When it comes to moving, whether you’re transitioning to a new home within Ottawa or arriving fresh from another city, the question of tipping can be a bit of a grey area. How much should you tip your movers for their hard work and dedication? This guide will help you navigate the customary practices for tipping movers in Ottawa, ensuring that you express your gratitude appropriately.

Understanding the Tipping Culture in Ottawa

In Ottawa, as in most parts of Canada, tipping is customary for services that go above and beyond the basic expectations. Movers especially tend to work hard physically, often navigating difficult staircases, handling fragile items carefully, and doing so in the varying seasonal weather Ottawa is known for.

When to Tip Your Movers

It’s generally accepted to consider tipping your movers if they:

  • Arrive on time (or communicate well if they’ll be delayed).
  • Handle your belongings with care and professionalism.
  • Navigate complex moving situations with a positive attitude.
  • Finish the job in a timely and efficient manner.

How Much to Tip

Unlike restaurants, where a percentage of the total bill is a common tipping standard, moving does not have a strict percentage rule. Here’s what to consider when deciding how much to tip:

Length of Move: For a half-day move (4 hours or less), a tip of $20-$25 per mover is considered good etiquette. For a full 8-hour day, $40-$50 per mover is a standard. If your move extends beyond this, or if it’s particularly complex, you might increase the amount accordingly.

Complexity of Move: Consider the difficulty of your move. If the movers are navigating tight spaces, large quantities of items, heavy furniture, or they’re packing and unpacking for you, this should be reflected in their tip.

Quality of Service: If you feel the movers went above and beyond, you might tip higher as a way of saying thanks. This could be because they finished more quickly than expected or took extra care with your grandmother’s china.

Weather Conditions: Ottawa’s weather can be unpredictable. Movers who work through rain, snow, or extreme cold should be tipped for their resilience and dedication to getting the job done despite adverse conditions.

Tipping Individual Movers vs. the Crew

Should you hand the tips to each individual mover or give the total amount to the crew leader? While either approach is acceptable, handing tips directly to the movers ensures that each one receives their share promptly and recognizes their individual efforts.

Non-Monetary Tips

While cash is king, there are other ways to show appreciation. Providing lunch, cold beverages, or snacks during the move can be a thoughtful gesture, especially for longer moves. A positive review or referral can also go a long way in showing your appreciation and helping the movers or their company.

Tipping for Poor Service?

If the service provided was subpar, or if the movers did not handle your belongings with care, it is okay to adjust the tip accordingly. Tipping is a reward for good service, not an obligation regardless of service quality.


In Ottawa, tipping movers is a sign of satisfaction with the service you’ve received. It’s an opportunity to thank those who have taken care of your belongings on a stressful day. Remember, every move is different, and you should feel comfortable with how much you choose to tip based on your own experience. Movers, like any service providers, appreciate recognition for their hard work and commitment to a job well done. Whether you tip a little or a lot, your acknowledgement of their effort is what truly counts.


Q: Is it rude not to tip movers?

A: While it’s not mandatory, it’s a kind gesture to tip movers for a job well done. If you’re dissatisfied with the service, it’s your prerogative not to tip.

Q: Can I tip movers with something other than cash?

A: Yes, offering food or drinks, or writing a positive review are also appreciated forms of tipping.

Q: Should I tip each mover individually?

A: Yes, it’s generally best to tip each mover individually to acknowledge their personal effort.

Remember, the essence of tipping is gratitude. Your appreciation, shown through tipping, reinforces the value of the hard work put into ensuring your belongings safely reach your new home.


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