Ask a Mover

Ask a Mover: Interviewed at 4 pm on 17 February 2016

Good after noon, Paul – what are you doing on this fine snowy and cold day?


I’m ordering new uniforms for my guys. I’m thinking that we’ll go with black this time. We went with grey last time but they get dirty fast and really show up the sweat when you are moving. The worst colour t-shirts or jerseys for movers would be white. If your movers come to you with white t-shirts, send them home <he laughs>. White shirts are for desk jobs. Movers and lumberjacks – real men – wear red or black <laughs again – then stops as he sees I am staring pointedly at his white button-down shirt. He gestures at the computer and at the papers around him>. I am working from the office today. My guys are working in the warehouse. Got a few deliveries going as well.



What is the worst thing about moving on a day like today?


The snow is difficult. It is difficult to move in and out of a home without tracking in snow and slush. On days like today we make sure we bring along extra floor runners. You always have to be sensitive to the things like snow and weather that you cannot control on a move.



What is the best thing about moving on day like today?


It’s a sunny day and it is good working weather, temperature-wise. You don’t feel cold – once your body gets warmed up you even take your jacket off. It’s less stress on the body moving during the colder seasons or moderate weather, really.


So, you are a veteran mover. With 25 years on the job, what do you think that experience brings?


Experience brings understanding of the hardship of the work. I can pace my guys and I know how many people to send on a move. I can also really judge how much time a move is going to take, even when customers think they don’t have much stuff. I know that preparation for a move takes time. That includes the disassembly and wrapping up of furniture. Removing doors is also sometimes necessary to ensure you get things through safely – safely for the “things” and also safely for the walls. I also know when and how to hoist furniture. We once had to hoist a sofa eight floors up one time. That was one to remember!


Not only knowing how many men to send to the move, but also knowing the correct size of truck to send is important. And the right equipment. I have several trucks and you have to know which truck to book up for which move so that you can plan your day, weeks, and months properly. Keep the trucks and the guys busy. Logistics is the most interesting and challenging thing I do at my desk, but I also love to get out and direct the guys on the job.


What are the most interesting things you’ve moved?


A $10,000 board room table. It was interesting because it was marble, big and awkward. It had to be lifted correctly as it would have snapped if it was picked up incorrectly. It was difficult maneuvering around corners. Took a lot of experience and good sense to move it safely and without damage – any damage would absolutely ruin it.


We moved a gigantic fish tank the other day. It had to be taken down from the pedestal it was on, about five or six feet up. That was challenging – getting it off the pedestal safely.


<Paul raises an eyebrow and says quietly> We once moved all kinds of torture and bondage equipment from an apartment downtown. They were things you tie people down on – wooden structures with belts and restraining things. We had to walk these things down the stairs as they wouldn’t fit on the elevators. Got odd looks from the other tenants!


What are you most proud of?


We moved a women’s shelter, including pro-bono work for them. I am proud of that and the lady called me today too – she has more work for us. We’ve also been a mover of choice with the LGBTQ community – I love that diverse communities CHOOSE US!



What are your plans for Innercity as a company?


I’m planning to modernize our fleet of trucks – newer, more fuel-efficient trucks. I am planning to delve more into the commercial market. And I’m looking forward to continuing to work with the great people of Toronto. So many of my moves are repeat clients and referrals. I love that. It is so interesting when you get a call from a person you moved five years ago – they’ll say “Remember me? I always kept your number because you did such great work for us!” Gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling <he smiles>




So, if you have stuff to haul – just call Paul. He’s an all-around nice guy and experienced mover.

416 656-8924||


Moving on Up

Moving On Up


Part of the fun of moving people is that you get to experience their joy in “moving on up” especially when they do it “Jefferson” style – do any of you remember that show from the 80s?  When people finally achieve their dream of moving into their first home, or their dream home, it is a beautiful sentiment to be a part of.


I recall moving a family from a nice top floor apartment in the Dufferin and Davenport area of Toronto to a house in Etobicoke with a big backyard. The apartment was lovely, don’t get me wrong: I met my client early in the process, before she’d even packed a single box, in that apartment. When I went in the older kids were quietly doing their homework and a five-year-old was watching cartoons. My client, Lily, was cooking dinner. She’d just gotten home from work when I arrived.


The apartment was crowded, yes: a two-bedroom apartment with three kids and two adults is going to be. But despite that, it was a home, and it did bustle with a nice energy and things had their place: shoes on a rack by the door; family photos framed on the wall and on the side tables; kids’ Star-Wars-themed bedroom had a bunk bed and boxes of toys, one bed covered with books. The refrigerator was covered with kids’ art and that evening the apartment also smelled of the delicious meal Lily was preparing for her family.


I felt lucky to be selected as her mover. Two months later, I came back, and this time the energy was more frenetic. Boxes were packed and labelled leaving little space for the older boys who jostled and teased each other and the little one who was in the arms of her father. Lily was happy and excited to be moving into the first home they would own in Canada, several years after having arrived here from Jamaica.


We packed the truck and drove to meet them in their new home in north-western edge of Toronto: the Albion and Silverstone area to be precise. The house seemed so large compared to their much smaller apartment – the kids were chasing each other through the halls of the empty house when we arrived, laughing and excited with their new environment. Lily and her husband, Everald (I think that was his name – this was way back in 1995) excitedly showed me where to put things and it was a nice feeling to get paid – smile – then leave them to turn this house into a new home.


One of the perks of being a mover is being a witness to this kind of thing. Of course, I’ve seen times when moves aren’t very happy, but in most cases, people are at least relieved to get the job done and to start creating a home wherever they have “moved on up” to.