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!

25 thoughts on “Waiting”

  1. love and look forward to your posts, you sure find some great stuff,
    but I do not believe its a set set, more of a coca set… more rare.. looks like it should have been made in England… really like that one… believe I had one similar at one time…
    keep up the good work…and thank you for sharing..

  2. Nice finds! Love the Japanese set, I’m pretty sure you could go a bit higher ($30).

    For the little enameled shoes, it seems that they are also ashtray, buy the indentation in the “heel” part of the shoe.

    For the meat grinder, I saw two on Kijiji (Hachoir manuel) for $20-$25. We have one at home, and use it from time to time.

  3. Your best finds are the end table you found in Ville St.Laurent and the beautiful Japanese tea set.The tea set is too good to be just thrown away.Your trip to Ville St.Laurent was not completely wasted because of the nice end table you recovered.I am so glad you live close to the town of Mont Royal .You can go there almost every week.

  4. good finds.

    recall seeing/hearing, on some antique show, that there is a huge market in cigarette collectible, so maybe you can tap that somehow.

  5. Those made in India brass pitcher/teapots have varying prices http://bit.ly/1hNmz5i It’s nice there’s still one goblet to go with it. There’s a buck or two to be made here. The Egyptian ashtray is still in great shape.

    Ways to clean brass: http://www.wikihow.com/Clean-Brass

    A complete tea set, with no broken pieces; that’s pretty rare! Here’s one of similar vintage for $199 on ebay. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Hand-Painted-Japan-Tea-Set-Gold-Trim-Classic-English-Style/360811969268?_trksid=p2047675.m1850&_trkparms=aid%3D222002%26algo%3DSIC.FIT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D19051%26meid%3D3331895879604544748%26pid%3D100011%26prg%3D8643%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D5%26sd%3D150991806166%26 The iridescence on the saucers is interesting.

    Sweet little side table too.

  6. Your Tea set is really a coffee set and is called Lusterware. Some call it Mother-of-Pearl but Lusterware is more prevelent. Tea pots are short and squat, coffee pots are taller. I think a starting bid of $49.99 is more in line of where these go. Good find! Keep up the great finds! Cheers!

  7. Lovely finds! The oily appearance on the Japanese tea set (luncheon set perhaps?) is called opalescence. I agree with kaboochu that the brass shoes are ashtrays.

  8. You can look around in those big plastic recycling bins with lids outside apartment buildings in The Plateau,Outremont,etc while walking on foot.I hope you do that in wealthy Outremont when it is too cold and snowy to bike far away.You did find great jewelry iin a big recycling bin outside an apartment complex in Rosemont a while ago.Even those visiting friends in apartment complexes might be encouraged to check out those recycling bins and plastic trash bins while going in or out.

  9. Forget trash-hunting until next Tuesday.Day-time highs for the next two or three days will be -10 to 15 degrees and up to -23 or -25 at night.Too cold for trash-picking.Too cold.We should all hibernate.

    1. But if everyone stays inside, they may start doing some just before Christmas clearing, and thus put interesting things out.

      Too bad all the “underground city” stores don’t put their garbage out front. That might provide some stuff, yet since it’s indoors, nice and warm.


  10. I loved reading a long time ago that your roommate found discarded love letters from around the World War II era in the trash and saved them,only to scan them later.I love such discoveries.May you keep making more such discoveries.So much valuable history is just dumped without thought.

    1. I have to take credit for that one, haha. I found them and then gave them to her for a project. Still, your point is true

  11. I was in the north end over the weekend and dropped by at the Marche aux puces St.Michel(St.Michel Flea market) for 75 minutes,just to see.This flea market is at the corner of ST.Michel boulevard and Cremazie.A lot of the kind of knick-knacks that you find are sold there ,at sometimes expensive prices.There are plenty of antiques,vintage furniture,antique toys,vinyl records,pop culture memorabilia,tons of paintings,antique bottles,beer steins,etc,etc.Please check it out because you will get an idea of what prices the knick-knacks you discover are often sold at.The St.Michel Flea market is only open on weekends,Friday to Sunday,I think.It has more than 45 or 50 vendors and is very popular.

  12. The next 15 days according to a weather forecast are going to be all very cold with a high on average between -10 and -15 everyday.There is only a reprieve of one or two days expected this Friday when the temperature will reach 4 degrees on the positive side.I do not think you will be able to go too far.There is plenty,plenty of snow making it very difficult to bike.But you could still check out the garbage and recycling in adjacent Outremont on foot.

    1. Wednesday will still be cold but not quite as bad, I’ll likely push myself to do my usual TMR route, though I might not go quite as far. I may go out Thurday and Friday as well, though if Friday is as wet as it sounds I may opt to stay in then as well.

  13. I will not be putting my recycling bin or recycling bag out this week because the snowbank around the sidewalk of the street where I live in NDG is four to five feet tall.

  14. Please do go to TMR this weekend.I am looking forward to your trip and report.The trip might take you longer than usual,but it will be worth it.

  15. You do not mention usually the names of the street where you find treasures in TMR.But do you check out Laird street from one end to the other,and also Dunkirk street,Churchill and Roosevelt?

    1. I usually go on Laird for a bit, Dunkirk (the North side) and sometimes Churchill. I went down Roosevelt this Wednesday but don’t normally, there are only a few apartment buildings and there’s not usually much there (I think apartment trash is taken on a different day in TMR). My routes varies from week to week though, it’s usually the same pattern but with minor eccentricities.

    2. Part of Churchill is in the part of town called Glenmount, which wants to be part of TMR but is actually part of CDN. It has a different trash day unfortunately, Tuesday/Friday mornings I think.

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