There’s been some crazy weather the past couple of days. Yesterday’s temperature was summer-like, reaching a high of 24. I had planned to take the day off from picking but I happened across these bags while walking around enjoying the weather and couldn’t help but take a look.


It looked like someone was clearing a house. I found a bunch of canned food, none of which was even expired.


This hat is definitely made from animal fur. The pattern looks similar to that of a leopard. I’ve never seen anything quite like it before.


Inside the bags was some jewellery. None of these watches are super valuable but they should go for 5$ each at a yard sale.


This watch is a little more interesting. It’s a 15 jewel “Mona” (a brand which seems to have no reference on Google) with a gold-filled Fahys case. It was probably made in the 1920s and is really quite beautiful. It doesn’t work unfortunately but it might be worth fixing and at the least could be sold for parts or repair.


The pin at the top is a JJ (Jonette Jewelry) and is likely made of pewter. The ring at the right is silver and I think the heart on the left is gold, though I have to do a test to confirm this. If it’s indeed gold I’ll sell it for scrap as it’s a bit dinged up.


This sterling silver ring was my favourite piece. It’s marked 1946 and features an emblem with the Latin phrase “Ardens et Lucens” and the acronym ESSC. I have to do more research but I think it’s was made either for a school or the military.

I’m going to keep an eye on this place going forward.


This morning was super rainy but thankfully the weather was passable for the few hours I was out on the hunt. I returned to a place in CDN where I keep finding interesting old stuff and this time was no exception. I brought that bookcase back home, my friend really likes it!


Inside one of the bags was this beautiful 1920s leather policy holder made by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Outside of a minor issue with the strap it is in pristine condition. It looks to have never been used – the policy envelopes and other papers inside are in excellent condition. I imagine it must have some collector’s value.


This is a telephone book published for 1967-1968 made specifically for businesses in Hampstead, Cote-des-Neiges and Snowdon. It’s a cool piece of Montreal ephemera.


I seem to find a few books here every time I come.


The most notable books were these two large tomes offering “Critical and Explanatory Commentary” of the Old and New Testaments. The pair were published in 1876 and are in excellent condition.



I love finding old medals. This one was made for the YMHA (Young Men’s Hebrew Association) of Montreal way back in 1937. I think it’s bronze. The back refers to a “membership campaign.” If anyone knows what that might have entailed let us know!



Here’s a 1962 TV Guide. It’s not particularly valuable but there’s definitely people who love this sort of thing.


This is a pamphlet (and an accompanying letter) sent by the Foundation for Judaism to members of the Jewish community asking for donations to help build the Jewish pavilion at Expo 67. One paragraph reads: “We sincerely believe that every Jew in Canada ought to have a share in helping create the Pavilion of Judaism and are appealing directly to you to join and support our efforts by making a financial contribution.” The letter is written on nice paper with a watermark saying “Rolland Colonial Bond” and “Rag Content Canada.”

I think that this is probably a relatively uncommon item. It was likely only sent to Canadian Jews and it wouldn’t surprise me if most have been tossed out or ruined over time. As such it might be somewhat collectible. Regardless, it’s pretty cool and I always love finding Expo-related items. Check out this page for a look at how the Judaism pavilion turned out.



I’ve spent the last few Tuesdays going out of my way to check out that previous place in CDN. Usually when I’m in the area I’ll also go to NDG and Hampstead being nearby neighbourhoods that also have Tuesday morning trash collection. Today however I skipped Hampstead (which has been pretty unproductive from my experience) and headed down to Pointe-St-Charles and Verdun. I like it down there, the more blue-collar population is less disturbed by trash picking than they are in Hampstead and other richer neighbourhoods. That makes me feel a bit more “at home.” There’s also a lot of great history.


My friend and I found a bunch of old tools and other bric-a-brac in the bags above. While I was looking through the bags a man walked over and kindly offered me that bucket full of 5″ nails at the top left. I don’t have a use for them personally but I know some of these things cost a lot of money new. I’d like to do a bit of research on the tools but I’m going to give away the nails, bolts, fasteners and etc.

Overall a pretty good day! Tomorrow morning I head off to the Town of Mount Royal hoping for better luck than last week.

18 thoughts on “Emblem”

  1. all interesting, I can’t get over how much jewelry and watches you find,
    the pulleys in the last picture remind me of the clothesline outside my mother’s living room window, she took out wrung out laundry to hang, tugging at the line, making the pulley squeak,
    tonight coming from work I found a lot of white and pink hydrangeas for Easter, recut the end and arranged in big bowls; and a big stack of VHS movies

  2. Love your finds this week.Great bookcase you rescued in Cote Des Neiges.And thank you for rescuing the perfectly edible canned food.Bon Appetit.I also find your TV Guide Find from 1962 is pretty cool and is valuable for tv nostalgia buffs.You did a great job this week.Good luck for the next few days.

  3. Hi. In case you didn’t know who to give the nails to, your local “Habitat For Humanity” would accept them. From their website:

    “Have unused building materials, products, hardware or even an old cell phone you are looking to part ways with? Materials and services donations are a vital part of our mission.”


  4. HI. Geez you find some great stuff! I really look forward to to your entries, just love looking at all the treasures you find. I still have those presto pressure cooker pistons for you. Congratulation on your perseverance, really! Nicole. Do you still have those little Eiffel Towers? I would love to purchase one. You live right near me. I would pick it up. All the best. Nicole

  5. I’m thinking the hat may be ocelot?

    Re: the old Fahys Mona watch, here’s another Fahys watch for $68, as is http://www.ebay.com/itm/Gold-Filled-Fahys-Montauk-Quality-case-w-No-Name-Watch-15-Jewels-AS-IS-/291023253196

    This, and a bit more info on Fahys from this page (http://goldsmithwatchworks.com/1931-japanese-marvin-montauk-rubicon-doctors/)

  6. Wow!Great food finds.I am on a tight food budget,but am too proud to say I need food.I only buy food on special in supermarkets and just barely manage to feed myself.I congratulate you for saving the canned food from the trash.I collect cans and bottles from time to time to help pay my utilities like electricity,heating and also my phone(cellphone).But only once in all these years have I found unopened cans in the trash in good shape.(They were of sauces and soups–not calorie-packed,but nonetheless I used them).Please write more about food finds on your blog.

    1. At the end of the month you generally find more canned food as people move out. I’d suggest keeping an eye out for moving-related trash. Bags with canned food will generally be heavy (lifting the bag can tell you a lot – the heavier the better generally) and will have a distinct feel if you give it a little kick

    2. But if you need food, random piles of garbage cant’ be the efficient route.

      Find stores that toss things out, and yet still have accessible garbage cans.

      My friend Helen, who was homeless, found or was told about a bakery that tossed (I’m sure every bakery tosses, unless they actually sell everything fast), and I went by with her once, and it was all in clear plastic bags, isolated from the rest of the garbage. And a lot of it.

      She picked out one corner store that sold fruit and vegetables, and she found it a reliable location. Actually, her problem was that she had no means of keeping it, she’d hide it somewhere else, but it would go bad before she had a chance to eat it all. If someone actually has a refrigerator, that would help stretch the finds. Cooking such things when you first get them home likely helps too,

      You’re likely to find a lot of it, canned goods have such a long shelf life they won’t get tossed often, while baked goods and produce have a short life, which is why they land in the garbage. I’m sure one could find meat, but I wouldn’t know about that. What you find may be limited, but so is canned goods. Bigger stores likely have locked dumpsters.

      There are various places that offer free meals, yet don’t try to stigmatize. I think The People’s Potato at Concordia is free, though I suspect they shut down in the summer. I don’t know names, but I think there are other places that offer free meals, treating it like a social event precisely so the people who need it won’t avoid it.

      Some of the groups that give away prepared food likely need volunteers, and some of them probably eat some of the food themselves. The People’s Potato, Project Burrito, Food Not Bombs and some of them may actually be salvaging tossed food (I’m not sure, I know in the beginning Food Not Bombs was dumpster diving), so if you volunteered, you might get some tips about where to find tossed food.

      You might also just look for better garbage. Figure out something you can find and sell, and likely you’ll make more than collecting empty cans for the deposit. Martin puts a lot of effort into this, but he clearly does much better than if he was just collecting cans for the deposit.

      I think till the end of April (I’m not sure of the exact date), Pizza Pizza is giving away free cheese or pepperoni pizza slices if you hand in some piece of “ewaste”. That includes cartridges from inkjet printers, and ac adapters, both of which are fairly common and easy to find and recover. I suspect they won’t like it if you keep bringing in stuff to the same store, so you’ll have to move around. They’ll take things like mp3 players and tablets, too, but those have more value than a pizza slice. Though, someone suggested some time back that the point of such ewaste collections isn’t to keep the junk out of the garbage, but to keep it from being resold, so someone wanting that new electronic gizmo has to pay full price. I think you’d need about 300 cans to get a slice of their pizza these days.

      Watch for coupons. Rarely do they give you something free (except that time a Dairy Queen printed coupons for a free small cone and didn’t put an expiry date on the coupon) but you will get more for the money. I’m sure many people just toss those booklets of coupons that come in the paper, without ever looking, while I go looking for more coupons if there’s something of interest to me.


  7. You’re definitely my hero! I am floored by the amount of perfectly good stuff that people send to the landfill instead of, say, donating it or at the very least recycling it. Who throws away unexpired canned food when so many people are going hungry?

    Will you be touring the McGill ghetto area now that students are about to leave? I hear that the pickings there can be fantastic…

    1. I actually have a temp job working mostly in the McGill ghetto so I’ll be in the neighbourhood (though I might be too busy to look at much). It’s indeed a great place to pick. Many people know about it and go out of their way to look around, including many of the homeless people who hang around the downtown areas.

  8. I heardf yesterday on radio that many food banks in Montreal are short of donations.Why are people throwing out good food in cans in the garbage?My neighbor is an Algeria-trained engineer who cannot find decent work .In Quebec many of his credentials are not recognized.He is 55 and collects cans and bottles to supplement his income.It upsets me to see good food just trashed like that.I have lived in poverty too.

  9. You deserve to win an award or cash prize or something.You do so much good work.Scavenging is a great job in a wasteful culture like ours.We are overregulated,and I sometimes pay repairmen in cash.My female friend works in a massage parlor,even though she is not licensed.as a massage therapist.She gives wonderful therapeutic massages.She has a Masters Degree in Human Relations and loves giving massages for now.,even with her level of education.We must encourage people like you and self-employed masseuses.Nothing wrong with that.No need to regulate,regulate.

  10. […] -Gold-filled watch in need of repair – 15$ (to a reader), found in Plateau April 15th -2 “Banzai” Metallica Cassettes (early Canadian printings) – 38$ (Ebay), found in Rosemont as part of larger collection but not featured. The collection was in front of the same place as these great bike locks and the bike seats from last week -Yard Sale – Many different things added up to 135$ Total: 188$, 338$ since I began keeping better track (May 18). […]

    1. Yes, it wouldn’t wind so it was going to cost more than 100 to fix. Unfortunately that’s about as much as I could get for it I think.

Comments are closed.