The hunt for trash has been slowed by bad weather. There’s been a couple of snowstorms which have made the roads very hard to navigate by bike, especially with a trailer. There were also a few days where the temperature dipped to around -20. I went out on one of the freezing days, mostly to check out a “loyalty spot.” I had to spend some time in apartment lobbies just to warm up. It wasn’t a fun time, though I find the cold makes me focus more on survival rather than everyday trivialities which is a refreshing change of pace.

I went out on Monday evening (the cold day) and Wednesday (TMR). I also went out twice last night, to the Plateau and also to a part of Rosemont (east of Iberville, south of Rosemont) I hadn’t gone to in a while. This is about half of my usual summer schedule. I didn’t find much but the week wasn’t entirely devoid of finds either. I wouldn’t normally show you this bag of elastics but on a slow week I figure it’s fair to mention. I did find them in the garbage, after all, and they may come in handy! In case you’re curious, this bag of elastics and the next few finds all came from the same spot in TMR around Kenilworth and Kenaston.


I also found a bunch of trash bags, tin foil, and plastic wrap, most of which were reasonably full. This is the kind of stuff you only throw if you’re moving or clearing out a house.


There were also a couple decent pairs of ladies shoes.


The highlight of my Wednesday was probably finding this perfectly functional hair dryer. A future Christmas gift perhaps?


This was something I found last night in the Plateau. I’m not sure what it is, though it has little rubber feet which make me think that it could be a weird coaster. Regardless, it looks to be to a souvenir from East Germany.


I had energy in the night-time due partly to a longer than expected nap and decided to take a late-night run to Rosemont. I was gone from around 12-2:30am. In one spot there were these nice, barely used pots inside a black trash bag. There were a couple of others I left for others to find.


There was also this set of 5 Johnny Cash records. There’s a lot of good music here, the records are worn but still in good shape.


Last but not least is this espresso maker, which I actually found last Thursday in Rosemont. It works pretty well, the only issue is that a bit of water leaks from the side of the filter instead of going through the bottom. I did a little research online and found a couple of potential fixes, so maybe I can get it working ideally yet. Regardless, it still makes a decent cup of espresso and it’s gotten a lot of use from my room-mates and I in the last week or so. These machines aren’t cheap – this one costs around 200$.

I’ve been busier lately with selling former trash on Ebay. The things I’ve sold (where I found it in parenthesis): a “book” of white wine scents for 65$ (TMR); a silver WWII RCAF pin for 45$ (Verdun), a lot of nine different old Red Rose figurines (Rosemont and Plateau); a mic-tester for 101$ (Plateau); three old polaroids for 41$ (Rosemont, 2nd/Beaubien-ish); and a Mamiya 23 medium format camera for 163$ (Plateau). I didn’t post about a couple of things, which goes to show how there’s a lot of stuff that never makes it to the blog.

Next week is Christmas and I doubt I’ll have any time to go through trash. Just as well, I doubt many people have time to throw out cool stuff either. I’m thinking there might be some good trash after Christmas and Boxing Day as consumers replace their old things with new things. If so I’ll have some more stuff to show you before the New Year. Either way, hope you all have a good holiday season!



There hasn’t been much trash recently, partly due to dry runs and partly due to my taking a bit more time off.

Last Wednesday evening I decided to explore a route in Ville St Laurent (East of Decarie and mostly North of Cote-Vertu). I was feeling motivated but kind of forgot just how far VSL really is by bike. It took around 30 minutes to get there and longer to get back (with a trailer in tow). Needless to say this route was pretty exhausting and I doubt I’ll do it again, at least while biking in the winter. In the summer or with a car, sure. I got home late, close to 3am and was too wiped to get up the next day and go to Rosemont as I had planned.

I didn’t find anything too exciting. I took a bit of furniture that sat in front of a house for sale, including this nice side table, a couple of footstools, and a collapsible wooden table.


There was a trash bin next to all the furniture. Most of what was inside was hardware-type stuff (and not much of interest), though I did find the sterling silver cross. The other piece, also 925 silver came from another spot.


Thursday evening, Friday morning, and Monday evening were all mostly dry. I took Monday morning and all of Tuesday off but made my usual trip to Ville Mont-Royal today. I never miss a trip to VMR! Most of my finds came from this pile close to the northern edge of town.

(Just FYI, I returned the camera I was using to my friend who is going home for Christmas break. I’m now using a different camera, it’s decent (older) but doesn’t capture nearly as much detail as the other one. In short you won’t be seeing quite the same quality of photos (definitely no widescreen!) for the time being).


The recycling bin was completely full of books, most of which looked to be from the 60s to 80s. I saved a few of the older ones. I could have sorted through them a bit more but I wanted to keep moving (I had a couple of spots I wanted to check out) and most didn’t look particularly exceptional. Besides, at least they were in the recycle instead of the trash.


These brass pieces were in a bag amongst some old aluminium cooking pots. Some were made in India and others are marked as being from Egypt. My favorite piece is the ashtray on the right – it has the words “Simon Arzt Cigarettes Egypt” written on the top and a hieroglyph marked in the middle.


Simon Arzt ran tobacco plantations in Egypt, the first one opening up in 1869. I think the ashtray is probably fairly vintage, though how old I can’t be sure.

I like the big teapot as well, though its top seems to have broken off its hinge. Maybe a little solder could fix that.

At the bottom are some weird glass shoes with enamel. Does anyone know where these might have originated from? I assume they are purely for decoration but I’d be curious to know more! There aren’t any marks on them so no help there.


I also found a couple of old meat grinders, one from Czechoslovakia and one from England. I’m not sure what it’s made of but this thing is heavy!


I think my best find, however, was this old Japanese-made tea set which I found waiting inside one of the black bags. Remarkably there don’t seem to be any cracks, chips, or pieces missing. It has an odd glaze, mostly clear but with a distinct multicoloured oily hue, similar to what you often see in water at the side of the road.


I’m not sure how old it is but I’d guess that it would have been made in the 50s or 60s. The mark on the bottom is “Japan” with a crown written in gold plate. I have to do a bit more research but I’m sure this set is worth a little bit of cash, 20$ at least.

That’s all for now. Tomorrow morning I head off to Rosemont on what will be Montreal’s coldest morning yet (-16 Celsius). We’ll see how that goes!

The Gazetteer


I went out to TMR this morning and made a few good finds. I talked yesterday about staying loyal to a spot for a period time after I find something cool but today was odd in that some places I had long given up on produced once again. This place on the left, for example is where I found the newspapers from the end of World War II (and more) in mid-October. Since then, however, there has been nothing of interest.


One of the boxes was full of old books, including this set of “Times Encyclopedia and Gazetteer” encyclopedias from 1930. There’s one missing, unfortunately – if I’m lucky it will appear sometime in the near future. Still, the design is beautiful and the content is interesting.


Some more books, including an incomplete but nice anthology of the works of Honore de Balzac.


The nicest of that bunch might be the one on the right, a 1874 copy of The Forms of Water by John Tyndall. It’s still in quite good condition.


Another box contained a bunch of good wool. I’m sure I can find someone who’ll want to use it!


There were also a couple of portable phones that seem to be in good working condition, though I have no landline so I can’t test them fully. I’m sure they’re fine though.


Here’s another spot where I found some interesting old stuff, though I don’t think I ever wrote a post about it. There was a dinner tray on top of the pile which I brought home.


Inside one of the bags were these notepads from 1960s-1970s hotels. Nothing too crazy, but I’m sure people would pay me 50c each for them at a yard sale.


Also inside were these old books. They’re not in very good shape but the one on the right is notable: it was published in 1803, making it the oldest book I’ve found thus far in my garbage picking career, beating the 1815 New Testament I found by 13 years. The text itself is in decent shape (though the pages are fairly warped), it’s mostly the cover that’s in poor condition.


The inside of the books.


The house for sale on the left gave me the remainder of my finds.


I found two reasonably modern digital cameras, one in the recycle bin and one in the garbage (whoever put the bins out had no idea when it comes to sorting). I didn’t find the chargers, unfortunately, but I’d bet on them working well as they’re both in very good cosmetic shape. They also came with little cloth bags.


These sticks, which seem to be used for fortune telling of some kind, were held inside this wooden container. There’s 38 in total, and unless there’s supposed to be more I have them all. Definitely yard saleable!


The last for today is this 6-pack of never opened Diet Coke bottles. They were made to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the Holt Renfrew, a chain of high-end department stores here in Canada. They originally sold for 6.99 but now people online are trying to sell them on Ebay for around 6 to 20 bucks a bottle (with limited success). I don’t think I’ll bother with that, though. If they were regular coke I might drink a couple, but since they’re diet I’ll give them to whoever wants them.

That’s all for now! I need to take a nap. I’m going to consider checking out a part of Ville St Laurent tonight, it’s a bit far but it’d be interesting to see. Regardless, I’ll definitely be in Rosemont tomorrow morning to see if I can find anything where I came across those nice old books last week.