For Auld Lang Syne


This morning I got up very early (6am) and went to Hampstead, a wealthy neighbourhood just west of the Decarie Expressway. It was the coldest morning yet – you can see the frost on the lawns in this picture – but I was pretty well prepared.

Hampstead has pretty strict garbage collection policies. You must use a black bin for your trash, and if you have more garbage than you can fit in your bin you have to use special yellow trash bags that you can buy from the city for 1$ each.

I didn’t make any particularly good finds here, however. I’m sure that there are some treasures to be found made but unfortunately not on this particular day. Too bad, it’s far enough away that I doubt I’ll make it back any time soon, as least not without a car.

It was also trash day in the north-western part of NDG (Notre-Dame-des-Graces) and the western part of Cote-des-Neiges (CDN), which is where I ended up finding some decent stuff.


I came across this pile on Coolbrook somewhere near Van Horne, which I’m pretty sure rests within the boundaries of CDN. Inside one of the bags was some sporting/outdoors equipment, including a snorkelling set, a life jacket and some rubber boots.


I also found five hockey sticks and a few golf clubs. I left them in Parc Ex on the way home, I figured someone there will put them to good use. This is the second time in the last week that I’ve saved some good hockey sticks from the trash. Maybe people are buying new ones as the hockey season approaches.


Inside another piece of luggage were three different jewelry boxes, all of which I think are quite nice, possibly even fancy. The one on the right has a built in mirror that comes out of the top. The one on the left has a few chips of the paint but is still in very good condition. I think I’ll keep these as they (especially the one with the mirror) would make very good display cases for my found jewelry at yard sales.



This might be my favourite of the boxes, though. It looks like it might be quite old. It definitely has a “hand-made” look to it.



Lastly, I found this wind-up light/radio somewhere in NDG. It might be useful come wintertime.


In sorting through the finds from last Tuesday I came across a few more things I had to show you. First are these death notices for JFK and RFK. They have prayers on the back (the same prayer, in fact) and look to have been given out by funeral homes back when they were assassinated. Thinking about it now it seems pretty crazy that these two brothers were killed in such a short time span while both being obviously very prominent politicians. I can understand how shocking these assassinations must have been at the time.


There was also this beautiful piece of ephemera, a card made in remembrance of a 7 year old girl who died way back in 1910. I looked up the phrase “For Auld Lang Syne” which appears on the front, apparently it’s a line from an old Scottish poem that translates roughly to “for (the sake of) old times.” It’s often used in reference to endings and new beginnings, which include death but also graduation, the New Year, and so on.

The poem on the inside is also interesting, if oddly Christmas related.

I just think it’s remarkable that such a thing, which I assume to be now over a hundred years old, is still in such terrific shape. I’ve never seen anything quite like it before. It’s definitely the kind of thing that makes you think.


Tomorrow morning I’m going to TMR to see what I can find this week. Over the last month it has become my favourite route, providing me with jewelry, oddities, and lots of good ephemera to boot. We’ll see if that trend continues.

11 thoughts on “For Auld Lang Syne”

  1. Nice finds.

    The boxes are all really nice. The first boxes look of Oriental extraction. Here’s something similar to the wooden one on ebay … but yours is far fancier.

    The third box looks to be from India. I remember of lot of that type being sold in gift stores during the 1970s.

    Sweet light/radio. Very useful for when there a storm and the power goes out, or when you’re off somewhere and out of touch.

    1910 … I’m always drawn to things with that date. That was the year your grandpa was born.

  2. Congratulations for going out to NDG and Cote Des Neiges to trash-pick today.You did find some good stuff.You should go to different parts of NDG much more often.I am not surprised you did not find anything of note in Hampstead’s trash.A forager told me that in Hampstead it is very hard to find good things in the trash

  3. I am delighted,delighted that you are beginning to venture into more anglophone or allophone neighborhoods like NDG and Cote Des Neiges to rummage in their trash.Cote Des Neiges is the most ethnically mixed neighborhood of Montreal.I am really surprised that as the weather is really turning cold,you are beginning to finally go into boroughs and neighborhoods you have almost completely neglected until now.When are you going to Griffintown,St.Henri,Ville Emard,Verdun West ,LaSalle and Lachine,the southwestern part of the city?Soon,I hope.

    1. I’d like to get out to Verdun / Pointe St Charles again. I think St Henri is on the same collection day so I could do them both at once. Lasalle and Lachine are getting pretty far, though, I don’t think I’ll make it there before next spring or summer, or unless I get access to a Commune-auto or a friends car (which might happen come February). I would also like to go to Westmount, but because of all the hills I’ll only do it if I can get my friend to drive. I’d like to go to Montreal Ouest, but that as well is quite far. We’ll see how I feel as the weather gets colder.

      As for anglophone neighbourhoods, Town of Mount Royal is generally fairly anglophone. I’ve found a lot of English-language ephemera there in the last weeks.

  4. When you go to Town of Mount Royal on Wednesday morning,please try to go to the eastern part and cover also the streets near Canora street.I am cuirous what you will retrieve.

    1. Will do. I actually found the cool ephemera, including the old Nazi book “Hitler in Seinen Bergen” close to Canora near the north end (I think close to rue Brittany).

  5. I read your blog with fascination,and at the same time read the comments posted by readers below.I love your finds and photographs.I love the knick-knacks you find.I am curious to what extent you are influenced to forage a certain neighborhood because readers push you to do so.

    1. I take into account reader suggestions as to where to check out. At the same time, it’s extremely difficult to go to some neighbourhoods. For instance, today it took me around 25 minutes just to bike to Hampstead, and to get there I have to climb a hill on Van Horne. If I find anything I have to haul it all back up and down the same hill. It’s simply not practical (it’s quite exhausting, really) for me to do that route too often, it’s much easier to go somewhere like Villeray and Parc Ex, which are also good neighbourhoods to explore. I do enjoy exploring the city, however, and that’s why I push myself to take these longer trips (and because I like to make the readers happy, of course). Some places, however, are pretty much impossible to get to. Lachine is a good example, it would take an hour just to get there by bike, and then there’s no guarantee I would find anything. I’d love to go but it doesn’t make practical sense. Same thing with Pointe-aux-trembles in the east or the West Island, I’d love to go but it’s just not really possible. So yes, I do try to check out suggested places but some are simply not practical to go to.

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