Little amplified


Winter made it’s last stand yesterday, giving us Montrealers about 10 cm of snow to play with. I doubted too many people would throw out good trash but I decided to take a walk around regardless.

I didn’t come across much of interest. In one place I found a couple of nice mugs and a metal colander, in another a couple of foreign coins. The best finds were all contained with this one bag. When I kicked it I felt a box that felt “interesting”. I opened the bag and saw that it contained some electronics. I wasn’t too far from home, so without looking much at what was inside I carried the whole box home. I didn’t want to get the stuff wet from the snow and also felt like enjoying the surprise of finding out what was inside. I had a good feeling about it, as if someone had taken a box of good (if old) stuff and decided to put it on the curb in the name of spring cleaning.

Inside was some speaker wire, an alarm clock, a discman and a walkman. All the three worked fine, other than the alarm clock which has a broken AM/FM switch.

sony str-av550

The best thing though was this stereo receiver / amplifier. I plugged it in and hooked it up to some speakers and it works great!

This model (Sony STR-AV550) has sold for up to 95$ on Ebay, but I’m going to hold onto it (unless I become desperately broke, of course). I’ve been hoping to find one, as I wanted to hook up my old record player and it’s good for testing any audio equipment I might find (such as the tape player on the top, which I found on New Year’s Eve and can now confirm works great as well!).

Needless to say the room-mates are happy about our new ability to play records. We’re listening to a record of The Drifters as I write this; I wasn’t familiar with them before but they have a nice old-timey sound.

Overall, a pretty slow week for trash. I expect that things will pick up a little bit next week, what with the warming weather and the end of the month approaching.



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?



Yesterday was a mild, sunny day. I went out early, dropping off a few more things at the Give Box, and toured around the neighbourhood.

I saw this old-fashioned TV in the alley adjacent to St-Denis. I haven’t seen one of these in a while! I used to see them a lot more regularly. These things must have sucked to move.


A bit further down the alley (close to Roy) I came across these bags


A music store on St-Denis was throwing away old cassettes, records, and magazines. Some of the stuff was musty and ruined with mildew. I took a few of the nicer looking cassettes and records (some of which were in their original packaging).

cine monde

I also brought home a bundle of old french film magazines. They’re mostly Cinémonde or Ciné Tele-Revues from the late 1950s and early 1960s. Most of them are in pretty good shape – they smell a bit musty but nothing overpowering. I think that smell will go away anyways.

It seems like many of the front covers are somewhat to very revealing pictures of female stars while the back covers are sort of “classy” photos of male stars (like Sean Connery above). There’s occasional nudity on the covers and inside as well, which is odd because they seem like mainstream magazines overall.

I’m not sure what I’ll do with these yet. There must be close to 100 in total. They’d be great for scrapbooking, but they’re also the kind of thing people like poking through at yard sales. When my friend has her yard sale later this month I’ll likely bring them by.


Two old wheelchairs on the curb somewhere north of Mont-Royal on de Bullion.


Later on, again in the alley next to St-Denis (but close to Gilford), was this pile of trash. I brought home a glass jar for storing food.


I also found this pair of Aldo boots. They actually look brand new – I don’t see any wear or tear at all. I can’t tell if they’re men’s or women’s style, which probably means I shouldn’t care too much and just wear them as they fit my feet perfectly!

Overall, not a bad haul. I’m going out in an hour or two for a look around the east side of the Plateau.