one should say, Happy Canada Day! A spectacle that fills me with considerably less excitement.

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