Yesterday was another nice, if cloudy day. Great for trash hunting, even if it’s a slower time of the month.

I came across these trash bags on Cartier near Gauthier.


It looked like this stuff once belonged to an older person. There were fabrics and plastic bags packed away in little boxes. There were also some parts or tools I don’t recognize. I took these as I reckon that someone out there can still make use of them – plus, it’s a good way for me to learn about what these “things” are. Any ideas?

sterling cross

There was some of Catholic paraphernalia, including these small medallions and a cross marked as being sterling silver. I found two rosaries as well.


A cassette tape with a picture of Brother Andre taped to it. Brother Andre was the main force behind the building of St-Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal. He was credited for many miracles and was recently canonized (made into a saint). He’s definitely a important figure in Montreal and Quebec’s Catholic history.

For the atheists and sceptics out there (from the Oratory’s website): “He usually encouraged people to see a doctor for treatment. At the same time he told doctors, ‘Your skills are awesome. Your knowledge is a gift from God. Show your gratitude prayerfully.'”

As an aside, I’m also related to him somehow. He was a Bessette, as was my Grandmother on my dad’s side of the family.


I found a few little trinkets (which I left around town for others to find)…


and some religious books.

birks sterling

I also brought home this little piece marked Birks Sterling Silver. It’s pretty tarnished but I’m sure it’ll clean up nicely! It’s not in perfect shape (you can see a dint in the middle bottom of the tray) but is definitely still a nice early 1900s piece.


I came across this 5-CD player sitting in this box. As I was trying to fit it in my bag a woman opened her door and informed that “ca marche bien!” (it works well) and that they just didn’t need it anymore. My french is a work in progress but it seemed like they left it out hoping someone would take it. These sell on Ebay for around 20-25$.


This church (and it’s little second-hand store) has been throwing a lot away recently. My friend texted me to tell me about a bunch of canned food they were throwing away. They have a free meal thing every week and I guess these cans (which a passer-by said were donated to them) didn’t make the cut. Some of them were old and some of them had a little rust on the outside, however that doesn’t mean the food inside is bad. I took a bunch of the nicer looking cans.


There were also a bunch of old books in the pile. This one is a record book / ledger that details the minutes from regular conferences of the Society of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul from the early 1920s to the early 1930s. All of the contents are handwritten (some of which is easier to read than others).

st vincent de paul record books



I brought home the ledger, along with similar ledgers dealing with the 1930s and 1940s. I wish I could give you more detail, but the combination of the handwriting and my mediocre French makes it difficult (at least within a reasonable time-frame). However, in general, these seem to summarize the discussions (much of which involves money) that happened at these meetings.

It seems like these could be of historical interest. Anyone got any ideas as to what to do with them?

11 thoughts on “Generations”

  1. for the ledger, you should contact the Centre d’archives de Montréal. They have already documents from the Société de St-Vincent-de-Paul. They could maybe add it to the fonds.

    Centre d’archives de Montréal
    téléphone: 514 873-1100 ou 1 800 363-9028
    Courriel :

  2. The topmost box in your second pic contains old-style drapery hooks. See The bag in the same pic seems to contain curtain rod ends.

    That trinket of the boy with the geese/ducks looks Hummelesque, but it’s high-gloss glaze marks it as a knockoff.

    I look forward to seeing that Birks silver dish cleaned up. If it is pure silver, even with the dent, you could put it in your Etsy store.

    Here’s a nice little history of your ancestor Saint André Bessette.

    You’ll eat another week. 🙂

  3. curtain hooks on the upper right, the divided pieces are designed to fit around a pleat, can’t see the ones on the left so well, they may have stabby points that dig into fabric

  4. I know this place because it’s near my home. The “cans” in the trash don’t come from the church, they come from the “cuisine collective” in the basement. If they trow it away, it’s probably because it is too old: don’t eat it.

  5. Today right now it feels like winter all over again.However this cold snap will soon pass.Nonetheless the daylight hours are very long now.I hope that bike tyre you found will help you get your bike fixed.I want you to get your bike fixed so you can bike far way.Get ready,get set,go.

  6. Your blog is a goldmine of information for those who want to salvage good stuff from the trash.I live a bit far from the Plateau.Can you tell readers about good dumpster diving spots in Villeray and Ahuntsic?For things like shoes,art,vinyl records,odds and ends etc?I check your dumpster diving map for new additions,just in case you add other locales in other neighborhoods.

    1. I’ll add them as I find them, however in the meantime check near second-hand stores and church bazaars. On garbage days they often throw out some good stuff, some more than others.

  7. Vinyl records have become very popular and many sell at a very high price.I know some individuals do dump vinyl records on the curb .But do you think second-hand stores and church bazaars would throw out undamaged vinyl records in the garbage?Just wondering.

    1. Some stores definitely throw them out. It’s good to remember that some vinyls are worth money, but some are worth nothing at all (such as classical, stars that didn’t stand the test of time, etc).

  8. Love this blog – thanks for documenting your treasure hunts! Lots of really interesting things to be found ….

    re: what’s in the little boxes – I asked my mother (she’s 71) and she says it looks like everything is related to hanging curtains (brackets, hooks etc).

    re Saint Vincent de Paul archives/ledgers – I did some work for the SSVP so could check with them to see if they’re interested in getting their archives back, otherwise I’d strongly encourage you to contact the Quebec archives to see if there’s interest. If you need help, or just want to give the books to someone to take care of this for you, let me know. I’d be happy to pick them up.

    A historian by training, I have a blog ( that curates excerpts from old books that provide advice to women. If you ever come across material that you’d like to sell, please feel free to reach out. My professional blog and contact info is here:

    Will look for your Etsy account.



    1. Hi, glad you like the blog! I still have those ledgers and if you’d like to take them and look at them / give them away they’re yours. I worry about archives because I wonder if they’ll just never be looked at again, but if you take them at least you’ll get to see them (and maybe discover some wisdom). There probably some cool stuff in there, but my French comprehension ca toujours pauvre.

      Reply to this or send me an email at if you’re interested in picking them up

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