Moving to Canada

Moving to Canada

Considering a Move to Canada?

Are you planning on moving to Canada? Abels Moving Services have been providing discrete export packing and shipping services for discerning families and professionals relocating and moving to Canada for over 50 years.

About Canada

Canada is a North American country and is located in the northern part of the continent. The country consists of ten provinces and three territories and extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean.

Canada is the second-largest country by total area in the world, has a border with the United States and has the longest land border in the world.

Those moving to Canada will find it has a population of around 33.5 million people. However, because Canada covers a large area of over 3,854,085 sq miles this means there are less than 9 people per square mile.

The climate in Canada is vary varied, with average high temperatures in the low 20s degrees centigrade on the east and west coasts, while between the coasts, the average summer high temperature is often over 25 degrees centigrade. Winter can be very harsh in Canada and often sees average temperatures near -15 degrees centigrade, but can drop down to -40 degrees centigrade, so good warm clothing is needed for those moving to Canada.

The key exports of Canada are Machinery and equipment, automotive products, metals and plastics, forestry products, agricultural and fishing products, and energy products.

Places of interest for those moving to Canada include the coastal areas of British Columbia for Whale watching, and seeing the filming of Hollywood movies. Other places to visit when moving to Canada include Vancouver Maritime Museum, Cypress Provincial Park, Fort Gibraltar and the Canadian Museum of Science and Technology.

Canada’s culture is complicated with strong links to both the UK and France. The population is dominated by the English (20.2%), Scottish (14%) and Irish (12.9%), with Germans (9.3%) and Italians (4.3%) having strong contingents. Canada is a very progressive country and seeks active immigration. It is sparsely populated and has much to offer.

It has a culture and attitude to life which is unique in the world. It is one of the youngest countries, with a growing national pride and affluence which has made it the most popular expat destination not only for the UK but many other western countries.

Planning Your Move

When considering moving to Canada it is important to speak with a specialist international removal company (not your local domestic mover!) as there are pitfalls throughout the process that you will be glad of their assistance.

Before calling, consider whether you want to send all your possessions or just a select few personal effects. To speak to an advisor call our head office on +44 1842 816600 or email and you will be contacted shortly to discuss your move.

For full house moves / large volumes it is recommended that a home survey appointment is made so that an International Customer Service Manager can personally visit your home and discuss your moving requirements, allay any concerns you may have and advise upon the process, assess the items to be packed and how best to be protected these during there transit and make a judgement on the access to your property to ensure that positioning a larger removal vehicle or shipping container is possible. A full list of all items to be taken will be made by our colleague at this time. A detailed door to door removal proposal will be sent to you shortly following the visit after all costs are collated (including origin, freight, and destination services)

Smaller volumes can be discussed over the telephone, email or provided via our online service. Your volume, access, packing requirements and shipping method, will be assessed from the information you provide. A detailed door to door removal proposal will then be produced and either posted or emailed to you for consideration.

After you book with Abels you will be introduced to a Customer Liaison Move Coordinator (who will work on behalf of your Customer Service Manager) booking, organising and managing matters when moving to Canada.

Export Packing

Abels Moving Services advises that Export Packing is a fundamental requirement for all your items and possessions when moving to Canada. So what actually is Export Packing, and how do I get advice on what will be required?

Export Packing is a way of protecting items when in transit. It utilises either a 6 ply paper blanket that has a wax inner and a water resistant outer or tough bubble blanket that has a soft cloth inner and robust outer to ensure corners are not exposed. Certain items will need to be card covered, put into a carton or an additional layer of the above wrap to add extra protection for items such as polished furniture, antiques, delicate legs, mirror and glass-fronted units.

The level of protection that is needed when moving items for example by road is less stringent but for moving your items travelling thousands of miles in either 20ft Containers or 40ft Containers on their sea ourney to Canada then they will need additional Export Packing protection. Please remember that the goods will be “handled” many times including wrapping, loading the container, road journey to the port, container hoist removes and stacks, container hoist moves from the stack to the loading area near the vessel, loading the vessel crane gantry, sea journey and then the same in reverse. So protection is paramount in ensuring the longevity of the contents.

With Abels Moving Services the highest quality export materials are utilised. (ensure you do not use materials that are designed to stay within the UK, the contents of the container will be stacked up to 2 metres and you want the carton at the bottom to stay in shape throughout its journey and protect its contents.

Fine Art & Specialist Packing Services

Moving Fine Art needs great care and will involve Enhanced Export Packing when shipping to Australia. Items such as Fine Art Paintings and valuable pieces of furniture along with delicate items such as moving a Grand Father Clock, packing and shipping Barometers, and transporting chandeliers all need careful handling while being packed in a specific way. The use of special cases built especially for these items needs to be utilised to give the highest level of protection.

Not only is the Export Packing of these items important, but also how they are dismantled prior to shipping to Canada. Grand Father Clocks will need their main components taken apart ensuring clearly the weights have been removed prior to casing the clock. Moving a barometer also need specialist packing services and careful handling to avoid any problem with the filled mercury, ensuring the tube is bunged to avoid spillage.
Training, training, and training is the key to ensuring all packing teams are fully versed in the correct handling and packing techniques. Find more information about how to move.


In Canada, there are many International Airports. The main International Airports include Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), Vancouver International Airport (YVR), Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL), Calgary International Airport (YYC), Edmonton International Airport (YEG), Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW), Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ), Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport (YWG), Quebec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB) and the Saskatoon John G Diefenbaker International Airport (YXE).

The two largest airports in Canada are Toronto Pearson International Airport which handles over 33 million passengers per year and Vancouver International Airport which handles over 17 million passengers per year.

With sea transit times for shipping your possessions from the UK to Canada taking in the order of 6 to 7 weeks, you may consider sending some of your consignment by Airfreight. Items for Airfreight will need to be Professionally Packed (due to security restrictions not permitting owner packed cartons) and are then loaded into heat-treated modules of various sizes and then waterproof covered for added protection against the elements.

Please allow 2 weeks of transit door to door for airfreight to allow for UK and Canadian Security and Customs assessments before delivery is permitted to your new home.

See More information about airfreight shipments.

Shipping Services

Larger volumes and full house moves will be shipped within a 20ft or 40ft shipping container. If access permits we always try and load the container outside your residence. This allows you to see our removal team’s skill and care of loading and stowing safely and the sealing of the container with our uniquely numbered container bolt seals. Where access is not suitable for this size of the vehicle, goods may be loaded via Abels warehouse ( you are of course welcome to come and witness the loading ) or in a location close to your property utilising a small shuttle truck to ferry between your home and the container.

Shipping lines will offer some companies low-cost freight yet there is a big risk to the quality of the container that arrives and the transit time it then takes. Abels buys our containers through an organisation that negotiates for a supply of A1 class containers that are without fractures to the outer case, dry, clean, odour free containers on our behalf that have an almost guaranteed transit time.

If goods stay within a container that has an odour this will remain on the goods when delivered, and fractures in the outer will gain water ingress.

Smaller volumes can be shipped as LCL (less than container load). Your possessions will be taken to Abels warehouse for loading into heat-treated wooden crates ready for shipping.

Transit times to Various Ports in Canada from the UK, ie from port to port is normally between approximately 14 to 28 days on the water. Vessels depart the UK weekly to ports such as Halifax, Montreal and Vancouver. There are other locations that are onward served by Rail Links from these ports such as Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Winnipeg. You should allow approximately 6 to 7 weeks door to door from your property in the UK to your property in Canada (times depend on delays due to weather, strikes, re-routing containers, vessel malfunction, and customs inspections – however this guide is normally reasonably accurate)

Read more on these methods about shipping options when moving abroad.

Destination Services

Abels selects our partners from those with the highest quality accreditations. These will normally hold the FIDI-faim quality award to ensure that the standards enjoyed with Abels Moving Services is continued to perform the Customs Clearance and Delivery Service. It’s too late to find that the agents selected are not of the highest standard, so we ensure we use the best on your behalf.

Our destination partners will be advised of your shipment shortly following the departure of the container from the UK. They will make contact with you near to when the container is due to arrive in Canada so that they can perform the Customs clearance process on your behalf.

Following Customs clearance our partners will contact you to arrange the delivery date of your possessions. Normal service includes delivery, unpacking, set up of normal furniture (not Ikea kit furniture unless agreed) removal and disposal of waste packaging materials and return of the shipping container to wharf. Should you prefer, arrangements can be made for a put away service / maid cleaning / relocation or settling in services – should you have specific requirements, please discuss with your Abels Customs Service Manager or Customs Liaison.

Our destination agent will have the professional experience and local knowledge to handle all the details of import documents, customs clearance and delivery of your possessions for you in Canada Abels Moving Services endeavours to ensure your arrival at your new home overseas is smooth and trouble-free, to allow you to settle in as swiftly as possible.

Above all, we want you to think of Abels for your next move and the one after that, we don’t simply wish to buy your current move at the risk of losing your future business, goodwill and recommendations!

In conclusion if you are moving to Canada you are welcome to ask Abels Moving Services to provide you with a removal quotation for your move. If you are moving to another destination other than Canada we would also be glad to assist you with your move.

Abels Moving Services:
Telephone: +44 (0)1842 816600