‘Till Your Well Runs Dry


It’s been a bit of a slow week here at garbagefinds.com. I found a little bit each day but never enough to warrant an individual post. On Monday I went to Ahuntsic and found some jewellery amongst other moving-related trash.


Most wasn’t particularly valuable but I did find a few pieces marked 10k gold (the ring, the love pendant and the scarab pendant) and sterling silver. For scrap alone the gold pieces would net me around 50$ but if I try the Etsy / Ebay route I should be able to make twice that or more.


There’s been less trash coming out of this house near Westmount recently. It’s been a producer for around a month and a half now but perhaps it’s finally close to being cleared out. A “for sale” sign has appeared out front. I hope the good times keep on rolling but every spot inevitably stops producing at some point.


I found this vintage hockey puck there on Tuesday. It’s from the 1950s and is fairly collectible. Ones like it sell on Ebay for around 30-35$.


I also found a cool old bottle of iodine.


It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a bottle with the classic “skull and crossbones” symbol for poison. It was probably also made in the 50s.


I got a flat tire later on my Tuesday morning route after a mostly uneventful stop at Montreal-Ouest. I had to take the bike out to TMR on Wednesday while the car waited for its new tires. Finds were few and far between, however. The hunting in TMR has been more difficult as two houses that produced a lot for me the last couple months have stopped throwing things out. The well has run dry, apparently. The owners finally moved away from one of the houses while the other is now undergoing renovations perhaps in preparation for a sale.


This piece is the only TMR find worth noting and I’ll need your help to identify what it is. It looks to be silver-plated and has a weird (if somehow familiar) doohickey on the bottom.


The only marks I can find on it are “E.W” and “4”, both of which are stamped on the doohickey part. It’s about 3.5″ wide and 3″ tall. To me it looks Victorian in design. Let me know if you have any idea what it is!


Thursday morning I went back to the western part of Verdun to check out a place where I found cool stuff last week. Once again there were bags full of stuff to look through, though most of it wasn’t particularly interesting.


In one of the bags was this old household shrine to Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. It’s a pretty big piece measuring around 15″ or 40cm tall. It looks to be made of some kind of plaster.


The back is marked “Petrucci Frères” (Brothers). I did a bit of research and found a great article (link) about the history of the company and religious art production in Montreal. According to the article the Petrucci Frères company existed between 1908 and 1923 before changing names upon a merge with another religious art company. This piece must have come from that time, especially since the use of plaster as an art medium was most popular around this time. Saint Thérèse was only canonized in 1925 but it’s quite likely that someone modified the writing (on the bottom) after the fact. I suspect someone repainted it at some point as well. Regardless, it’s in quite good condition for its age.


Also in the bag was this large, 2′ tall crucifix. It’s made of the same material and was likely made around the same time. It’s also in really good condition for its age, especially considering that these plaster pieces are fairly fragile. It looks like the right arm broke off at one point but was glued back. I’ll have to do some research to see if these kind of pieces are collectible.


This morning’s trip to NDG and Westmount was also pretty bare. I did find this cute little piece, however. It was made for something sewing-related but it seems too small to hold a sewing machine. If you know what this was made to do let us know in the comments. It’ll look great with a bit of work and could make a great end table.

Hopefully the finds pick up next week. I plan on taking Monday off to relax but should be good to go the rest of the week.

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.

Sinful Songs


I’ve did a lot of mileage on my last two garbage routes. On Thursday I went through Westmount but spent most of my time in Verdun. I hadn’t really gone there before, mostly because there’s a limit of three black bags per household – a not particularly large amount. The presence of a lot of garbage is one of the best signs that there could be something interesting inside. Regardless, it seems that people don’t know about or don’t care about this law and it’s still a good place for pickin’.

As my friend and I were looking through this pile the owners came out and kindly offered us some furniture. They apparently lived at the same place for 45 years. There wasn’t anything too exciting but we did leave with a nice table and a dining chair. They offered us a beautiful stereo unit but it wouldn’t have fit in the car.


This place was a little more interesting. While we were hunting a woman offered us some cake tins and a outdoor light. People in Verdun seem to be very friendly towards garbage pickers. I suspect it’s largely because of its long blue collar history.


There were lots of little trinkets from the 1950s-1970s. I feel like this “Made in Japan” mug somehow symbolizes the general aesthetic.


This little autographs book with an “Indian” leather cover was probably a souvenir from a trip to Quebec City. It was never used. It looks very 50s.


This cute cat was hand etched and painted. Writing on the back indicates it was given to someone as a Valentine’s Day present.


There were a few different rosaries and pieces of rosaries. This was the nicest. It was originally in two parts (the links had gotten a bit loose) but I fixed it up, though I might have put the part on the wrong way as the two sides don’t seem to match up. The beads are crystal and the metal bits are made of sterling silver. It’s quite fancy. On the back of the cross is written the name of the previous owner.


I found a few other pieces of miscellaneous jewellery, some of which might be sterling or silver plate. The bracelet on the left is my favorite. When you look into the binoculars you see images related to Notre-Dame-de-Cap.


The prescription of these glasses is super strong. The frame is gold filled, making it a bit more valuable.


I know some glass can be collectible but there are no markings on this for me to do research on. If anyone knows anything let me know! I suspect it’s just a nice piece for a yard sale, however.


I’m trying to decide whether to sell these or use them to store food. I love the design.


I so often find old Catholic books, especially in traditionally Quebecois neighbourhoods. The coolest is the “Following of Christ” at bottom that was bound in leather and published in the early 1900s.


I enjoyed finding this beat up old 1937 dollar. It has no real value but it’ll look great in the random stuff section of my yard sale.


This old camera, a Kodak 25BT50 is pretty sweet. There are a bunch of patent dates printed on it the latest of which is 1917. It looks be to in excellent condition. They seem to sell on Ebay for between 35 and 50$.

I think I’ll check back to this spot next Thursday to see if there’s anything new.


I went on a massive trek on Friday. I first went to a good spot near Westmount but ended up driving through Cote St-Paul, Lachine and Lasalle (not garbage day there, unfortunately) before getting on the highway and heading far east, passing through Montréal-Est and Rosemont. I haven’t spent a lot of time out east and enjoyed seeing the port, the oil refinery and other prominent landmarks.

The warm weather is making exploring a little more fun. Overall this type of long (I was out close to five hours), winding trip isn’t the most productive but it’s a great way to explore the city.


At the spot above in Cote St-Paul I found a few old 10″ records. The three with covers are collectible, the best find being a 1950s copy of Leadbelly’s Sinful Songs (top left). This exact record has sold on Ebay for between 27$ and 130$. Here’s a classic Leadbelly song featured on the record if you’re curious.


That was it for a while before I reached this spot somewhere near Montréal-Est. A man came out an politely told me that there wasn’t much of value in the bags. I trusted him despite the fact that I basically make a living off of people not knowing or caring that things have value.


Before he showed up I found another collection of old records inside a black garbage bag. Some are in good condition but some were broken, records back then were much more fragile. I’ll have to see if any of them are collectible though I’m not holding my breath. I didn’t recognize the vast majority of the artists, with the only one I remember being by Maurice Chevalier.


I think this would have been your typical record sleeve back in the day. Apparently there used to be a record factory in Lachine.


I got a nice little surprise when I returned home and looked more closely at the record-book. Inside one of the sleeves with some records were these postcard-sized printed photographs featuring Montreal Canadiens players Ted Harris, Charlie Hodge, Claude Provost, and Jacques Laperriere. These guys played together around the mid 1960s. I don’t think they’re super valuable but they’re definitely a nice find especially as the Canadiens try to advance through the playoffs – these guys won two Stanley cups together in ’65 and ’66.


I last stopped at a house somewhere in the east end. By this time it was pretty late and whatever trash was still on the curb was soon to be picked up.


Inside the bags was a set of Craftman cordless power tools including a saw, drill, light, shop-vac and battery charger. I charged the battery and tested them out – everything seems to work great. I can’t imagine why someone would throw this stuff out!

Next week I plan on doing a bit more exploring, to where I’m not yet sure. I’ll keep you posted.



I had an indoor yard sale on Sunday and despite the bad weather still came away with more than 250$. I took Monday off to do a much needed spring clean and decided to get rid of around four boxes of marginal yard-sale type things, many of which I had held onto for far too long. I placed the boxes on the curb early (it was garbage day) and made a CL “curb alert” ad in the free section. By the time I came back later many of the things were gone. I think that’s a good strategy to use if you want to get rid of your old stuff.


On yesterday’s trash run I took a long, meandering route and ended up going to a few new neighbourhoods. I started at this currently productive spot (above) near NDG but also ended up going through garbage days in Hampstead, Ville St Laurent, Cartierville and Laval before finishing up with a bit of Villeray. The warm weather is making me a bit more adventurous. It was cool going to Cartierville and Laval, both places I haven’t explored much. I think I’ll try to get to new neighbourhoods more often now that it’s warm out.


I’ve found a lot of cool things at this spot recently recently and this time around came away with a 1940s-era cheque writer and protector. I’m not sure exactly how it works (especially the “protector” part) but the number keys and stamp seem to work as you’d expect. It’s in fantastic cosmetic condition with no paint loss and nice chrome edging. These machines seem to go for around 100$ on Ebay (shipping included).


I stopped at this spot in Ville St Laurent. Many of the boxes were full of musty, mostly ruined Chinese books.


One box contained a collection of also mostly ruined 45s. Some were salvageable, however. They look to be late 50s – early 60s Chinese music, some of which appears to be propaganda. The top left lists songs called “The East is Red,” “The Helmsman Sets the Ocean Course,” and “Long Live Chairman Mao.” I’ve never really come across any interesting Chinese items before so it was cool to find these.


Inside the trash bin in the background was this carved wooden bull. It’s in good condition, the only issue being a barely noticeable chip on one of the horns. It measures about 1′ long.


I also found these 8mm film reels all of which were made in 1963-64. I don’t have a projector but I did take a look at some of the stills – one video starts looking outwards from a car and another seems to be taken from a helicopter. I love old footage and I hope to check them out very soon. I like that they don’t seem to focus on people as much, I’m a sucker for old footage of cities and environments.


I came across this complete mess while in Laval. It looks to me like other garbage pickers had been there before me and ripped apart all the bags. The waste management guys hate when this happens. One of my rules for picking is not to make a mess, there’s lots of obvious reasons why but in general it’s just not good for business. It’s also totally unnecessary.


I recently sold some electronic equipment I found a couple months ago in the Plateau (St Urbain/Fairmount-ish).


Inside the bags was some DJ equipment, including three mixers and two CDJ 800s. None of the mixers had cables so I sold them all to a repairman for 10$ a piece. The CDJs (bottom) were a bit more valuable, however, and I finally got around to selling the pair yesterday for 200$. Not a bad haul! It’s hard to believe that someone would throw away their DJ equipment. My first guess was that they were evicted but who knows, maybe they just belonged to a kid with too much money.

I sold a couple of other things yesterday: the typewriter from the last post for 50$ and the stamp collection from a while back for 60. I’m happy to be moving these things out and hope to stay on top of the selling aspect of the job better going forward.

Today’s trip to TMR was pretty uneventful. Hopefully tomorrow (wherever I end up going) is a little better!