A big storm rolled through town yesterday bringing 20cm of snow, gusting winds and bitter cold. Fortunately for me the storm arrived after my trip to the Town of Mount Royal. It was an interesting day, featuring a few things I had never seen before and a person asking me to not look through his trash.

This garbage belonged to a dentist that has been tossing occasionally cool items for a couple months now. I’ve come to expect to find something here every week, though it’s not always super exciting.


These people seem to have collected and spent a lot of money on art. I found three more pieces by Ludo Pollack, two of which are marked 1972. I now have 7 pieces of his art. These ones I hung up in the hallway entering my place, they spruce up the white walls that are in need of a new paint job.


This machine, a Sklar Rotary Compressor, was inside one of the bags. The glass bit is the “Suction Unit.” Apparently it has something to do with surgery and anaesthesia, though I personally have no clue how it works. I was afraid to test it out but it does turn on and make noise. There’s a couple on Ebay that were up for 55$ but neither sold. If anyone has any insights or information about this thing let us know in the comments!


The mattresses (and everything else) in this spot looked as if they had been in that garage for the last 20 years.


I found this bust and left it on the side of the road near my place. Maybe someone will give it a home.


Someone added a hanger to this piece of driftwood so that it could be hung from the ceiling. It needs a good dusting but it’s pretty cool, I might keep it myself.


In another bag was an old liquor collection all wrapped up in paper. They’re all partly full, though nothing is more than half. Based on the labels and price tags I’d say most of these were bought in the 60s, 70s and 80s. The Johnny Walker might be a little newer because it has has a serial code. The Crown Royal on the other hand has an excise sticker with 1960 marked on it.

High proof liquor, unlike wine or beer lasts a really long time. They definitely smell pretty normal and I’m sure my room-mates and I will give them the old college try in the near future. I figured I’d ask though: would you try some?


This is the place I found the stamp collection, magazines and pamphlets last week. The bed frame looked really nice but I had no room for it.


There wasn’t much of interest this time around, though I did find a cool cowboy hat from a Wormser in San Antonio Texas. It’s made of 100% virgin wool. The size is 7 1/4 which I think is a little too small for me. I modelled it on the squid stuffed animal I found in Edmonton, it doesn’t fit it either!


I stopped here because I spied the top of a lamp poking through a bag (which you can see in the back right). I took the lamp, giving only a brief cursory glance to make sure it was worth taking. I then started looking through another one of the bags, quickly finding some more nice stuff before I was approach by a man and a woman. The man told me the items belonged to his father who had recently passed away. It was kind of confusing how it all went down but I gathered that he didn’t want me there and I left, though he seemed fine with me taking what I had already set aside. I knew what I found was great, though, and felt compelled to try again to see if I could at least talk to him more about it. I wanted to save the potential treasures from being destroyed for philosophical reasons but was also motivated by my own financial gain.

I sat in the car and thought about it for a while before going back. I couldn’t even open another bag before he came out again and asked me what I was doing. I told him I was looking for valuables. I mentioned the lamp as an example thinking it wouldn’t bring up any possible negative emotions. He told me the lamp was the only valuable thing and that the rest were papers he didn’t want me looking through. He was a bit more tense for this conversation but he was still very well composed. I’m not sure I believe that there weren’t any other valuables inside those bags, in fact I still wonder as to what might have been inside, but this time I had no choice but to leave for good. I can’t be too aggressive in one of my more productive neighbourhoods.


This is the lamp. It’s actually really nice, I just need to find it a matching lampshade.


These items were in a little chequebook box. The glasses frames are made of gunmetal and the 1968 quarter is partly silver. That was the last year any silver quarters were produced.


My favourite piece are these old silver filled American Airlines “wings”. They’re very beautiful and probably would have been issued to an attendant or other employees. On Ebay there’s a set selling for 111$. I think that price might be a bit of a reach but I expect I could get 80-90$ for them.


There was also a little bonus waiting for me at the bottom of the bag the lamp was in.


Inside an old, busted cigar box was a collection of watches. The dirt was from some geraniums that were also inside the bag (which I am now trying to save).


The watches are all fairly old and all have issues. None of the three on the left are working, though they’re probably still worth a bit of money for their parts. The one on the right (a 17 Jewel, Super Datomatic, Waterproof “Mortima”) seems to work fine but has a very scratched crystal. If I get the crystal cleaned up I should be able to sell it on Ebay for 80-100$. The other two tick but get stuck sometimes, they probably just need an expert cleaning. The Omega is almost certainly a fake, it’s marked 18k gold but I think it was just gold plated. Still, it looks nice. I might sell the non-working ones as a lot on Ebay, though I wonder if I should hit up some local shops to see if anyone will buy them locally.

Due to terrible weather I decided it was best just to take the morning off, write this post and get some of my garbage on Ebay. I hope to get out tomorrow morning to see if that section of Rosemont has anything else to offer me. I might be getting a cold though and if it gets worse I might just take the day off. Either way I’ll keep you posted!

If you are interested in buying any of the items you see on my blog I would love to hear from you! Email me at thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com and I’ll get back to you within a few days.

17 thoughts on “Driftwood”

  1. hi, did you leave the poll on liquor?

    I would be concerned that possibly someone had “added” something to it.

    if it had been in my cupboard, no problem.

    I used to hear jokes about people adding all sort of things to liquor…laxative/syrup of ipecac/ of course these days there are other things too/ all nasty

    1. Does it not show up? I see it on my screen. I’ve heard of people doing that but I think they generally add it to the drink instead of directly to the bottle. I know cough syrup and booze together is called sizzurp (or purple drank) and some people use it to get high. I assume the other two things you mention would mostly be added as a “prank.” I would hope I’d be able to notice and smell all three.

      1. what I recall, from stuff added, is fr many many yrs ago…Likely longer than you are old… But, what I recall is stuff as I mentioned being added as a joke to the bottle. those who talked about it thought it hilarious…

        I know it is long ago, however, I could see some bored kid adding something questionable, and bursting at giggles with the imagined result..so..if you drink it, be careful.

  2. J’aime beaucoup ce que tu fais. Et je pense faire comme toi à Gatineau dès le printemps. Nous nous sommes déjà parlé. Trouve tu facilement acheteur pour tes trouvaille. Plus sur e bay ou Etsy ou vente de garage. Comment fais-tu pour différencer les métaux (comme pour les lunette en bronze, ou montre.)

    google traduction.

    I love what you do. And I think as you do in Gatineau in the spring. We already talked about. You easily find a buyer for your find. More on e bay or Etsy or garage sale. How do you manage to différencer metals (as for the bronze bezel or watch.)

    Manon Turcotte

    1. I hope you do, there is a lot of history around there. Ebay is good when you have a valuable item that you want to get close to top dollar for (though you’ll never get as much as someone with a store). Yard sales are better though if the item isn’t as valuable and isn’t worth the time listing, packing and shipping as you have to do with anything you sell on Ebay.

      I recognize materials because I’ve had a lot of experience with them. I used to have no idea but I’m still far from an expert. Oftentimes silver and gold will be marked, but some marks are forgeries so it’s important to be critical. If you find something do your research.

  3. Martin
    that is too bad about the headboard. It looked great and I could have used it.

  4. Martin,malot of people are dreading a majority PQ government after the April 7 provincial elections.In the last two months,I am seeing far more than usual “FOR SALE” signs in areas such as NDG,LaSalle,Verdun,Ville St.Laurent and Cartierville.A number of people are considering leaving Quebec.A lot of people in the next two weeks might have garage sales,moving sales,etc in addition to the usual annual spring cleaning.Please visit far-flung areas in your car to rescue good stuff thrown out by people about to move or leave the province.

  5. That bed frame is cool, but I really like the sofa behind it. I hope that someone came along and took both of those. It is a shame that people are so weird about things that they throw away. It seems like that guy could have been a lot nicer about the fact that someone was interested in his father’s things, which he apparently had no desire to keep.

  6. I found this Ludo Pollak Sherbrooke Street art show exhibit advert from the June 5, 1976 edition of the Montreal Gazette (top left) http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1946&dat=19760605&id=k5cuAAAAIBAJ&sjid=p6EFAAAAIBAJ&pg=3745,1172308 The French-born primitive painter was born in 1914. The paintings are kind of charming. I wonder what happened to him?

    You might want to hang on to this website http://www.lareau-law.ca/peintres_1.html … which might be useful when searching for obscure Canadian artists.

    That driftwood is sweet!

    As for the relative quality of the hooch, check out http://askville.amazon.com/shelf-life-liquor-opened-whiskey-longer-snapps/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=9612153

  7. There are plenty more ads in the Free stuff of Montreal Kijiji than Montreal Craigslist.I only discovered that recently.Overall,Craigslist is much bigger than Kijiji.Why are there so many more Free section ads in Kijiji Montreal compared to Craigslist?

    1. It seems to be that French people prefer Kijiji and English prefer Craigslist, which is probably why Kijiji is so much more popular. I prefer the CL interface myself so I stick to that.

  8. I live in Ville St./L;aurent and like it that you have been visiting VSL more often.Please check out Cousineau,Beausejour and Satim street in VSL on trash day.

  9. I would imagine the suction machine would have been used in the dental office to suction saliva out of a patient’s mouth during dental procedures. The black rubber stopper goes in the top of the bottle and a tube is attached to the short metal tube coming out. Goodness knows what filth has been in there. Be careful with this kind of stuff. I love seeing what you find and would hate to think you contracted some disgusting disease while fooling with old medical equipment.

    1. It’s pretty rare I find this kind of stuff. I’d be a lot more skeptical if it was in front of a business. I found this in front of a dentist’s house and I suspect it hadn’t been used in many years, long enough that any diseases would be long dead.

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