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September 26, 2007 9:10 AM   Subscribe

Moving from Chicago to Toronto. Can anyone recommend a mover?

So I'm up and moving back to Toronto. Has anyone recently used a mover for a similar US/Canada move? What was your experience? What can I expect in terms of costs and other considerations? I don't drive, and I'm not keen on renting a cube van and conning a friend to go with me.
posted by TheWhiteSkull to Travel & Transportation around Chicago, IL (5 answers total)
FWIW, when we were moving from Rochester NY to Toronto, we found that crossing the border added about $1000 to the price -- it would have been cheaper to move to the west coast than to the other side of the lake.

Our solution was to hire a moving company by the hour to load the uhaul in Rochester and another to unload in Toronto, but I guess that's not what you want.
posted by winston at 10:19 AM on September 26, 2007

We moved from DC to Vancouver a couple years ago and we used a service whose name I can't recall right now, but could look up if you're interested and are a little more of a do it yourselfer.

Instead of hiring movers, we rented space on a commercial truck. They drop a semi-trailer in front of your house and you pack your stuff in it yourself. (One downside.) Then you put a big wooden barrier up to protect your stuff (supplied) and they use the rest of the space for other cargo that's going more or less where you're going. They deliver it to you at the destination and you unload it yourself. It was more work obviously than hiring movers would have been. But neither did we have to drive a huge truck ourselves, and we saved a ton. And our stuff came through just fine. A couple friends moved up here from Ohio recently and used the same service. They seem to have had a pretty good experience too.

One issue is that you'll have to meet the truck at the border to officially import your stuff. I'm guessing that Winston's thousand bucks was a brokerage fee the movers added for dealing w the paperwork and acting as your representative to customs. (Wait until somebody sends you something via UPS. Christ those people are bandits.)

So again, it's a lot more hands on, but then it also cuts the movers out of the loop and they seem to have a horrible reputation for screwing you over once they've got your stuff on their truck. And it was a lot cheaper.

One compromise: hire movers to help you with the loading and unloading at the endpoints. We did this at the Vancouver end because asking the friends who helped us load in DC to cross the continent and help unload seemed a bit much...
posted by Naberius at 10:37 AM on September 26, 2007

While my recent move wasn't between the US and Canada, I did just move from Chicago to central Illinois. We did a lot of searching and estimate-hunting before picking Moishe's. They were outstanding, and it looks like they do international moves after a brief look at their website. They were also relatively inexpensive, especially when compared to the other companies we were considering. I would recommend them to anyone moving out of Chicago, especially since they will do in-state moves -- something many companies would not do without charging us an extra fee.

Another Chicago-based moving company that was recommended to us was Golan's, but they didn't do moves within the state of Illinois so that wasn't an option. I don't know if they do international moves, but they were highly rated and recommended by more than one person. You might want to check with them as well.
(I'm not affiliated with either company, by the way, except that I was a customer of Moishe's!)
posted by k8lin at 3:54 PM on September 26, 2007

I used Allied when I moved from Chicago to Japan. They were great but a little expensive.
posted by m3thod4 at 1:49 AM on September 27, 2007

when i moved from the bay area to toronto in 2005, i used abf u-pack; all told the cost was around $1900 for 6 feet of space in the back of a semi trailer. should be less from chicago. everything was hunky-dory and the guys at the depot in toronto were nice, gave me a ramp to use for free!

(btw this was after getting fucked over to the tune of a $500 deposit and 4 days of waiting around, by a cheap mover i found online. before you give anyone any money, check out the moving-scam sites and be careful.)
posted by sergeant sandwich at 10:06 PM on September 27, 2007

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