Moving FAQ

How do I select the right mover?

A reputable mover will have an established place of business, will be licensed, will be insured, and should be able to provide you with an accurate assessment of what it will cost you to move.

The University of Toronto has agreements with Armstrong International Movers Ltd/D. Armstrong Moving & Storage & Premiere Van Lines to provide services at a discounted rate.

For contact details on these moving services and information on moving expense reimbursement, please see Hiring a Mover and Expenses.

How can you be sure you have an accurate estimate?

To be sure you acquire an accurate quote a detailed survey of your premises will be needed as well as an accurate box count. This would entail a reasonably good sense of which items will be part of your move and which ones will be left behind. Making such decisions ahead of time will make it easier for the movers to be able to offer a more accurate quote.

Some of the things that may change your estimate are:

  • Access to your home or door to the building is more than 20 meters (approx. 75 ft.) from the moving van
  • Your contents have to be carried up more than one flight of stairs
  • Your contents are moved into an elevator before the final destination
  • Intellectual property that may have been stored on computers or data storage devices

What is generally not covered by the insurance provided by the movers?

Movers do not usually cover for the following items due to loss or damage:

  • Items previously broken or repaired
  • Items not documented or inventoried
  • Mechanical operation condition of appliances or electronics
  • Loss or damage to china or crystal, antiques or similar fragile items, unless packed and unpacked by the mover or unless visible damage has been noted on the container and documented upon delivery
  • Documents, jewelry, precious stones, furs, cash, and articles of extraordinary value, unless specifically listed on the carrier documents (sometimes referred to as the “bill of lading”) or inventory sheet prior to moving

How will I be charged for packing?

Packing charges are based on the number of boxes packed by the mover. This is the most variable portion of your cost of moving. To get an accurate packing estimate it is necessary to have a concise list of what you want packed and if you have any special instructions around how certain items need to be packed.

How do I pay for my move?

Be certain to have cash, a certified check or a credit card to pay the driver for your move. Personal checks are not generally an acceptable form of payment. Establish what method(s) of payment the movers will accept before agreeing to accept them as your mover. Please be aware of local currency exchange rates if paying in Canadian dollars, and please ensure that the mover has given you the quote in the same currency.

If there are any damages, how long do I have to file a claim?

Although you have up to nine months to file a claim, you are most likely to receive an equitable settlement if you document damage on delivery and file immediately. Please check with the movers’ terms, as some movers may be working with differing timelines.

How much notice do I need to give a mover to book a moving date?

A mover can accommodate most moves if they have at least two weeks’ notice, with a firm date. More notice is preferable, particularly in the busy season (May to September). Please keep in mind local holidays, as they may impact the quote that you receive.

If you confirm your moving date for late June, please keep in communication with your moving company as this is a particularly busy time for most movers, and you may need to adjust your moving plan until you receive a firm confirmation.

Are there any items I should not ship?

Do not pack or ship flammable items, propane tanks, liquid detergents, aerosol cans or any items that may cause damage to your shipment. This could void insurance coverage if there is an unforeseen accident.

Rates include:

Always be certain what currency rates are quoted such as Canadian dollars per 100 lb. net weight.
Are rates valid for all major cities in Canada, when the arrival port or terminal is also the city of final destination?
Is weight based on a minimum weight per cubic foot? Do rates include the normal customs clearance, transportation from the local terminal or airport to the residence, all normal destination services and return of container?

Rates do not always include:

Customs Duties & Taxes Wharfage, Terminal or similar Local Port charges. Such charges will be invoiced at actual cost to the booking agent unless otherwise specified.

Extensive Customs Inspection including extra labour or additional transportation.

Demurrage, Rental Charges, Taxes, Storage, Abnormal Access, Hoisting, Rigging and Special Services such as Carpenters, Electricians etc.

Deconsolidation Charges: charges to consolidate goods from two different sites such as your main residence and your office furniture etc.

Shuttle Charges: charges that would be added if the main transporting vehicle could not deliver to the intended site because of narrow city streets or areas where the gross vehicle weight was restricted and the load is required to be redistributed into a smaller vehicle(s).

Other items generally excluded:

  • Cost of removing or installing built-in cabinets or appliances.
  • Additional help is not supplied by contracted movers.
  • Sanding floors at new residence.
  • Cleaning carpets or draperies.
  • Cost of installing curtain rods, drapes, window shades, yard lights, or gas grills.
  • Installation of antenna or rotors.
  • Decorating, painting or repairing the old or new residence
  • Installation of new door locks.


It is strongly recommended you purchase comprehensive insurance protection for the full replacement cost to safeguard your possessions. Include Marine Policy if necessary for boats etc.

Understand who underwrites the insurance. Movers will not underwrite the policies. The mover should be able to tell you this. Inquire about the rules and regulations surrounding any potential claims that you may have to make. Some insurance companies may actually settle the claims in-house

The recommended movers are supported by a major global insurance company, and your insured items are subject to all risk door-to-door insurance coverage for accidental loss or damage. Conditions of coverage, with some exclusions, are defined in the “Terms and Conditions”. Please understand how these conditions may affect your move.

How To Insure Your Move

  • Calculate the value of the goods being shipped. To assist you in this process, it helps to include a detailed inventory on which to list and calculate your values. It is a condition of the program that fully completed valued inventory must support your insurance purchase.
  • Don’t undervalue your possessions! Only the items you specifically declare and value are insured. In the event of loss or damage, it is important to note that settlement cannot exceed the insured value of an item listed on the detailed inventory, regardless of replacement costs.
  • Please keep in mind that the replacement cost of certain items may be higher in the country of destination as opposed to the country of origin. Insure your possessions accordingly.

About the Insurance

  • What is the deductible (the amount you will be required to pay or deducted from your claim)? Is coverage subject to zero deductible? Is there an extra cost for having a zero deductible?
  • What happens in the event of a claim? Who do you need to contact and by when?
  • Declare full replacement cost at destination.

Provide individual values for each item.
List all items or sets over $500 in value.
Items not declared and valued are not insured.
What is not covered? What about jewellery, coins etc.?

Laboratory Relocation

Whether you are expanding into a new space, renovating, moving operations, or decommissioning a facility, laboratory relocation can be complicated. Armstrong Moving has a Scientific division to assist with all of your needs.

Claim Procedures

  • What Happens in the Event of a Claim? Always determine this upfront.
  • How soon must a claim be filed? This should be done within 48 hours. Check the requirements from the mover.
  • How soon is a filed claim followed up? Get this in writing from your mover.
  • Find out where the forms are acquired, in some cases they can be acquired online. If so, what is the URL?
  • If you are not happy with one of U of T’s recommended movers, please let us know so that we can follow up on your concern.

Documents the movers should have

Do they offer a moving kit? They should and you should obtain it to assist you in organizing your move. These kits will often have checklists and other important contact information.

Have they given you the general terms and conditions that govern your contract with the company for your move?

Who is the main contact person and who is the next in line in case of escalation? Will you have to deal with someone outside of the company for issues about insurance claims?

If required ask where they are located and if your possessions are adequately separated and stored in individual compartments. Are there additional charges incurred for such a service?