Bearing down


I made some other nice finds this week after my good start on Sunday night in St Henri. I came across this spot while walking with a friend on Monday evening. I had stopped here the last two garbage days and found a couple cool things, though nothing to write home about. The house had been recently sold and it some people looked to be clearing it out.

They were tossing the furniture this time around. I was on foot and couldn’t carry anything particularly big, which was too bad because a lot of it was quite nice. I would have been concerned about bugs normally but my brief interactions with the people proved that everything was safe to take.

The garbage truck started making its way up the street not long after I arrived. I was sad that so much nice furniture was about to be tossed. Fortunately, a friend and blog reader was driving down the street around the same time and decided to stop and take a look. Thanks to her we were able to save a nice work desk featuring an old map of the world under laminate (much like the second desk on this page). Still, we could only watch as the garbage truck consumed a dresser, vintage wood bed-frame, old-school TV, and several new-looking mattresses.

I managed to save a few smaller things, including: a cool folk art painting of a bear, probably from the 40s or 50s (I love this kind of stuff! I’m going to find a place for it in my room); a Blue Mountain pottery dolphin from Marineland; three Made in Japan serving trays; a cool vintage cooking pot; and a working Shop-Vac.


I went to Mount Royal on Tuesday night and was stopped again by security. This time the guy said the fine if he saw me again would be 350$ (they can’t seem to make up their mind!) and forced me to put a bag full of wires back to the curb. I mentioned how bad for the environment this was – I often just take these wires and leave them at the curb for copper pickers to find and recycle – but he didn’t seem to care. I forgot to ask exactly what by-law or regulation he was supposedly enforcing, though he said a couple of times that once items are put to the curb they belong to the town of Mount Royal. (Just to clarify, Mount Royal is basically a suburb that has its own government and by-laws. It’s practically speaking not part of the city of Montreal).

Nonetheless I did manage to save a few good things from some bags sitting out front of a house for sale.


I didn’t really know what this was but reddit helped me identify it as some kind of new-age pendulum. It’s made from carved glass and I would think that it’s a nice one, though I know nothing about this kind of thing. I’ll have to figure out if it’s worth trying to sell on eBay – I know some people pay a lot of money for this stuff.

Otherwise, I found two ziplock bags with some useful things inside, such as push-pins and a tuner for a Spanish guitar; a 100 dollar bill themed coin bank; an aluminium cup; a horse bookend; and a nice old stapler.


I drove a friend to an appointment Thursday afternoon and had an hour to kill. It was pretty late for garbage to be out – around 2pm – but there were still some bags out on some streets. I stopped at a pile here on Cote-des-Neiges and found two bags full of vintage kitchenwares.


Once again I soon see the garbage truck bearing down on my position. There’s no time for sorting so I have to carry away these two large, heavy bags. Thankfully nothing else at the pile seemed interesting – I hate not being able to properly look around and wondering what could have been.


One of the first things I noticed was this beautiful vintage Le Creuset cast iron pan. It’s in amazing condition for its age. It also seems to be a relatively uncommon size and design. Old cast iron has some value and I expect I can sell this piece for around 100$.

I sorted through the rest near the Give Box on St Viateur and left some useful, if not particularly valuable items for others to take. In addition to the cast iron pot I kept: a vintage “Gem Squeezer” juicer by Larsen and Shaw of Walkerton, ON; a crystal salt shaker with a sterling silver band; a cute yellow Turkish coffee pot; a recipe holder; a pepper grinder; a meat grinder; some kind of Hebrew scroll in a box; a silver plate spoon; and a sweet vintage clock with glow-in-the-dark hands. In a pile not far away I found an old rotary phone.


On Friday I went on an evening run in the Plateau and came up mostly empty. However, I did stop at a good dumpstering spot (around Cartier and Mont-Royal – it’s on my dumpster diving map) and came away with a good haul of vegetables. The corn was fine outside of a couple of bad spots which I easily cut off. The tomatoes were soft but still tasty. A couple of the peppers were totally bad but most were fine, or just needed a couple of soft bits cut off.

I roasted these and some other dumpster-dived vegetables this afternoon while making food for my room-mates and I. Everything was delicious, especially the corn – I had forgotten how good it was! I haven’t dumpster-dived much recently but want to do so more often going forward – it’s a great way to save money.

This week has been a good one for sales. I’ll post about that next week!

7 thoughts on “Bearing down”

  1. great find-that leCreuset pan–wish I’d find something like that here;I am as usual appalled at what people throw away; yesterday sister and I hit two yard sales at end of day and both responded with ‘take what you want for free’; numerous bags of clothing and stacks of military books that will go on bookmooch to trade;

  2. Nice desk save! I can see that bear hanging on your wall, no problem. 🙂

    Usually the “advertizing” lettering will rub right off the Blue Mountain pottery, and then you’re left with a nice clean piece.

    Great bunch of stuff you saved this week. Lots of variety, with some good yard sale items. Sweet little canary ashtray (?)

    Hmmm … I never heard of a crystal pendulum until I read your post. Interesting. Reading your blog is a real edification. 🙂 Yours looks a bit fancier than most. I think it’s a pretty cool object.

    Those antique tinware can be quite collectible.

    That horse bookend is great. Too bad you don’t have a pair. It’s still nice as a stand-alone piece though. Yours is much more detailed than the other metal ones I’ve seen on ebay.

    Those vintage rotary dial phones can get up to $50 in good shape.

    Food … glorious … food!

  3. The scroll may be a Mezuzah – it is a portion of the Torah, and is placed in a box and affixed to the doorway of a Jewish home. That is all I really know about it – there was one in my childhood home when we moved in and my Mom saved it.

    That is very sad to see good furniture going to the dump. I wonder why more people don’t try to donate it to a thrift shop out of concern for the environment if nothing else.

    The encounter with security is interesting. Some law enforcement take their jobs a wee bit too seriously.

  4. 2 things: It’s too bad that useable and useful items aren’t sent to a charity store to be sold, and it’s too bad that food couldn’t go to a shelter. (It would be bad for you, but still…) So much waste. It’s disturbing.

    1. I think probably the item pictured which you are referring to as a recipe holder is in fact a salt box which could be wall mounted. You might do some further research looking for it by this name.

  5. Hi Martin,

    I am truly interested on the scroll, really cool scroll. Let me know your price or if we can barter it. I have some stuff for you. Just waiting to set an appointment 🙂 maybe this coming Friday if you are available.


    p.s. really cool stuff you got there

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