The Great Glebe Garage Sale

Like any good thrifters, we’re big fans of garage sales – which means the annual Great Glebe Garage Sale is a Spring highlight for us. For those not familiar with it, the Great Glebe Garage Sale (or GGGS, for short) has been happening annually for 25 years, and involves turning over most of the Glebe neighbourhood in downtown Ottawa (which is a large neighbourhood) to garage sales. People set up shop on their lawns and driveways selling everything from furniture to home decor to vintage vinyl to childrens toys. The festival atmosphere is encouraged with live music and tons of street food. To sweeten the deal, everyone who participates in the GGGS donates 10% of their profits to the local food bank. It’s a big day for bargain-hunters, with the most hardcore hitting the streets on roller blades (more efficient) at 6am, despite the fact the sale doesn’t ‘officially’ open until 9am. (For the record, we are not that hardcore. We arrived in the neighbourhood around 8, had a leisurely breakfast at our favourite breakfast nook on Bank St, and wandered over to the sale right around opening time).

We didn’t actually take this picture – all credit goes to the Glebe Community Association. This picture is also from last year, but it still gives a sense of the crowds!

Despite our lack of dedication in the form of wheels or excessively early-rising, we still managed to find some great deals, likely because what we lack in early-morning intensity, we make up for in stamina – we covered the entire neighbourhood, garage-saling for more than 6 hours.

Here’s what we found!

The whole lot.

And now the breakdown:

This heavy ceramic baking dish is perfect for quiches or large tarts. Plus it’s pretty. $4.00

This large metal tea canister isn’t technically a garage sale item – Rachel bought it from a local store that was having a sidewalk sale alongside the garage sale. She had always liked the canister when she’d seen it in the store in the past, but found the $25 price tag kind of excessive. Today however, on sale for $8.00!

Henry Watson Terracotta Pottery is usually very pricey. The little spice jars typically retail for about $10 each, and the country pitcher retails for close to $30. Today, $3.00 each.

Okay, so this isn’t very exciting, and it’s also hard to photograph. Basically it’s a mini ironing board for ironing sleeves and collars and finicky things like that. It was $1.00.

A new corkscrew and a filter for single-cup coffee brewing – $0.50 each!

Four new CDs – Fleet Foxes, Eva Cassidy, The Buena Vista Social Club, and Diana Krall. $3.00 each, with the exception of Fleet Foxes which is a new release that Chris picked up at the record store which was also having a sidewalk sale – it was $14.00.

This wine rack is nice solid wood, but it’s a bit of a strange colour. We’re planning to turn it into a mini DIY project, stripping it down and restaining it a nice colour. It can’t be that hard, right? It was $2.00.

This large glass bottle with built-in stopper is covered with an awesome yellow bicycle print. It will be perfect for spice-infused olive oils or anything else we create in the kitchen that needs to be bottled. As you can see from the price sticker, it was $1.00.

This electric juicer is in immaculate condition. It was $5.00.

This pretty glass decanter cost a toonie!

These were nearly impossible to photograph – but they’re a pair of nice heavy glass champagne flutes. They set us back $0.25 apiece.

It’s a bit hard to tell what this is from the photo, but it’s a vintage carry-on shoulder bag from Canadian Pacific Airlines. I’m not exactly sure how old it is, but considering Canadian Pacific Airlines was renamed “CP Air” in 1968, it pre-dates that. This bag was $2.00.

Chris picked these books up for $0.25 each.

Rachel got these two books – an eccentric children’s language book from 1947, and the Chatelaine Complete Canadian Cookbook from 1965, also for $0.25 apiece.

It’s always nice to have picture frames on hand. These were $0.50.

This was definitely the find of the day. It doesn’t look like much more than a leather case from the outside, but open it up:

It opens on both sides, this side is a full mens grooming/shaving kit. It has a toothbrush holder, old-fashioned razor, a bar of soap (which was still completely in tact), old-fashioned shaving lotion (which comes in bar form, also still totally in tact) a scrub brush, a pocket mirror, a comb, tweezers, and a nail file. And on the other side…

A full writing kit! Obviously this pre-dates email by quite a bit. On the right is a “Basildon Bond” notepad, and on the left are three pockets, one is full of envelopes that match the writing paper, and the other 2 pockets are for cards and stamps. The only thing missing from this side is the pen. We did some investigating to try to figure out when this kit was made, but we didn’t have much luck pinning it down. All we could establish is that Basildon Bond (which is still a prominent paper company) was using the logo featured on this particular notepad in the 1960s. However, as we don’t know for sure if this notepad came with the kit, or was added later, that doesn’t help pin down the date. Interestingly enough, the kit is quite international. Basildon Bond is a British company, so the notepad and envelopes were made in the UK. All of the metal components (tweezers, etc) in the kit are stamped ‘Germany’, and the kit itself has a small tag saying it was made in N.S.W (I assume ‘New South Wales’?) by a company called Vermont. We can’t find any information about that company though. Anyway, this great find was $5.00.

So in total, if you count the non-garage sale items (canister and one CD), we spent $63.00, but if you only count official garage sale items, we spent $41.00 total at the Great Glebe Garage Sale. Not bad!

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